Ina Fried

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GM Says AT&T’s 4G LTE Will Replace Verizon Service at Heart of OnStar

GM announced on Monday that it will start embedding AT&T’s 4G LTE service in its OnStar service, starting with cars produced next year.

OnStar_Corp_4C
The move, which begins with model year 2015 cars sold next year, will allow the carmaker to power a wider range of services from entertainment to safety and diagnostics than possible using the older generation of wireless it has been using.

“We envision, basically, with that big of a pipe, the car becomes a smartphone on wheels,” AT&T emerging devices head Glenn Lurie said in an interview.

It’s a multiyear deal, covering the bulk of cars sold in the U.S. and Canada, but neither company will say how long the deal will run, or what specific services will be offered and how much they will cost. In an interview, Lurie said there will be a range of services, including some that will be offered by GM and some that will be directly billed by AT&T.

Having a fast connection will allow for in-car Wi-Fi and rear-seat entertainment, as well as a new level of diagnostics never before possible, Lurie said. The car maker will also put out various programming hooks to allow software makers to create their own automobile-specific apps, Lurie said.

“We’re going to deliver a set of tools in the car that no one has ever seen before,” Lurie said.

He said he foresees a time when people will be able to add their car to a shared data plan, much as they do a phone or tablet today.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work