& cplSiteName &

Uber Thumbs a Wireless Ride With AT&T

Dan Jones
5/29/2014
50%
50%

Private car ordering service Uber is hooking up with AT&T, with the operator acting as a key US wireless services provider for drivers and pre-loading the app on Android phones it sells from this summer.

Startup Uber describes the tie-up as "a first-of-its-kind alliance" in a blog. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) will be one of Uber's "key providers of new wireless service to drivers" on the platform, which is available in more than 60 US cities. Uber has expanded service to 100 cities worldwide following its massive $258 million funding round in August 2013. (See Baby, You Can Fund My Car: Uber Drives August VC.)

And it's looking for further backing: Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said during a Recode Conference session Wednesday that the startup is looking to raise more money.

Uber is facing revitalized competition from rival startup Lyft, which closed a $250 million investment round in April. (See Lyft Drives Mobile VC Funding to $1.4B in April.)

For AT&T, the Uber engagement is yet another sign of its desire to be at the heart of the growing connected car ecosystem. The operator is currently working with GM, Audi, Tesla, Volvo, BMW, Nissan and others on connected car platforms, services and applications. (See AT&T Makes GM Cars a Data Plan Add-On and Volvo: AT&T HSPA+ Can Drive My Car.)

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

(17)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First        ADD A COMMENT
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
5/29/2014 | 11:34:25 AM
Re: partnership details
Probably more about getting the Uber app onto vast numbers of new Android phones. :-)
Phil_Britt
50%
50%
Phil_Britt,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/29/2014 | 12:59:21 PM
Re: partnership details
I'm not sure how prevalent Uber drivers with Android devices are in other cities. The Craiglist ad in the Chicago area specifies iPhones.
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
5/29/2014 | 1:39:48 PM
Re: partnership details
This is not just Uber drivers with Android phones, AT&T plans to pre-install the Uber app on Android phones it could sell to all its subscribers/new customers from this summer. 

 

I double-checked with AT&T, they say:

"The Uber app will be embedded on new AT&T Android smartphones later this year. We expect to announce the first device with Uber this summer."
kq4ym
50%
50%
kq4ym,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/30/2014 | 8:31:52 AM
Re: partnership details
Probably a very smart move on both parts. Of couse Uber is going to see the most immediate benefits, but AT&T will ultimately gain over the long haul as it get associated with more and more of these type of cross-promotion deals.
KBode
50%
50%
KBode,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/30/2014 | 8:47:47 AM
Re: partnership details
Just as long as users (especially those in markets where Uber is banned) can uninstall it when they want. My devices already come with enough applications I don't use that I'm not allowed to eliminate despite owning the device.
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
5/29/2014 | 12:03:11 PM
Re: partnership details
They preloading the app across new Android phones sold from the summer.
briandnewby
50%
50%
briandnewby,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/29/2014 | 1:35:19 PM
Re: partnership details
@SReedy I had the same question.

There are other elements of networks, too, I suppose.  When I was at Sprint Wholesale, John Donovan (then a consultant, now AT&T) pushed kind of an enabler concept with us, and so I guess there's that.  AT&T still has local and long-distance assets, although I can't see how they'd be used, really, in this example.

If it's just about phone real estate, hmmm.  I mean, the app can be downloaded pretty easily.

If it's just marketing spin, which is what it feels like, I guess that's good, too--"Hey, look urban hipsters, we're so hip our phones come with the apps you need, like Uber."

It's just odd, though, in that I doubt AT&T needs Uber's brand to sell phones.  Maybe the bigger picture will unfold. 
briandnewby
50%
50%
briandnewby,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/29/2014 | 1:38:08 PM
Re: partnership details
You know, one other goofy idea--such a partnership, whatever that means, could also mean that AT&T encourages employees to use Uber when traveling.  Maybe this is a reverse Uber to business sale.

Just trying :-), although if they aren't doing this kind of thing with large companies, I think they should.  Being able to market to large companies' employees might be a clever way to gain critical mass in order to have more weight when fighting cities' taxi regulations.
briandnewby
50%
50%
briandnewby,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/29/2014 | 2:28:47 PM
Re: partnership details
I definitely agree Uber needs AT&T more than AT&T needs Uber.

The enabler thing is really simplistic, just that the network is the backbone for applications.  Going forward, though, we would target new white-space wholesale opportunities to be, essentially, market makers at times.

Sad story--I had an intern look at the potential for video downloads in the early 2000s, thinking that Sprint had an opportunity there, maybe--particularly if this nutty idea ever took off that theaters would use digital projectors.

Our intern felt that online gaming (not yet a thing) would be a bigger deal, perhaps.  We presented all of this and literally were laughed at (a president of a Sprint division, no longer there).

That intern went to have enjoy a great career at Verizon.

I hopped in a cab a few years ago and someone had left an annual report supplement for Level 3, demonstrating how it owned this market space.  10 percent of its revenue at the time was coming from the potential companies we listed (the presentation had the logos, just like ours did).

I scanned it then and just re-read the Powerpoint, including the slide that began, "Online Video is a Major Source of Demand Growth." 

Anyway, I think this is where I type some hashtag followed by missed opportunities.
mhhf1ve
50%
50%
mhhf1ve,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/4/2014 | 6:59:37 PM
Uber vs Lyft..
I get that the value of being Uber (or Lyft) is greatly enhanced by being the dominant marketplace (so they can be the eBay of car sharing), so this partnership makes total sense to Uber to get its app out in the hands of anyone who might even want to try it.

But at the end of the day, is Uber (or Lyft) really sitting on a huge market? If they displace the entire taxicab industry... have they made back their investors' money? Or is the ride sharing market much much bigger than that? 
adamjones
50%
50%
adamjones,
User Rank: Light Beer
7/22/2016 | 7:29:07 AM
Re: partnership
Uber and AT&T makes it easier than ever to sign up for an AT&T personal plan and make the most of time spent on the road. Uber is evolving the way the world moves. The company's goal is to "make sure that anyone can open the Uber app anywhere and be able to connect with a safe, reliable and seamless ride through the Uber app,
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
What WTTX Can Deliver

2|23|17   |     |   (0) comments


Mohamed Madkour explains the benefits of WTTX while Dimitris Mavrakis discusses the challenges of delivering home broadband access.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei on Mobile Broadband

2|23|17   |     |   (0) comments


Mohamed Madkour shares his vision on MBB for the next three years.
LRTV Custom TV
Analysys Mason Talks About the Future of Digital Operations

2|23|17   |     |   (0) comments


The future of digital operations has three key aspects: 1. Highly automated operations for both service and network; 2. Highly converged BSS/OSS for business and resources; 3. Highly merged management and control for real-time cloud native operations.
LRTV Interviews
Software Trends in the Telecom Sector

2|23|17   |   03:40   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading senior analyst James Crawshaw talks with Telecoms.com Editorial Director Scott Bicheno about trends and developments in the telecoms software sector and what to expect at MWC 2017.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei's Pre-MWC Analyst Briefing 2017 Highlights

2|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei shares its vision for this year's MWC.
LRTV Interviews
MWC17: 5G, Cloud RAN & More

2|21|17   |   04:35   |   (0) comments


Ovum Senior Analyst Julian Bright talks to Scott Bicheno from Telecoms.com about all things MWC, including Cloud RAN, Huawei's pitch to the industry and the road to 5G.
LRTV Interviews
MWC 2017's Key 2-Letter Terms

2|20|17   |   08:29   |   (1) comment


5G, AI, VR... these are just some of the two-letter terms that will dominate show-floor chat at MWC 2017 in Barcelona, according to these two blow-hards (a.k.a. Scott Bicheno of Telecoms.com and Light Reading's Ray Le Maistre). And then there's PB...
LRTV Interviews
Key Trends for Mobile Operators in Developing Markets

2|20|17   |   06:37   |   (0) comments


Ovum's Matthew Reed talks to Scott Bicheno from Telecoms.com about the challenges and opportunities facing mobile operators in the developing markets of Africa and the Middle East.
LRTV Documentaries
YouTube Takes on Facebook Live-Streaming

2|17|17   |     |   (0) comments


Popular 'YouTubers' will be the first to get the new service on their smartphones. You have been warned.
LRTV Custom TV
Open Source NFV/SDN Automation

2|17|17   |   05:54   |   (0) comments


AT&T ECOMP (Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management and Policy) code is transitioning into the Linux Foundation for placement into open source. In this video, Carol Wilson provides an update on the maturation of open source ECOMP and meets with industry leaders from AT&T, Bell Canada, Orange, Linux Foundation and Amdocs to discuss what this means for the ...
LRTV Documentaries
Uber & NASA Collaborate on Flying Car Project

2|16|17   |     |   (0) comments


Is Uber for real? Well, it's hired NASA engineer Mark Moore to lead the project, and he wouldn't come cheap.
LRTV Documentaries
Zuckerberg Tries Out the Oculus Rift VR Glove

2|15|17   |     |   (0) comments


Facebook CEO shows off a new way to interact with the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset: an Oculus glove.
Upcoming Live Events
March 21-22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
March 22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
March 22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Uber's HR Nightmare: Company Investigates Sexual Harassment Claims
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 2/21/2017
Broadband Has a Problem on the Pole
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 2/21/2017
Verizon to Start Fixed 5G Customer Trials in April
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/22/2017
Sprint to Go Gigabit Crazy at MWC!
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/22/2017
MANO Marriage: ECOMP, Open-O Converge as ONAP
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 2/23/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders chats with Sportlogiq CEO Craig Buntin about sports data analysis.
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Animals with Phones
No One Likes This Click Here
Take a hint!
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.