Q1 2016: More Cars Connected to Cellular Services than Phones

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The number of connected cars is expected to continue to increase throughout the year. Estimated U.S. mobile phone saturation currently is at 84%, and little revenue comes from new mobile phone subscriptions. A connected car is a vehicle with access to a local network, and capable of connecting with other devices. According to TechCrunch.com, connected cars accounted for nearly a third of all cellular devices. The fast-growing demand from vehicle owners to connect will clearly accelerate the need for more towers and small cell networks.

Connected cars are now viewed as the optimal market to find new subscriptions. AT&T presently has over 8 million cars connected to its wireless network. Chetan Sharma, a mobile-industry consultant group, believes that number is the highest of any wireless carrier in the world, and it continues to grow. AT&T customers have access to “vehicle-to-vehicle capabilities, telematics, entertainment apps, over-the-air updates, and 4G LTE hotspots built into the vehicle.”  

Nevertheless, many people do not realize the connectivity features built-in to their cars. Surveys conducted by TNS and the BearingPoint Institute found almost half of drivers were unaware of wireless features in their own cars. However, the other half chose their cars based on connectivity features. It’s a wide dichotomy that is expected to change in the near future.

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