Deutsche Telekom, Sprint, Vodafone top Informa's connected car rankings for carriers

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Deutsche Telekom, Sprint (NYSE: S) and Vodafone top the rankings of carriers in the connected car market, according to the latest report from Informa Telecoms & Media.

DT leads with way, scoring high on all three dimensions of Informa's connected car scorecard--market presence, geographic reach and financial potential. The carrier has long-standing relationships with car makers and system integrators based in Germany, its T-Systems subsidiary offers high-value IT services, and it is poised to exploit the market for passenger vehicle information/entertainment and telematics services, judged Informa.

A majority of the world's major carriers are active in the connected vehicle market. Other carriers in the top 10 are Verizon (NYSE: VZ), Telefonica, AT&T (NYSE: T), Orange (NYSE: ORAN), Telenor, China Unicom and NTT.

"With connected vehicles due to roll off the production line in the next few years, mobile operators are ramping up efforts to partner with OEMs on embedded connectivity. The addition of millions of moving nodes to the 'Internet of everything' is a huge opportunity for location-based content services and new concepts such as urban mobility-as-a-service and vehicle-to-infrastructure traffic management," commented Sheridan Nye, a senior analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media.

Carriers are actively partnering with telematics service providers to tap into the higher value enterprise market. However, there is disagreement about whether the consumer market will generate revenue. According to Informa's 2013 Connected Car Survey, automotive sector respondents are skeptical that consumers will pay for in-car communications services, while carriers expect to generate between $5 and $20 per month per customer in high-income countries.

Close to 70 percent of companies surveyed see the smartphone as the most common gateway for drivers to access connected vehicle services. Recognizing the potential, mobile operating system suppliers do not want to be left out of this market. For example, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) recently revved up its iOS in the Car strategy. First unveiled at the firm's developers' conference help last month, iOS in the Car seeks to build on its Siri Eyes Free initiative.

In addition, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) has its Windows Embedded Automotive initiative, which includes Ford's Sync in-car product. Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) has also signed agreements with a number of automakers to integrate its Google Maps and Search into in-car systems, and has gone so far as to test out an autonomous car. In addition, Google's $1.3 billion purchase of navigation app maker Waze is expected to beef up its connected car offerings, wrote Brian McClendon, vice president for Geo at Google, in a blog.

For more:
- see Informa's connected car carrier rankings and survey releases
- read McClendon's blog

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