Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

CTIA: More than 33 GM vehicles to have LTE by year-end

Iain Morris
September 11, 2014
General Motors (GM) plans to introduce LTE connectivity into more than 33 of its models by the end of this year as it looks to maintain its momentum in the fast-growing connected cars space.

Speaking at a Tuesday-morning keynote session during this week’s CTIA conference in Las Vegas, Mary Chan, the president of the global connected consumer business at GM (Detroit, MI, USA), also indicated that from the second half of 2015 GM will be expanding its relationship with AT&T (Dallas, TX, USA) to bring its OnStar connectivity system into a number of European markets.

“We need to examine the lessons of the past couple of years to address the unique features of the European market,” Chan told attendees.

In the US, she said, recent trials of vehicle-based data services had met with an overwhelmingly positive response among customers, and GM is now looking to introduce vehicle-to-vehicle communications and more automated driving technology into its Cadillac range from 2016 onwards.

Ralph de la Vega, the president and chief executive of AT&T Mobile and Business Solutions, said demand for connected car services would have a dramatic impact on the mobile market.

AT&T is now looking to expand into the global market for connected car services, said de la Vega, building on the success it is enjoying in the US market.

“The car will change the entire wireless industry in much the same way as smartphone has,” he said. “We see it as new wave of opportunity for wireless.”

According to research AT&T has carried out at its Drive Studio, 72% of drivers are prepared to delay a car purchase by a year in order to buy a connected vehicle from a preferred brand.

De la Vega also cited research carried out by Strategy Analytics indicating that 32% of new cars sold globally will have embedded cellular connectivity by 2017, with the percentage rising to 60% in the US market alone.

Network equipment maker Ericsson (Stockholm, Sweden), which has also been conducting research with AT&T on the connected cars market, said that nearly two thirds of consumers it recently surveyed rate connected car services as a key factor in their next purchase.

“Nearly half would also be willing to switch brands to get a connected car,” said Arun Bhikshesvaran, Ericsson’s chief marketing officer.
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