It’s hard to imagine that there’s anyone out there who doesn’t have a cell phone by now, which means companies are looking elsewhere for growth. AT&T has locked onto one potentially profitable area with a contract to supply wireless connections to cars with General Motors’ OnStar service. Even better, AT&T snatched the contract away from its rival Verizon Wireless.
Verizon and its predecessors were the network suppliers for OnStar since the service’s origins in 1990s, which makes the loss of such a long time partner particularly galling. AT&T will take over with the 2015 model year according to an announcement made by AT&T and GM on Monday at the opening of the Mobile World Congress wireless trade show in Barcelona. Financial terms were not disclosed.
AT&T will connect the cars to its 4G LTE network, which will provide a speed boost over current OnStar connections. Car owners could get such features as video streaming, vehicle-based Wi-Fi hotspots, and remote views from their car’s cameras. GM will also get the possibility of delivering car software updates wirelessly instead of requiring owners to bring their cars in to have them upgraded. It seems this deal is good news for everyone. Well, except Verizon of course.