Automotive Industry Embracing Broadband as a Standard

Broadcom developing standard for automotive ethernet; consumer demand is great

Information Superhighway
Broadband. Getty

Starting in 2016, ethernet technology is fast becoming a standard accessory in automobiles.    "Automotive Ethernet" will drive applications such as safety sensors, 360 degree camera systems, head units, dashboards, and infotainment.  The Open Alliance led by Broadcom, one of the largest semiconductor companies in the world, is developing "BroadR-Reach" as a standard for automotive connectivity. The BroadR-Reach standard will use high-bandwidth broadband at speeds of 100 Mbps over a single pair unshielded twisted-pair copper wire.

  Broadcom claims this technology will cut cable and connector costs, while reducing overall weight of the wiring harness placed inside the vehicle.

Measuring Economic Impact of Broadband: Does Speed Matter? UK Report Challenges Benefits of Higher Broadband Speeds

In 2013 AT&T and General Motors partnered to deliver wireless 4G/LTE service to several models of cars and trucks.  Beginning in late 2014, GM said it would embed 4G LTE mobile broadband in most Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac models in the U.S. and Canadian market. At the time, the embedded mobile wireless service was described as the largest deployment the automotive industry has seen to date. General Motors announced additional partnerships since then as it expanded 4G LTE capabilities in markets around the world.

Netflix Continues to Dominate Broadband Marketplace

Benefiting from fast mobile data speeds supporting simultaneous voice and data connections and multiple users, a built-in 4G LTE connection will expand in-vehicle consumer entertainment options.

These services and applications will include in-vehicle Wi-Fi hot spots, streaming video entertainment in the back seat, real-time GPS and traffic updates and faster application downloads. The built-in 4G LTE structure is specifically designed for use in vehicles as it is integrated into the vehicle’s electrical system and includes an external antenna to maximize coverage and connectivity.

Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO, AT&T Mobility said:

“Introducing 4G LTE into GM vehicles is a game-changing opportunity, and we couldn’t be better positioned to help drive this movement. We’re working closely with GM to grow the connected car base, and provide unique and relevant services that will improve the connected experience inside automobiles for both drivers and passengers.”

Ericsson's Need for Speed Report Emphasizes Strong Correlation Between Broadband Speeds and Economic Impact

The AT&T/GM partnership followed a similar At&T announcement of an ambitious plan to provide broadband connectivity to over 300 million people by the end of 2014. With an investment of $14 billion in both wireline and wireless technology, Project VIP is intended to increase AT&T's broadband service to over 96% of all U.S. residents.

AT&T has been using a combination of financial and business strategies to diversify its portfolio, increase revenues, and expand both wireline and wireless broadband access in the United States. The partnership with GM is part of the overall business strategy.

AT&T Reconsiders Further Investment in DSL and Rebrands U-Verse

Wireless broadband is expected to greatly improve email access, Internet connections, information updates for weather and traffic, as well as video-conferencing and video streaming services.

The in-vehicle bandwidth can also be shared through devices that can serve as WiFi hotspots, allowing several users in the vehicle to access the Internet via laptops, tablets or smartphones. The increased download speed will also vastly improve access to existing services such as GPS, Google Earth and web based services social media applications such as Facebook and Twitter.

Project Velocity IP (VIP) Outlines Wireline and Wireless Business Strategies

The company's announcement of a $14 billion investment plan, dubbed "Project Velocity IP," or "VIP" provides some insight into AT&T's strategy for using IP DSLAMs to expand service and raise speeds for its DSL customers. Project Velocity IP is divided into three primary investment categories for its wireless strategy, and four categories for its wireline strategy.

Part of its wireline strategy includes using U-Verse IPDSLAM's to expand U-Verse coverage to 24 million customers, offering speeds of up to 45 Mbps.

AT&T Project VIP Includes $14 Billion Investment to Increase Broadband Access: AT&T: 4G LTE Will Reach 300 Million People, 95% of Wireline Customers

As the largest telecommunications company in the United States, you would expect AT&T to be a prominent voice in the broadband world. In fact, AT&T dominated broadband and telecommunications news throughout 2012 with the following stories:

AT&T Attempted Acquisition of T-Mobile

What is at Stake in the AT&T Acquisition of T-Mobile?: Who is supporting the deal and who opposes

AT&T to FCC: Stop Consideration of AT&T/T-Mobile Merger Application

AT&T on United States Spectrum Policy

AT&T: FCC to Blame for Slow Industry Growth

AT&T CEO Calls on FCC to Free More Wireless Spectrum Claims US Not Doing Enough to Keep Up With Demand