The Mobile World Congress (MWC) has historically been a showcase for the latest and greatest in portable technologies, but as vehicles become smarter each year, the event becomes more and more of a car show.
At MWC 2016, Samsung premiered a device called Samsung Connect that adds Wi-Fi and driving analytics capabilities to older cars, but that was just the beginning. AT&T has announced that it will bring high-speed connectivity to select 2017 Porsche Models — including the Macan, Boxster, and 911 — while also expanding its connected car relationship with General Motors and Audi.
The Porsche announcement comes as part of a multi-year deal which will add 4G LTE Wi-Fi connectivity to the automaker’s Connect Plus services. Connect Plus will include Wi-Fi, navigation, news, and weather alerts along with other infotainment technologies, and will be available as standard or as an option depending on the vehicle.
Similarly, AT&T and Vodafone will support the introduction of OnStar to European automakers Opel and Vauxhall, which operate under General Motors’ global umbrella. Already available in Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, and the U.K., Onstar provides a mobile hotspot for up to seven devices in addition to various emergency, roadside assistance, stolen vehicle, and diagnostic services.
“We are honored to have the chance to work with GM beyond the U.S. and Canada,” said Chris Penrose, senior vice president of IoT solutions at AT&T Mobility. “Joining OnStar core functionality with our virtual packet core network and Wi-Fi from Vodafone serves as a platform for future innovation in safety, security, diagnostics and entertainment across Europe.”
AT&T has also renewed its relationship with Audi, and will continue to bring high-speed Internet to the brand’s Audi connect system in North America through 2018. For more techie news, check out our ongoing coverage of the Mobile World Congress.