AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) said it will offer 4G LTE services on most vehicles from General Motors Corp. (NYSE:GM) starting with the 2015 fleet, which comes out late 2014. The linkup is the first to bring built-in, long-term evolution services capability to the automotive sector.
Dallas-based AT&T will replace the Verizon Wireless unit of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), which had supplied GM’s OnStar safety and security calling service for the past 16 years. GM said most Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac cars sold in the U.S. and Canada will get wireless connections. It plans to expand availability to its international Opel and Vauxhall brands later.
Terms weren’t disclosed.
AT&T and GM announced the alliance on Monday at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. The partners last month sponsored a “connected car challenge” for mobile apps developers in Las Vegas.
“We’re working closely with GM to grow the connected car base,” said Ralph de la Vega, CEO of AT&T Mobility. He said the company would work with the Detroit based carmaker to deliver other applications for efficiency inside its products, such as monitoring performance.
Mary Chan, GM’s president for its global connected consumer unit, said the LTE agreement will benefit “virtually every aspect of the driving and riding experience,” including safety, diagnostics, entertainment and integration with new applications from third parties.
GM isn’t AT&T’s first automotive customer for wireless services. The telecommunications giant has smaller deals with Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F) and Nissan Motor Corp. (PINK:NSANY), but they aren't as broad as the GM deal, AT&T officials said.
Shares of AT&T fell a penny to $35.67 in midday Monday trading, while those of GM fell 49 cents to $26.62. Shares of Verizon rose 12 cents to $45.52.
David Zielenziger is a veteran editor and journalist who has written for newspapers including the Baltimore Sun, Asian Wall Street Journal and EETimes, as well as for...