Sprint launches in-vehicle communications platform
US carrier Sprint Nextel has launched an in-vehicle communications platform for car manufacturers.
The “Sprint Velocity” solution allows drivers to connect their mobile phones to their vehicles via a Bluetooth connection and provides a range of applications, including voice-activated texting and email, navigation, security and remote connections for emergency services and engine diagnostics.
Sprint said that its auto solution would allow manufacturers to generate new sources of revenue and achieve cost savings, as it would manage the in-vehicle mobile integration.
The third ranked US carrier also argues that its expertise in communications will allow manufacturers to more easily integrate complex components and vendor relationships needed for connected auto services.
“Sprint has combined its expertise in wireless technology, devices and consumer marketing into a new core competency that automakers can tap into,” said Wayne Ward, VP emerging solutions, Sprint. “With Sprint Velocity, we’ve taken a critical step forward in creating value by combining technical integration with an intense level of expertise in wireless customer experience, customer relationship management and wireless applications.”
As part of the announcement Sprint revealed that it has entered into a strategic partnership with Chrysler Group as its inaugural customer and will integrate wireless technology into the manufacturer’s Uconnect Access in-vehicle communication system.
The service will initially be available in the redesigned 2013 Ram 1500 and SRT Viper supercar models. Although pricing was not disclosed Reuters reports that Uconnect packages range from $465 to $970 depending on the screen size.
“Key factors in our decision to choose Sprint,” said Marios Zenios, head of Uconnect Systems and services, Chrysler Group “included Sprint’s best-in-class end-to-end telematics platform, secure and reliable network, unparalleled relationships within the telematics and broad M2M ecosystem, and nimble consumer market experience, including a deep understanding of how customers experience and interact with wireless-based applications, both in and out of the vehicle.”
Carrier’s are increasingly looking to M2M automobile solutions as a future growth area. Earlier this year Verizon acquired M2M automation specialist Hughes Telematics for $612 million to improve its offering.
Machina Research estimates that 90% of new passenger cars will have some form of connectivity platform by 2020, with the cars market becoming the largest category in a $4.5 trillion market for connected devices and services at $600 billion.