AT&T asks Verizon Wireless, “Can you hear me now?” with auto sector IoT

I must admit, if I were Verizon I’d be asking myself if AT&T’s IoT team is planning on waving at me in its rear-view mirror while leaving me in the automotive IoT dust. AT&T continues to make ripples through the automotive industry in announcements with GM, Audi and Tesla. At CES…

  1. AT&T and GM announced that by summer 2014 some GM cars in the USA and Canada will have 4G OnStar-fueled connectivity. The OnStar service, a 4G WiFi hotspot in GM vehicles and a series of downloadable applications to cars via the Chevrolet AppShop will allow drivers access to all sorts of new connectivity services.
  2. The Tesla deal uses AT&T connectivity for remote engine diagnostics, telematics, and infotainment on current and future models.
  3. The Audi deal uses AT&T for 2015 model-year Audi A3 Audi connect® systems,  infotainment and applications. Audi and AT&T will sell a Mobile Share data plan, allowing customers to bundle services from their personal (or conceivably business) phones with their connected Audi A3.

The automobile and transport sector is one of the high growth categories for IoT solutions. Certainly fleet management solutions have been around a long time and have helped businesses manage their transportation and logistics processes in new ways.

However, now it is time for passenger automobiles to get a make-over as embedded connectivity opens up new applications like infotainment, video-games on demand, movies on demand, engine diagnostics, e-call, concierge services and more.

And don’t forget the after-market IoT category. I drive a ’66 Mustang so I’m looking forward to these after-market solutions. These solutions purport to do similar things as the embedded solutions, however, the functionality might be a little lacking — especially for those solutions requiring OBD2-provided data. Automobile manufacturers are not exactly known for their incorporation of open operating systems and applications in their automobiles.

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