AT&T connects a million cars, topping sign-ups for phones

AT&T connects a million cars, topping sign-ups for phones

Move over, cellphones and iPads. Connected cars are today’s growth vehicle for AT&T.

The telecom giant added 1 million cars in the third quarter, enabling drivers to access the Internet, monitor traffic and create a Wi-Fi hotspot.

AT&T has well over 100 million customers who use wireless, video, broadband and old-fashioned landlines. But connected cars, a relatively recent offering, accounted for more additions than any other category.

That’s more than for postpaid and prepaid phones, tablets and computing devices, and satellite TV. And it was the second consecutive quarter that AT&T hit the 1 million mark on vehicles.

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson has said connected cars will become as routine as carrying a smartphone. Already, they’re a key driver in the development of the Internet of things.

The technology also is being used to update software in cars, issue service reminders and help avoid collisions. The potential market for connected car technologies will triple in the next five years, according to a recent study by PwC.

AT&T is the wireless network of choice for roughly half the connected cars in the U.S., the company said. It has deals with nine automakers, including Audi, BMW, Ford, General Motors and Tesla.

Dallas-based AT&T had almost 6 million connected cars at the end of September and expects to have over 10 million vehicles within two years.

 

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