Ericsson looks to connect cars, smart cities in AT&T partnership


Ericsson has bought into AT&T's IoT initiatives, joining the US operator's plans to develop connected cars, smart cities and connected water networks.

The Swedish vendor is providing a new in-vehicle Wi-Fi solution for major car companies, which will allow manufacturers to access AT&T's mobile network and allow passengers to connect to a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Passengers will access the Wi-Fi network through a trial or purchased data session.

Chris Penrose, Senior Vice President Internet of Things, AT&T Mobility, said: “AT&T collaborated with Ericsson to provide vehicle owners with the ability to access and manage their 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot account. This marks another milestone in our strategic relationship with Ericsson as we continue to break new ground in enabling the next generation connected car experience for consumers.”

Recent research by the two companies into the connected car market revealed Wi-Fi hotspots were the number one feature North American consumers wanted to buy for their next car.

Ericsson will also partner with AT&T on its smart cities framework, which focuses on infrastructure, transport and public safety.

Orvar Hurtig, Head of Industry & Society at Ericsson, said: “Our collaboration with AT&T will help create the cities of the future in which citizens are safer, healthier and better prepared to handle the challenges of daily life. Today anything and everything that can benefit from a connection is being connected. We must determine how to integrate disparate infrastructure for the common benefit of society.”

A field trial will be launched in Atlanta to test connected water solutions. Technology will enable Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, an environmental group that protects the supply of the local river basin, to monitor the quality of the city's water.

The basin is a source of drinking water for more than four million people.