AT&T, GM 5G connectivity boost
August 20, 2021
By Colin Mann
Automotive manufacturer General Motors (GM) and US multiplay telco AT&T will bring 5G cellular connectivity to millions of GM vehicles coming off the assembly line over the next decade in the United States. GM and AT&T are working together to set the benchmark for automotive connectivity with a fifth-generation cellular network architecture to meet the needs of an all-electric and autonomous future.
GM and AT&T are collaborating to build a high performance 5G core network that delivers a new standard. Network enhancements will include:
- Improved roadway-centric coverage
- Faster music and video downloads with higher quality
- Faster, more reliable, and secure over-the-air software updates
- Faster navigation, mapping, and voice services
5G connectivity will first be available in select model year 2024 vehicles. Additionally, through GM’s fifth generation network, current 4G LTE-equipped model year 2019 and newer vehicles will experience faster connectivity speeds and many of the same performance benefits of future 5G-equipped vehicles. Current Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac owners in the US with 4G LTE-capable model year 2019 and newer vehicles will easily migrate to the new network infrastructure once available.
This rollout is part of GM and AT&T’s broad strategy to launch the world’s largest fleet of 5G-enabled vehicles and the culmination of a two-year collaboration, including test-driving connected vehicles at GM’s 5G proving grounds in Milford, Michigan.
GM offers OnStar and Connected Services to more than 16 million customers in the US and Canada. Since the launch of 4G LTE in 2014, GM owners have used more than 171 million gigabytes of data across its brands, which is equivalent to nearly 5.7 billion hours of music streamed or more than 716 million hours of streaming video.
To support GM’s rapid innovation and delivery of next-generation connected vehicle solutions, AT&T and Microsoft are bringing together the speed and reliability of AT&T’s 5G network with Microsoft’s scalable and secure cloud services.
The 4G LTE and 5G network improvements will be foundational for the future of GM’s growing over-the-air update strategy, an element of the automaker’s overall innovation and growth plan. With more advanced features, robust software and faster download speeds, more data is accessible to provide a more convenient customer experience. GM’s fifth-generation network will also provide a strong foundation as the company advances its technology, such as Super Cruise and its Vehicle Intelligence Platform.
“Together with AT&T, we’ve brought unprecedented experiences to the daily commute, family road trips and everything in between,” declared Santiago Chamorro, GM vice president of Global Connected Services. “As an in-vehicle connectivity leader, this rollout demonstrates our commitment to growth through software-enabled services and reimagining every customer touchpoint by enabling faster connectivity speeds to power in-vehicle voice-enabled services, navigation and apps that our customers have grown to love.”
“By connecting millions of GM vehicles to our nationwide 5G network, we will improve the customer experience for existing services while laying the groundwork for the next wave of innovation including autonomous driving,” added Gregory Wieboldt, senior vice president, Global Business, Industry Solutions, AT&T. “We now connect more vehicles than any other carrier and GM has played a critical role in our success. We’re honoured to work alongside GM to usher the next chapter of connected driving.”
AT&T and GM have been working together since launching in-vehicle Wi-Fi hotpots in 2014, adding WarnerMedia’s robust library of streaming premium content in 2020 and enabling best-in-class connectivity features in millions of GM vehicles currently on the road.
When launched, GM will provide access for its strategic partners to connect over AT&T’s 5G network, raising the bar for the interoperability and scale necessary to deliver future mobility services, such as e-commerce, smart city and vehicle-to-electric grid.