What to expect from in-car Wi-Fi

Lexus WiFi 1People expect to get wireless service no matter where they go. In the average lifetime, a person spends approximately 38,000 hours in their car. General Motors, Ford, Audi, Chrysler and other car manufacturers are making sure these hours will not be lost by enabling Wi-Fi in their cars rolling out for 2015.

These vehicles will be able to support up to 7 different devices at the same time. Think about how ideal this would be while traveling on a road trip. The passengers can play on their phone, tablet, or laptop while the driver can use the internet for directions or playing music. This makes for a more cohesive car environment. It would also be useful to people who require constant communications with fellow employees or business customers.

But how does this car Wi-Fi work exactly? MiFi wireless routers are installed in the car which creates a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot. The MiFi functions by utilizing 3G or 4G mobile phone networks and taking this connection to produce a miniature wireless broadband cloud. In addition, some phones have the capability to tether to this router and it will create another mobile hotspot. Many of these cars with built-in Wi-Fi work in conjunction with mobile carriers. For example, AT&T is in a partnership with GM and charges a monthly fee of $5 a month and receives 250 megabytes of data. You can also get 10 gigabytes for $50 a month.

So how important is this new feature to the purchase of a car? According to consultants at J.D. Power Associates, “A total of 38% of those buying domestic vehicles cite the latest technology features as a reason for their purchase.” The convenience of clear and reliable mobile service wherever you go in your car will certainly generate greater demand. GSMA even predicts that every car will have some type of internet connect by 2025. Currently, this is all a movement towards expanding 4G LTE even further through the use of other platforms.

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