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AT&T speeds up connected car business

AT&T adds support with Vodafone to GM divisions in Europe; expands Audi, signs Porsche in NA

AT&T Mobility continues to bolster its worldwide connected car presence, announcing a handful of deals with European automakers at this week’s Mobile World Congress event.

The domestic telecom operator reported a deal with Vodafone to support the deployment of General Motors’ OnStar telematics service in Opel and Vauxhall vehicles in select European markets. The automakers, which are a part of GM, will tap LTE services provided by Vodafone to offer in-car Wi-Fi connectivity; emergency services, such as roadside assistance and automatic crash response; stolen vehicle assistance; vehicle diagnostics; and destination download.

For its part, AT&T said it currently has local data centers in Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Austria, Spain and Italy. The company in early 2013 snagged the OnStar deal away from rival Verizon Wireless, signing an agreement to provide LTE connectivity for the telematics service.

AT&T also announced the expansion of a multi-year agreement with Audi to provide in-car connectivity to vehicles in North America. The expanded deal calls for Audi to offer new features on select 2017 and 2018 vehicles, including remote lock and unlock, stolen vehicle locator, online roadside assistance and service requests over the AT&T network.

The expanded deal builds off an original agreement signed in early 2014, which included AT&T support in the Audi A3 model. That agreement was expanded last year to include the rest of Audi’s 2016 North American lineup, usurping T-Mobile US as the automakers cellular network provider.

AT&T this week also entered in a multi-year agreement with Porsche, which like Audi is owned by the Volkswagen Group. The agreement calls for AT&T to provide in-car connectivity for select 2017 Porsche models in North America, beginning with the Macan, Boxster and 911 models.

Services are said to include will include a Wi-Fi hot spot in support of up to 5 devices, navigation, news and weather alerts and other infotainment services. Similar to the Audi agreement, Porsche customers can add data access to shared AT&T data buckets for $10 per month.

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