AT&T has given its first report on business in its connected-car and Digital Life home security units, two new growth businesses – and targets for potential $billion markets – for the largest U.S. phone service provider.
According to the AT&T report around 2 million U.S. cars are currently using its wireless network either through wholesale or retail contracts; a number which includes about 500,000 new connected cars added in the third quarter. The company also reported that it has around 140,000 subscribers to its home security service, but AT&T didn’t provide revenue figures for either business.
“The connected-car numbers are strong but not surprising since luxury carmakers are bundling connectivity in with the price,” said Roger Entner, an analyst with Recon Analytics LLC in Dedham, Massachusetts. “The question is: how will the medium and low-end car buyers respond when they have to pay for the service?” Entner said.
AT&T told a group of investors that it expects meaningful subscriber growth for its connected car services in the next three-to-five years.
In 2015, AT&T expects to connect nearly half of new wireless-connected U.S. passenger vehicles and, by the end of 2017 the company expects that figure to be around 10 million such vehicles.
Initially, AT&T will get revenues through wholesale customer relationships with auto manufacturers, although later, there will be opportunities for the company to develop a direct retail relationship with drivers.