At Mobile World Congress, U.S. wireless carrier AT&T has announced that it is partnering with General Motors to deliver wireless LTE connectivity to cars. The deal would bring 4G wireless connectivity to GM brands like Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac for the 2015 models, which will arrive later in 2014 in the U.S. The deal would help bring GM-owned OnStar service more modern LTE connectivity and will help cars relay information about safety, diagnostics, infotainment, and safety.
The multi-year agreement calls for AT&T to enable millions of GM cars, trucks and crossovers with 4G LTE mobile Internet access, providing the latest wireless technology to power GM’s safety and security services offered by OnStar, as well as a new suite of infotainment services like streaming audio, web access, applications, and even video for backseat passengers. AT&T will also enable GM’s in-vehicle Wi-Fi hotspots and voice calling services. These enhancements build on OnStar’s existing portfolio of connected services, first introduced in GM vehicles in 1996.
Details about the whole package will be announced later, though AT&T’s head of emerging devices Glenn Lurie promises that the two companies will open up the system to developers with SDKs and APIs. This will perhaps help the company achieve its Digital Life vision that we first saw earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Show where users can connect to their cars and homes via a smartphone or tablet. This would allow users to dynamically monitor road conditions and traffic, find alternate routes and POIs, and more.
As smartphone and tablet adoption in the U.S. are beginning to peak, carriers and equipment manufacturers are turning to other, newer solutions to deliver wireless connectivity. These solutions, often called machine-to-machine (M2M) or emerging solutions, will help power a new generation of wireless connectivity that allows individuals to stay connected to more aspects of their lives, from their cars to their homes.