While writing the last post, I remembered about a new technology I read about a few months ago that seemed very interesting and promising to me. Members of the industry must think the same because they have created a multi-industry collaboration among leading network, device, application and content suppliers to develop pre-integrated examples of applications and services for 3G and 4G/LTE networks for the automobile industry: The ng Connect Program.

When I first read about this project it was through a colleague of mine at Alcatel-Lucent. He sent me the link to a video where I learned about the current collaboration between Alcatel’s lab in New Jersey and Toyota. The aim of the project is to provide wide-band LTE communications for moving vehicles.

I was aware of similar projects in Europe implemented by Ficosa International for different applications such as emergency call and anti-theft service. However, these communication links are mostly based in 2G and 3G technologies. Also, despite being able to transmit decent throughputs through these links, once the user is moving as high speeds – such as a car on a freeway – it is very complicated to reach decent throughputs.

Alcatel’s project, though, is based on the new LTE technology. Without getting into details about it – not in this post at least, but I talk often about LTE in LinkedIn forums – it is designed to offer great bandwidths and downlink speeds of at least 100Mbps while allowing high performance mobile data while moving at speeds of up to 500km/h.

Once these features are installed in every car, the possibilities will be endless. Among other examples I saw in demos at Alcatel’s website, one will be able to locate a restaurant or tank station in the nearby while the kids sitting at the back are streaming Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs from dad’s Netflix account. Also, once the great Spotify becomes available world-wide, one will be able to listen to any band or song he or she can think about.

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