Rogers Communications and Sprint announced today that they have reached an agreement enabling Sprint to bringcars with high-speed internet access to Canada.
Through the agreement, auto manufacturers deploying Sprint Velocity—an in-car “infotainment” and telematics solution—in Canada will leverage Rogers’ wireless networks to connected vehicles on the road.
According to Rogers, Canadians driving vehicles that use the Sprint Velocity solution will have access to infotainment (news, weather, sports, etc.), navigation, climate control, security, emergency services, and vehicle diagnostics via an in-dash touch screen. Velocity also provides connectivity for mobile devices.
“Canadians want to be connected from anywhere, at any time, and with over twenty million vehicles on the road in Canada there is a strong growth opportunity for Rogers in the connected auto segment,” explains Mansell Nelson, Vice-President, Advanced Business Solutions, Rogers. “Sprint Velocity will bring to Canada the ultimate connected car experience on the road, with a combination of smartphone, tablet and in-dash capabilities, while also delivering safety features and communicating vehicle maintenance information seamlessly to manufacturers.”
Globally, the connected car market is poised to grow exponentially. Industry research indicates nearly 100 million connected cars will be on the road by 2016.
“We’re pleased to select Rogers as our preferred provider of end-to-end connectivity to connected vehicles throughout Canada,” said Ben Vos, Vice-President and General Manager for Sprint’s Emerging Solutions Group. “We look forward to teaming with our trusted colleagues at Rogers to bring Sprint Velocity’s award-winning in-vehicle connected experience to Canadian consumers.”
“Rogers is Canada’s largest wireless network operator by number of subscribers and has established itself as a leader in delivering M2M and wireless business solutions to the Canadian market,” noted Tony Olvet, group vice-president of research, IDC Canada. “This new agreement with Sprint will position Rogers well for the next phase of meaningful growth.”
Smartphone addicts welcome the news, but critics have denounced the plan as just another dangerous distraction for drivers.