AT&T and Japanese telecommunications provider KDDI have agreed to provide LTE-based auto entertainment connected vehicle capabilities to 2021 Mazda CX-5 and CX-9 automobiles and other unidentified models on an ongoing basis, according to AT&T.
These vehicles will use the KDDI Global Communications Platform to provide access, which will include making the autos into hotspots capable of connecting as many as five smartphones and tablets.
Passengers also will be able to access WarnerMedia’s RIDE app. The service will be available for free in eligible complimentary trials, along with unlimited AT&T in-car Wi-Fi data plans.
WarnerMedia RIDE provides a rotating selection of live streams and more than 1,000 hours of on-demand shows and movies. Mazda owners can sign up through the in-car Wi-Fi account dashboard for either three months or 2GB of complementary service. The offer is limited to whichever of those limits is reached first.
“With this collaboration, we’re keeping Mazda owners connected to the world around them and the content they love,” Joe Mosele, AT&T Business’s Vice President of Mobility and Internet of Things, said in a press release about the AT&T auto offering. “Our collaboration will ensure that Mazda owners can be connected just about anywhere, while our world-class content from WarnerMedia will provide news and entertainment on-the-go for the whole family.”
While this AT&T KDDI collaboration relies on 4G LTE, the emergence of 5G is facilitating more robust connected car applications. This includes great ways to keep kids and their non-driving grownups entertained during trips and for vehicles to more or less become mobile offices.
The glitziest use of evolving telecommunications technologies, however, is autonomous vehicles. That reality is many years away, at least for the mainstream. In the interim, there is much momentum with connected car technology.
Pushing functionality close to the end user is a fundamental requirement. Last month, Verizon announced mobile edge computing (MEC) for Dallas and Miami. That brought the number of markets to seven, with three more expected by year’s end.
In the announcement, Verizon mentioned two automotive use cases as examples of technology: A data platform from Renovo, as well as technology from Savari that provides warnings to drivers and pedestrians.
In August, CubicTelecom said that it plans to use a voice over LTE (VoLTE) platform from Metaswitch to support connected cars.