AT&T is quickly becoming the carmakers' connectivity provider of choice. The carrier said on Wednesday it has added another carmaker, Volvo, to its roster of connected car partners.
The two have signed a multi-year agreement that will see Volvo embed AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) HSPA+ connectivity in new Volvos in the US and Canada via its Single SIM platform. AT&T will power Sensus Connect, Volvo's embedded infotainment service built with Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), as well as Volvo On Call for remote access to car functions and emergency crash notifications.
Volvo didn't say how it will charge for the connectivity, but its Sensus Connect service has traditionally been offered free for 12 months with a new Volvo, followed by a subscription fee. The pair expects cars with the embedded wireless to be available this summer.
Why this matters
The connected car arena is becoming a hotly contested space for telematics, and AT&T is emerging as a front-runner. It also has a deal in place with Audi, GM, and Tesla and recently opened a dedicated facility for carmakers to explore the possibilities with connectivity.
The question it's working to answer now is how much consumers will pay for connectivity in the car. The carrier is testing a subscription model with Audi, but recent Heavy Reading research suggests consumers are reluctant to pay more money for connectivity on the road. (See Finding the Value in Transportation Telematics.)
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— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading