AT&T has been no stranger to bringing 4G LTE connectivity into cars. They have been partnered with BMW as well as GM, for quite some time. And in their quarterly reports, they add about a million new cars to their network each quarter. Making it a good way for AT&T to continue growing their network, even with the smartphone market plateauing. Today, AT&T and BMW announced at CES that they are extending their exclusive connected car agreement. AT&T has been powering the ConnectedDrive services and apps in BMW’s vehicles since 2008. With this new agreement, BMW’s infotainment features like WiFi hotspot will also be connected by AT&T.
The all-new BMW 7 series will have the option for customers to use a WiFi hotspot that is powered by AT&T’s 4G LTE network. A network which the carrier claims has the strongest 4G LTE signal. Definitely a good thing when you’re driving and using it as a hotspot to connect to your other devices. AT&T is allowing customers to connect to their car using their WiFi Hotspot in which they can activate a free WiFi hotspot trial, through their WiFi portal, or buy a session and manage their WiFi account. Additionally, you can add your car to your AT&T Mobile Share plan, where you’ll be sharing data between your smartphones, tablets and other gadgets. AT&T will charge you a $10 access fee to connect your vehicle to your AT&T Mobile Share plan (that goes for all vehicles not just BMW’s).
“We are thrilled to continue our long-standing relationship with BMW and to be a part of a brand that evokes a joy and passion for driving,” said Chris Penrose, senior vice president, Internet of Things, AT&T Mobility.
Having a WiFi hotspot built into your car may not be at the top of your priority list when shopping for a new car. But it is definitely something good to have. Especially when you’re on a long road trip, and need the kids to be quiet. Let them connect to the hotspot and stream Netflix, and they’ll stay happy, and hopefully quiet. It’s a feature that’s quickly catching on between wireless carriers and auto makers.