AT&T is broadening its efforts to tap into the burgeoning connected-car market by inking a multi-year agreement with Airbiquity. The union will help AT&T provide a single technology for global vehicles.
AT&T will use Airbiquity’s Choreo, a cloud-based services-delivery platform that facilitates end-user registration and device management. Choreo lets OEMs pick various telematics offerings to create a complete feature set, making it straightforward to develop a range of offerings for various vehicles and models.
The agreement highlights the role of globalization for the evolving telematics world. As connected vehicles become more common, automakers want to consolidate their offerings.
“Going forward, OEMs want to offer a worldwide footprint, not a number of regional options,” said David Jumpa, Chief Revenue Officer at Airbiquity. “Telematics developed so rapidly that decisions were often made regionally. One automaker has five suppliers for six regions. That makes it harder for them to provide support.”
Though Airbiquity is a small company compared to AT&T, it’s got a bigger footprint in automotive. Airbiquity works with OEMs including Nissan, Ford and Fiat Chrysler, and it has arrangements with a number of companies throughout the telematics field. Partnerships have become a major factor for connected vehicles, since no one company currently offers everything needed to address vehicle connectivity.
“The IT suppliers have no experience in connected vehicles, but they need to work with Tier 1s, wireless carriers, and the operating system guys,” Jumpa said. “We have experience that lets us compete with large companies like IBM; we have brought 5 million vehicles up.”
Global telematics revenues are predicted to soar to roughly $20 billion by 2018 after hitting $8 billion in 2013, according to Juniper Research.