Tag Archives: AT&T

AT&T IoT Solution Helps Keep Beverage Coolers Stocked and Chilled Around the World

End-to-End Solution will Connect Up To 1M Red Bull Beverage Coolers 

AT&T* will connect up to 1 million Red Bull branded beverage coolers around the world.  An AT&T Internet of Things (IoT) solution will track and manage the supply and demand of their beverage coolers globally. AT&T technologists and developers at the AT&T Foundry, centers specialising in tech innovation, worked closely with the Red Bull team and its partners to create the global IoT solution.

The data will help ensure beverages are cold and ready for shoppers. The solution will also help identify issues as they appear – or even before.

Alerts from coolers mean workers may no longer need to check the status of each unit manually. Precise data sent from the coolers will give near instant access to performance, temperature stats and geo-location information.

The data also provides shopper frequency insight from door activity from the coolers located worldwide.  Each time a connected cooler door opens and closes, an embedded monitor collects data and on regular intervals sends the data via the AT&T Global SIM. The AT&T Control Center and AT&T IoT Platform (Flow and M2X) process the data from each cooler.

“Our end-to-end solutions support the near real-time monitoring and analyzing of the global beverage market,” said Thaddeus Arroyo, Chief Executive Officer, Business Solutions & International, AT&T Inc. “This is another great example of collaboration and innovation to create real value for our customers. It streamlines the processes, creates visibility and improves operations, helping drive significant cost savings and return on investment.”

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

Source: AT&T

AT&T eyes large slice of the smart city pie

 

FROM TM FORUM LIVE, NICE, FRANCE: The different connectivity options set to underpin smart cities of the future are expected to account for between 5 per cent and 10 per cent of the total smart city value chain, providing a multi-billion dollar opportunity for operators such as AT&T which are already investing heavily in this area.

So explained Mike Zeto (pictured), general manager of AT&T Smart Cities, who said the US operator is already planning to take a much larger share than those percentages by “moving up the stack” towards applications and working with partners on the hardware side.

Zeto also noted 5 per cent to 10 per cent of a market which analysts such as Frost & Sullivan estimate will be worth around $1.57 trillion by 2020 is a sizeable opportunity on its own.

AT&T – which announced its smart city framework in January 2016 and formed strategic alliances with Cisco, Deloitte, Ericsson, GE, IBM, Intel and Qualcomm – is currently collaborating with around nine US cities on their smart strategies, including Atlanta and Chicago. It recently expanded beyond its domestic market for the first time, choosing Dublin as the launchpad for its future European expansion.

Irish capital
Zeto told Mobile World Live the Irish capital was an obvious choice, in part because many large US multinational corporations are based there, but also because Dublin and the Republic of Ireland in general are already engaging in a number of Internet of Things (IoT) initiatives and Horizon 2020 projects. He said the fact Ireland would still be part of the European Union once the UK completes its exit had “not really” played a role, but praised cities including Dublin and Cork for breaking down traditional silos and enabling the development of a number of services, including intelligent transportation solutions.

In the US the operator is focusing on critical areas with a major impact on the daily lives of citizens. These include smart irrigation systems and the use of IoT sensors to reduce leaks, a traffic intersection network solution to help improve traffic flow, intelligent lighting, and many more besides.

Furthermore, in March 2017 AT&T and the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) formed a public-private partnership (PPP) with the goal of building a modern, mobile broadband LTE network for first responders across the US. AT&T is investing about $40 billion over the 25-year life of the contract, while the government is investing $6.5 billion.

Zeto noted PPPs will also play a key role in creating smart cities, although many hurdles still lie ahead in the realisation of large-scale smart city projects. Cities have little choice but to respond to growing population levels. As Zeto pointed out, they are moving as fast as they can: “and that is the scary thing.”

Source:  Anne Morris, contributing reporter to Mobile World Live

Next Stop: Connectivity! AT&T to Connect Mexico City Subway Riders

AT&T in Mexico will begin providing 4G LTE and Wi-Fi service throughout the Mexico City Metro subway system. The Metro is considered the world’s 4th largest subway system.

In Mexico City, AT&T is going underground. Literally.

In a few weeks, AT&T in Mexico will begin building a fiber-fed network to provide 4G LTE and Wi-Fi service throughout the massive Mexico City Metro subway system.

We’ll offer connectivity in the Metro system’s 195 stations and along all 12 Metro lines, which fan out across the sprawling capital of 20 million people. The system’s 350 trains travel through tunnels dipping to depths nearly 100 feet below the surface.

“Today, the connections in the Metro system are not very good or there’s no connection at all,” said Carlos Sanchez, AT&T in Mexico chief technology officer. Sanchez is overseeing the 3-year project.

“We came here in 2015 to deploy a 4G LTE network that will become an engine for innovation, social development and economic growth,” he said. “Our Mexico network above ground now reaches 78 million people. But in Mexico City, a sizable portion of the population uses the Metro.”

With 125 miles of tunnels, this Metro is considered the world’s 4th largest subway system and the largest in Latin America.

On an average day, 5.5 million people ride the Metro. And it’s not unusual for riders to be aboard between 1 and 2 hours each day.

Once completed, the Metro network will offer free Wi-Fi to all riders on 11 of the 12 lines. AT&T customers will have 4G LTE service across the entire system.

“They’re going to have the same high-quality network, the same capabilities that they have on the surface,” Sanchez said. “If you spend an hour in the subway every day, that hour — from a customer perception standpoint — is going to change dramatically.”

Sanchez, who grew up in Venezuela and has worked in 6 countries for AT&T, including the U.S., started working for AT&T in Mexico in early 2015. A year ago, he and many others began talking to Mexico City and Metro officials about the underground 4G LTE network.

On March 9, Mexico City’s mayor, Dr. Miguel Angel Mancera Espinosa, executives of AT&T in Mexico and the head of the Metro system signed the agreement launching the project.

Nearly 1,000 AT&T employees and contractors will start installing network equipment in the stations and tunnels in May, Sanchez predicts. He describes the configuration as a “distributed cell site.”

We’ll install fiber in the tunnels. Larger, network gear will be housed in the stations. Radio equipment will connect to antennas in the tunnels and on the trains.

The teams will first tackle Metro Lines 7, 3 and 1, which Sanchez described as the toughest. Line 7 is the deepest, running some 100 feet below the surface. And Lines 3 and 1 have the largest number of riders, with about 700,000 people a day on each line.

What also makes the entire project more daunting is that AT&T crews will have to work when the trains are idle – from around midnight to 4 a.m.

AT&T crews in the tunnels will undergo extensive safety checks every night coming and going. Before leaving, crews will have to thoroughly clean and check their workspaces within the tunnels to help ensure the trains run safely.

“We’ll probably end up with about 3 hours of work a night,” Sanchez said. “I’m hoping after working on the first line, we’ll learn a lot, and then we can adjust our practices to speed things up.”

Despite the challenges, Sanchez seems almost unfazed.

“Providing service to 5.5 million people a day is like covering a whole other city, only this one is underground,” he said. “But here, density is part of the deal. And while this is a special project, it’s just part of what we’re doing here. 2017 is a year when we’ll start deploying IoT projects and more.

“We had a competitive disadvantage that we’ve been able to reduce significantly,” said Sanchez, snapping his fingers. “We move fast, speedy. We’re the small carrier here, so keeping the pace (snap, snap) is important. There’s a lot of the right chemistry on our team. That’s been kind of the secret sauce for reaching the point where we are now.”

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GSMA Innovation City returns to Mobile World Congress

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Innovation City Offers Immersive Experiences from Companies Including AT&T, Cisco Jasper, Huawei, KT Corporation, Sierra Wireless and UNLIMIT by Reliance Communications

The GSMA Innovation City returns to Mobile World Congress, once again inviting visitors to explore a city-like environment and experience immersive demonstrations of the most cutting-edge mobile enabled products and services in the world today. The City will address a wide range of industry topics such as 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT), security and identity, with an increased emphasis on interactive, experiential and immersive installations that illustrate how mobile impacts virtually every aspect of our lives across transport, health, home and retail. The Innovation City, which is one of the key attractions at Mobile World Congress and welcomed nearly 30,000 visitors last year, has been relocated to Hall 4 to accommodate more partners and experiences than ever before.

“The GSMA Innovation City is a living, breathing hub for mobile technology and one of the most popular destinations at Mobile World Congress. This year’s City focuses on experiences that put mobile technology in context to help people understand how it will impact their lives,” said Michael O’Hara, Chief Marketing Officer, GSMA. “We look forward to welcoming visitors to a newer, larger City this year, packed with unusual and engaging demonstrations that showcase the depth and breadth of innovative mobile solutions, from a connected auto-rickshaw with an IoT emergency button to a connected seal that can help monitor climate change.”

The GSMA Innovation City features exhibits from AT&T, Cisco Jasper, Huawei, KT Corporation, Sierra Wireless and UNLIMIT by Reliance Communications. The GSMA will also highlight its key programmes and initiatives including Connected Living, Managed Services, Mobile Connect, Mobile for Development and Network 2020, as well as its work supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Showcasing a Range of New Experiences
The Innovation City will showcase an array of interactive experiences:

AT&T – AT&T will showcase its latest innovations across entertainment, the Internet of Things, 5G, security and more. Visitors will be able to experience:

  • What it’s like for AT&T mobile customers to take their TV with them virtually anywhere they go data free with the DIRECTV and DIRECTV NOW apps.
  • Live demonstrations on how to achieve speed and precision with flexible, highly secure networking in a software defined world.
  • How AT&T’s IoT solutions are innovating and accelerating Smart Cities, integrated fleets, connected cars, healthcare and more.
  • AT&T Digital Life®, an all-digital, fully integrated smart home security, automation and energy management solution.

CISCO JASPER – Cisco Jasper will enable visitors to experience IoT services in a life-like smart city environment. Visitors will see how businesses globally are using the Control Center automated connectivity platform to deliver connected services that enhance their customers’ experiences and create new sources of revenue. Examples will include:

  • Connected car solutions ranging from electric vehicle (EV) charging stations that eliminate range anxiety, smart parking meters that alert drivers to open parking spaces nearby, to remote performance and vehicle security management.
  • Health monitoring wearables that give the elderly greater independence while ensuring that they remain connected to loved ones, caregivers and healthcare providers.
  • Security and automation solutions for industrial and small business applications that contribute to producitvity, efficiency and peace of mind.
  • City buses that communicate directly with IoT-connected traffic solutions that help reduce traffic and pollution by keeping vehicles moving more smoothly through the city during commute times.

HUAWEI – Huawei X Labs and its partners will demonstrate its innovative explorations in mobile across a number of vertical industries including:

  • Connected Drone: Experience how mobile broadband enables drone tracking in public safety scenarios, precise positioning in urban areas and battery charging anywhere.
  • Mobile gaming: Try out the future of gaming with a multi-sensory experience via motion capture and virtual reality.
  • Mobile video: Experience video of the future with 8K panorama and how networks are meeting the demand of larger formats.
  • Connected car: Experience how 5G networks manage connected cars.
  • Connected robotics: See how robotics can perform manual tasks via the mobile network.

KT CORPORATION – KT will demonstrate its global 5G leadership and innovative technologies:

  • Experience a winter sports luge ride and interact with K-POP stars in the Virtual Reality Zone.
  • See how an IoT-enabled safety jacket can help keep people safe at sea or in the mountains.
  • Try out innovative new IoT devices such as NEOFIT, a new health band with health-related services and GiGA Eyes, a cloud-based security camera.
  • Experience innovative big data solutions including KT-MEG (Micro Energy Grid) Platform and Smart Gate.

SIERRA WIRELESS – Sierra Wireless is building the Internet of Things with intelligent wireless solutions that empower organisations to innovate in the connected world. The Start with Sierra Experience will feature:

  • A chance to drive the world’s fastest connected car and see what it’s like to move at the speed of sound.
  • The opportunity to pilot a drone around Barcelona with exclusive simulators that highlight hazards on land and in the sky to enable safe flight on a broad scale.
  • A live network demonstration of how next-generation LTE-M technology improves cellular coverage for smart water applications.

UNLIMIT POWERED BY RELIANCE – Unlimit, Powered by Reliance, is the first independent IoT business unit launched in India and a gateway for all global companies looking to access the Indian market. It enables companies to set up and grow their IoT business by getting to market faster, scaling quickly with high service reliability and low cost of ownership. Demonstrations will include:

  • An opportunity to experience a connected Indian auto-rickshaw for the first time.
  • Unlimit’s new application enablement platform where developers and customers can easily connect, manage and extend IoT deployments.
  • Unlimit Control, the first Indian cloud based platform which enables you to launch, manage and monetize IoT/M2M services for connected devices.
  • Partnerships with Cisco Jasper for their world class IoT connectivity platform and Cumulocity, the leading independent Device and Application Management IoT platform.

GSMA INDUSTRY PROGRAMMES
The GSMA programme will also include a number of exhibits and experiences highlighting its key industry programmes:

  • See how innovative NB-IoT Low Power Wide Area tags are helping to track seals in the wild and monitor climate change.
  • Experience how Mobile Connect is becoming the identity solution of choice for a new generation of services such as instant age verification and face recognition for airline check-in, amongst others services.
  • Step inside a Jaguar Land Rover F Pace car to experience the impact of 5G technology.
  • See how smart cities applications are helping with crowd control, as well as water and traffic management.
  • Experience how innovative Mobile IoT devices such as connected screwdrivers and connected waste bins utilise pressure and temperature sensors.
  • Experience how a new messaging platform is helping consumers get closer to brands.
  • See how innovative LTE Broadcast technology is delivering dynamic advertising and incident information in bus shelters.
  • See how big data is being used to support our environment and improve the way food get from the farm to the plate.
  • Learn how the mobile industry is supporting the Sustainable Development Goals through a unique augmented reality-based experience.
  • See how the GSMA’s Mobile for Development programme is transforming rural communities in emerging markets and offering innovative solutions to weather forecasting, smart irrigation, solar energy, cooking gas, mobile health and mobile money.
  • Visit the GSMA IMEI Checkpoint to see how delegates can locate and record their device serial number (IMEI) showcasing how, if their phone is lost or stolen, it can be blocked by networks around the world.

Visit the Innovation City in Hall 4, Fira Gran Via
This year the GSMA Innovation City is located in Hall 4, Stand 4A30 in the Fira Gran Via and will be open during Mobile World Congress exhibition hours from Monday, 27 February through Thursday, 2 March. Please note that the City will close at 5:15pm on Tuesday, 28 February for a private reception.

Source: GSMA

AT&T and Porsche Enter Mult-Year Connected Car Agreement

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Companies to Deliver Wirelessly Connected Vehicles with Wi-Fi and Infotainment Services

AT&T* and Porsche Cars North America, Inc., are bringing high speed Internet to select 2017 models in the U.S. as a part of a new multi-year agreement.

AT&T will offer wireless connectivity on AT&T’s 4G LTE network in certain 2017 Porsche Macan, Boxster and 911 models. Porsche’s Connect Plus services, powered by AT&T, are either standard or an available option on a number of models and will include a Wi-Fi hot spot, navigation, news and weather alerts and other infotainment services. Customers will be able to connect up to 5 devices to the hot spot.

“Porsche’s technologies have advanced performance and spurred improved innovations within the automotive industry,” said Chris Penrose, senior vice president, Internet of Things, AT&T Business Solutions.  “Our work with Porsche will continue that innovative tradition and deliver a connected experience in their cars for drivers and passengers.”

Porsche customers can take advantage of Connect Plus services with a stand-alone plan.  Existing AT&T customers can easily share data among phones, tablets and their vehicles with Mobile Share Value or purchase a separate stand-alone plan. The cost for connecting Porsche vehicles equipped with Connect Plus to an existing Mobile Share Value plan is a $10 access charge per month.[1]

To learn more about IoT’s potential to transform business, visit www.att.com/iot

Source: AT&T

Mahindra GenZe and AT&T Bring IoT Capabilities to Two-Wheel Transportation

Innovative Solution Helps Make Getting Around Easier and Safer

Mahindra GenZe, a leader in all-electric two-wheel transportation alternatives, uses AT&T’s* Internet of Things (IoT) technology to bring the first connected scooter to the two-wheeler industry. The companies are also working with Tech Mahindra, a world leader in connected solutions helping enable GenZe’s telematics device to utilize AT&T’s network capabilities.

The GenZe 2.0 is a two-wheel vehicle built for urban commuters. It works on a CANBus network. The connected scooter uses multiple AT&T IoT products including Global SIM and AT&T Control Center to build the GenZe mobile rider solution. The GenZe Cruise–Connect System™ monitors data through a cloud–based system and governs settings through the app.

“We continue to focus on meeting the demands of today’s connected urban commuters,” said Vish Palekar, CEO, GenZe. “GenZe is redefining urban mobility. We deliver a fun and practical commute experience by incorporating cutting edge technology, like AT&T’s IoT connectivity. “

“We’re changing how people live, work and get around. People can connect and monitor assets from almost anywhere,” said Chris Penrose, senior vice president, AT&T Industrial IoT Solutions.  “Connecting these amazing 2-wheel machines is an example how we are a leader in the connected vehicle technology.”

The GenZe 2.0, designed and built in the U.S., has:

A removable lithium-ion battery: Riders can recharge at any standard electrical outlet, for optimal freedom and ease of use.

Smart, utilitarian design: Ample rear storage space lets riders get where they want and take all of their belongings with them. It enables device recharging in a compartment under the driver’s seat.

GenZe was founded in 2012 to develop sustainable urban transportation solutions.  The GenZe 2.0 was born in Silicon Valley. It was designed, engineered and is being manufactured in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to the highest international and federal vehicle standards.

For more information on AT&T IoT Solutions, visit http://www.att.com/iot.

For more information on GenZe Products, visit http://www.genze.com/.

Source: AT&T

AT&T 4G LTE to Power Ford SYNC Connect in More Than 10 Million Vehicles in North America by 2020

Ford and AT&T are bringing high-speed connectivity and an even better owner experience to customers this year – with plans to connect more than 10 million customers to Ford SYNC® Connect within the next five years.

SYNC Connect, Ford’s new high-speed connectivity technology, adds levels of convenience to SYNC, the industry-leading in-car entertainment and communications system. Ford is introducing SYNC Connect in the United States and Canada this spring in the new Escape.

“Vehicle owners want the convenience that comes with being connected at home and on the go,” said Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president, Global Product Development and chief technical officer. “With SYNC Connect, we are able to provide features and services that make the car an even more seamless part of our customers’ connected lifestyles.”

With Ford SYNC Connect, Ford vehicle owners can:

  • Remotely lock and unlock doors from virtually anywhere
  • Use the built-in GPS system to locate their parked vehicle on a map
  • Remotely start the vehicle or schedule a start time
  • View vehicle information, including fuel and battery level and tire pressure readings

SYNC Connect plays a key role in Ford’s connectivity strategy as part of Ford Smart Mobility, the plan to take Ford to the next level in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics.

SYNC Connect debuts this spring on the new Ford Escape. After the initial rollout in North America, SYNC Connect is launching in global markets, adding another 10 million connected vehicles by 2020.

“Connected car services are an important feature to consumers,” said Chris Penrose, senior vice president, Internet of Things, AT&T Mobility. “We’re thrilled to expand our relationship with Ford to deliver an enhanced connected experience to more Ford drivers.”

Ford SYNC

Ford SYNC is the world’s leading in-car entertainment and communications system, with more than 15 million vehicles equipped with the technology on the road worldwide.

Launched in 2007, Ford SYNC was the industry’s first system to widely and most affordably offer voice-activated technology to control smartphones. New-generation SYNC 3 features faster performance, more conversational voice recognition, a smartphone-like touch screen and easier-to-understand graphical interface for a growing number of Ford vehicles in North America.

Building on industry leadership

Ford was the first U.S.-based automaker to build AT&T network service into its cars in 2011 with the introduction of MyFord® Mobile – a smartphone and Web-based connected experience that enables electric vehicle owners to remotely connect their smartphone with the car to manage charging.

AT&T network service has been a standard feature in all Ford plug-in electric vehicles, including Ford Focus Electric, Fusion Energi and C-MAX Energi.

In 2014, Lincoln introduced MyLincoln Mobile powered by AT&T, enabling owners to access their vehicles using their smartphone. The capability allows owners to start, lock, unlock and locate their vehicle, as well as schedule remote starts.

Now, SYNC Connect expands on the relationship between Ford and AT&T, giving more North American customers the ability to remotely access their vehicles.

AT&T connected car leadership

In 2014, AT&T launched two major initiatives to lead innovation in the connected car space. The first was a pioneering connected car innovation center in Atlanta, called AT&T Drive Studio.

It also launched a new global automotive solution and development platform, AT&T Drive.

A telematics leader, AT&T connects vehicles around the globe. In late 2015, AT&T added 1.6 million connected devices; nearly 1 million were connected cars.

Additionally, AT&T was the first major wireless carrier to launch a global SIM platform for cars. The platform lets automotive, consumer and M2M equipment makers use a single carrier to wirelessly connect products across the globe.

– See more at: http://about.att.com/story/att_4g_lte_to_power_ford_sync_connect.html#sthash.WOqlGkC5.dpuf

Source: AT&T

Mobilizing the Sky: AT&T Building 4G LTE In-Flight Connectivity Service

 
 

 AT&T* today announced plans to launch a high-speed 4G LTE-based in-flight connectivity service for airlines and passengers in commercial, business and general aviation. The service, planned to be available as soon as late 2015, will be capable of providing in-flight broadband for customers including fast, reliable Wi-Fi and onboard entertainment. Following launch, aviation customers can also expect improved connectivity solutions such as cockpit communications, maintenance operations and crew services.

To deliver this new service, AT&T plans to build an innovative air-to-ground network in the continental United States, based on global 4G LTE standards, to provide fast speeds and efficient utilization of spectrum already owned by AT&T. As the architect and operator of the nation’s most reliable 4G LTE network**, AT&T has the expertise, spectrum and financial strength to transform airborne connectivity.

“Everyone wants access to high-speed, reliable mobile Internet wherever they are, including at 35,000 feet,” said John Stankey, Chief Strategy Officer at AT&T. “We are building on AT&T’s significant strengths to develop in-flight connectivity technology unlike any other that exists today, based on 4G LTE standards. We believe this will enable airlines and passengers to benefit from reliable high speeds and a better experience. We expect this service to transform connectivity in the aviation industry – we are truly mobilizing the sky.”

Honeywell, an aerospace industry leader, recently issued its Wireless Connectivity Survey indicating that in-flight Wi-Fi currently causes frustrations for nearly nine in 10 users worldwide, most often due to inconsistent or slow connections. AT&T plans to work with Honeywell to provide hardware and service capabilities to deliver the in-flight connectivity solution. Along with Honeywell’s expertise, AT&T’s technical strength and scale in building networks and managing their evolutions provide a unique opportunity to change the way passengers and airlines connect to the mobile Internet. With AT&T’s planned new network, passengers would gain the reliability they have long hoped for in the sky – for browsing the Internet, checking email, keeping in touch with friends and family through social networking and messaging services, and increasing business productivity. AT&T’s in-flight connectivity also offers the potential for improved communications between the plane and the ground through transmission of real-time aircraft data for optimizing, monitoring and evolving airlines’ operations.

In-flight connectivity is a natural fit for AT&T, which over the past six years (2008 to 2013) has invested more than $140 billion into its wireless and wireline networks, when you combine capital investment and acquisitions of spectrum and wireless operations, and already operates the nation’s most reliable 4G LTE network. AT&T has more than 116 million wireless subscribers, more than 16.5 million total broadband subscribers and serves many of the world’s largest corporations, including all of the Fortune 1000.  AT&T is a leader in connected devices and continues to win awards for its wireless and wireline services, while also continuing to innovate with its recent launches of its Connected Car platform and Drive Studio, and introduction of AT&T U-verse® with GigaPowerSM in select U.S. cities.

AT&T sees an opportunity to deliver an innovative and high-performing in-flight connectivity and entertainment service, and will build on existing relationships within the aviation industry to deliver a better customer experience than what is available from others today. AT&T plans for its in-flight connectivity service to support both business aviation and commercial airline customers from day one of the service launch. AT&T will provide information on pricing and availability prior to launch.

AT&T does not expect additional capital expenditures required for this initiative to be material, nor will it have any impact on the company’s previously-announced financial guidance.

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

**Reliability claim based on data transfer completion rates on nationwide 4G LTE networks. 4G LTE availability varies.

Source: AT&T

Connected Cars, allready a reality

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In its latest report, IDATE analyses the connected car strategies of manufacturers, mobile carriers and application providers. The study provides the main drivers and barriers for connected car market take-off. It describes the connected car ecosystem, in terms of applications, implementation techniques and also related business models.

A ‘connected car’ is one equipped with access to the Internet (the network of networks) whereby it can communicate with the outside world. This allows the car to share Internet access to other devices both inside and outside around the vehicle. “The strategy of most manufacturers is to make their cars connected.” Says Samuel Ropert, Project Leader of this report. “The main driver here is based on the regulation related to safety issues in Europe and the underlying revenue opportunity for them. In the USA, the recent GM announcement to embed 4G modules in all new cars is seen as a key trigger for market take-off.” Three main technical solutions exist. The embedded module system (in the car itself) is the most technically advantageous system as it has a dedicated system for connected services. The next option consists of the use of the smartphone for connectivity tethering, with the technical limitation (use of the miniature antenna). The last model is a combination of the first two other models (use of embedded system for telematics and smartphone tethering for entertainment (mobile Internet-like services). Ultimately, it is an opportunity for a fundamental shift from a largely capex model to a more opex-oriented one, even potentially shifting the focus of manufacturers’ core businesses to embrace a new focus on car-based products and services.

For telcos, the revenue opportunity could be interesting as the connected car will generate traffic that telco will charge indirectly (through the automobile manufacturer). All main M2M mobile carriers are involved in the connected car space, as the connected car represents one of the major markets in volume. In a context where their traditional mobile revenues are flat and even declining in some regions, providing mobile connectivity in cars is a key business opportunity for telcos. Beyond car-related applications in driver assistance, from the perspective of a telco, the car can be seen as an additional cellular device, with a potential high-consumption service profile with such usage as the mobile Internet, entertainment on demand and mobile hotspot features. The prime business model remains the traditional wholesale relationship (B2B2C), even though AT&T unveiled a retail data plan for Audi A3 in early March and AT&T is expected to announce a new version of its share plan by the summer 2014 which includes the connected car. For Internet players, the strategy here is clear: the automobile is an additional connected device just as smartphones, tablets and laptops and needs to be addressed. However, Apple and Google do not have really the same approach. Indeed, whereas Apple aims to introduce its technology to interface with its products, Google is promoting the embedment of its technology into the car as a regular device. Google also wants to collect data to provide the most accurate advertising as possible, such as a related point-of-interest, based mainly on location. On the market side, according to IDATE, in 2018, 420 million automobiles will be connected; representing a 57% CAGR on the 45 million connected vehicles in 2013. Nevertheless, this growth is not homogeneous for each category of connected cars. The embedded systems will lead the market with 222 million units by 2018.

In 2018, the connectivity revenue for connected cars will exceed 8 billion EUR. This encompasses direct connectivity through embedded systems but also the indirect revenue related to smartphone usage. The major issues to be raised here are on the real willingness of the user to pay for such services. To encourage users to subscribe, telcos and manufacturers are already contemplating different revenue models including share plans. All the same, adoption is likely to remain limited over the next five years.

Source: Digiworld/IDATE Samuel Ropert

AT&T partners with Volvo on M2M


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US number-two operator AT&T signed a deal with Volvo to provide high-speed wireless connectivity to the car maker’s vehicles.

The multi-year agreement covers the US and Canada and will see AT&T provide its embedded infotainment service, Sensus Connect, for Volvo’s 2015 models, which go on sale this summer.

Drivers will also be able to access Volvo On Call, a service allowing remote access to car functions and emergency crash notification services.

Volvo will use AT&T’s Single SIM platform and AT&T Control Center, which is based on technology provided by M2M player Jasper Wireless. Together these systems allow Volvo to manage wireless device deployment with advanced diagnostic tools and smart alerting.

AT&T already provides similar functionality to other car makers around the world, including General Motors, which unveiled plans in January to bring 4G connectivity to its Chevrolet models in the US by the middle of the year. Audi and electric car maker Tesla are also working with the operator.

Vodafone struck a similar deal with Volkswagen Group in March to provide embedded SIM technology for VW and Audi models in Europe from 2015.

Erik Brenneis, head of Vodafone’s M2M business, said the agreement would strengthen the operator group’s position in the automotive sector, “one of the key markets for M2M communication”.

Vodafone suggested that the planned EU-wide emergency call system – known as eCall – which automatically sends out a SOS in the event of a vehicle accident, could drive user adoption.

Vodafone Germany has previously partnered with BMW to provide M2M connectivity for cars sold domestically.

Source: Tim Ferguson/Mobile World Live