September 24, 2015 — Wi-Fi has found a lot of common ground and now the development within these arenas are starting to take shape. Incremental developments are bringing some technologies to the forefront.
One of them is vehicular Wi-Fi. Soon, everything on wheels will be Wi-Fi-enabled. My radio turns my Harley into a Wi-Fi hotspot (with Bluetooth, as well). I ran into cyclist who told me his bike is a Wi-Fi hot spot. I have yet to find a similarly accessorized skateboarder, though.
For example, the latest upgrade to vehicular Wi-Fi is AT&T’s plug-in vehicle Wi-Fi hotspot. Dubbed the ZTE Mobley, the technology allows up to five devices to connect to the Internet through AT&T’s hotspot data plan and LTE network.
Previously, AT&T has offered connected Wi-Fi hotspots for various OEMs and selected vehicles. But they were fixed. This is the first time AT&T is offering a plug-in Wi-Fi hotspot device that works with most vehicles that are 1996 and newer. Once plugged in, there’s no need for charging cables as the device gets powered by the vehicle. Users simply plug the device into the on-board diagnostics port of the vehicle.
The catch…it runs on the AT&T network, of course. You can get it for a paltry $10 per month or connect it with a DataConnect plan, with monthly charges of $20 for 1 GB or $30 for 3 GB. Seems like there is some monetizing on the Wi-Fi scene going on after all.
Ernest Worthman is the editor of AGL’s Small Cell magazine