Bell, Ford announce connected car Wi-Fi hotspot partnership

Wi-Fi hotspots will be built into select Ford and Lincoln vehicles

Montreal-based national carrier Bell has announced a connected vehicle partnership with Detroit-based automotive giant Ford.

According to an October 18th, 2018 media release, Ford and Lincoln vehicles that support the carrier’s ‘Connected Car — Built In’ service will be able to connect to Bell’s network to offer passengers in-car Wi-Fi.

The new connected vehicle service will launch on November 6th, 2018.

“Drivers and their passengers can now connect to Wi-Fi just as conveniently in their Ford and Lincoln vehicles as they do in their homes,” said Nauby Jacob, vice president of products and services at Bell Mobility, in the same October 18th media release.

“As a Canadian leader in Internet of Things innovation, Bell is proud to partner with Ford to bring car owners across the country an even better in-vehicle experience.”

Subscribers will be able to sign up for a Bell Share plan with Connected Car for $10 per month, which provides 1GB of bonus data per month for 24 months.

Ford customers will be able to sign up for a complimentary wireless data trial that will expire at the end of three months or after 3GB of data has been used up.

“Having reliable Wi-Fi on the go is no longer just ‘nice to have’ – it’s become a ‘must-have,’ and Ford recognizes that,” said Marc Vejgman, connected vehicle marketing manager for Ford of Canada, in the same media release.

“Connecting our vehicles is part of building smart vehicles for a smart world, and we look forward to working with Bell to offer Ford customers another way to stay connected across Canada.”

Bell’s Connected Car service allows subscribers to browse the internet using LTE.

The Wi-Fi antennas built into vehicles can provide up to 10 connected devices with access to the internet.

The antenna is powered by vehicles’ electrical systems, rather than device batteries.

Bell added that vehicle diagnostic services will be supported by the carrier’s LTE network.

It’s worth noting that Bell’s existing Connected Car service already provides subscribers with the ability to set up an in-vehicle Wi-Fi hotspot.

Today’s announcement, however, means that Bell will be the first Canadian carrier to work with Ford to provide in-car Wi-Fi to vehicle passengers.

Update 18/10/2018 3:38pm ET: Story has been updated to reflect that Bell is not building the Wi-Fi antennas present in select Ford and Lincoln vehicles.

Source: Bell

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