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Research Firm Reveals Connected Cars Outnumber Smartphones in Carriers' Growth in 2017

2017 marks as a milestone year for the wireless industry and it's not for the reasons you might expect. Based on data gathered by Chetan Sharma Consulting, a research firm, connected devices surpassed the number of phones being added by operators throughout the period. Out of all these, connected cars played a significant impact.

According to the research firm, smartphone penetration has reached 93% in the US. And at this number, there is very little room for growth. Impressively, connected cars are expected to continue being an important market. In its report, the research firm asserted that there is "changing dynamics in the industry", especially since ARPUs from net-adds is comparatively lower than postpaid net adds.

Of course, the connected device market does not limit itself to smartphones. As a matter of fact, it includes just about everything that's not necessarily a phone-- tablets, wearables, street lights, and cars. Throughout 2017, the research firm found that this sector accounted for around 67% of all net additions.

The important thing to note about the results of this study is that smartphone sales in the past year can be attributed to existing subs. Net-adds for phone business is diminishing slowly. But even so, new net adds are expected to continue dominating the sector for connected devices.

As for the operator leading the connected car sector, Chetan Sharma Consulting noted that AT&T was found as the leading brand for the connected car segment. This is thanks to their connected car net-adds of 11 straight quarters of 1M or more.

In its latest SEC filing, AT&T listed down its success with the connected cars industry. The company shared that they were able to add around 1.5 million and 4.7 million wholesale connected cars during the third quarter and first nine months of the year, respectively. The sales was done with the carrier's agreements with different carmakers.

AT&T shared that the growth in connected cars gives them an opportunity for future retail relationships with owners of these devices. Along with connected cars, the company experienced a strong growth in other IoT products.

AT&T's network currently has about 17 million connected cars and 2.7 million connected fleet vehicles. They also have agreements with big car manufacturers such as Tesla, Ford, BMW, Volvo, Lincoln, and many more.

Source: Fierce Wireless 

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  1. Chewing up telephone numbers, needlessly on all these connected cars...

    1. Do connected cars have phone numbers? FreedomPop's data only AT&T based SIMs don't.

    2. Even if they did, ai just wonder how is it needless.
      If a corporation hires 10,000 more employees, and now they will need 10,000 new cubical, do we say thatvit is needless space?
      Do we say that we are churning through 10k worth of pwncils needless?
      Or chairs?
      Or etc?
      Imo,it is not needless. Just as those 10K cars need rubber for wheels, so will they need to be connected, this is just the way it is. Perhaps you can manually disconnect the antenna, perhaps, although I am not sure how easy that will be.
      Vurrently the wifi chips of computers are part of the motherboard, was not always the case, and if you try to take out that wifi chip it is very likely that the entire motherboard will become unfunctional.
      So, let me know what you think.

      I was in no way attacking, I was just coming in and replyin to your statement. You stated that it is needless, and I replied, albeit with way more words than you, which in no way indicates that my arguement is more sound, that it is needed.

    3. Anon 10:35, why do they assign phone numbers to these plans if they do not need to? Would they work without a number?

    4. Anonymous 12:42..cars don't NEED to be connected. Drivers have gotten along without connected cars for over a century. People are just being brainwashed to think we do.

    5. Everyone doesn't NEED a car either. Millennial have figured that out and are buying a lot fewer cars. But they stay connected.
      Maybe more people are being "brainwashed" into buying cars they don't need.

    6. Anonymous 12:49, I have my opinion, you have yours, that is what this site is for. Right now the only thing I want, and need, is my dinner :)

    7. Actually, I do need a car. But my car does not need to be a cellular phone. I have devices in my car that connect to my personal phone and work quite nicely. I see no reason for these devices (GPS traffic, hands-free phone) to connect independently.

  2. My connected car came with a phone number. Only in America, we connect cars but not houses.

    1. I have never lived in an American residence that didn't have one or more of the following connections (since 1980):

      1) POTS / Dialup or DSL (ILEC or CLEC).
      2) CATV / Broadband Internet.
      3) FTTP or FTTH / IPTV / Broadband Internet.
      4) In range of 3G+ cell tower.
      5) Phone / TV / Broadband Internet Satellite (dialup return path) visible on horizon.
      6) Broadband over powerline.

      Just where are these "off grid" houses, and who is buying them?

    2. Anon 9:00, for me only #4 works. And #4 only works because of connected car. You do the math.

  3. Hi Dennis my AT&T Mobley device that connects to the vehicle OBD2 port has a phone number

  4. The number portability database migrates in April: Is the industry ready?
    Many people say no. And the fallback system is to use paper!

    Good luck with number ports and new activations!


  5. I dont know about other manufacturers but all Onstar equipped GM vehicles have phone numbers assigned based upon zip code.

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