General Motors isn't the first automaker to deliver in-car Internet access, but a proposed plan announced today could make the technology more widespread than any of its competitors have offered. By the 2015 model year, most Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac and GMC products in the US and Canada will offer 4G LTE mobile broadband access. Initially, GM will just be pairing with AT&T to deliver this service, but additional carriers will be revealed in the future.
Verizon rolled out its 4G LTE network late last year to 38 major metro areas and now Detroit can count itself among the latest to get Big Red's zippy wireless broadband service. But why the push now?
Even though Verizon rolled out its 4G LTE service early last month, CES was wireless broadband's coming out party. Along with unveiling a handful 4G-capable devices, Verizon approached General Motors' OnStar division to create a rolling showcase of what a wireless broadband-equipped vehicle could be capable of. The key word is could. While everything OnStar developed is feasible, it's not hitting the market anytime soon. It's simply a showcase of what's possible, if not probable.
Ford may have been the dominant force at CES for the last few years, but other automakers are finally beginning to take the consumer electronics space seriously. Although Alan Mulally's keynote this morning represented an unprecedented third address at the show, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler kicked things off Wednesday morning, showing off a new MMI interface and touting its partnership with chip-maker NVIDIA. But that wasn't the biggest news.