Audi and Alcatel-Lucent have demonstrated in-car mobile broadband connectivity using LTE at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, bringing a new potential market to the mobile broadband industry. The prototype 'Audi A8 L' has been fitted out with LTE technology that supports both TDD (time division duplexing) and FDD (frequency division duplexing), the two options used in LTE deployments globally. The technology will offer speeds of up to 100meg in-car, far faster than existing 3G technologies or modern DSL connections are capable of.
Potential applications touted by the companies are HD quality video conferencing, video streaming, virtual desktop, and music downloads. A live 'net connection will also be of huge benefit to navigation applications which can use live data to route around any potential traffic issues. Video conferencing between the car and a stand within the MWC exhibit hall was displayed.
Obviously, many of the possibilities (such as video features) that this could bring to in-car users are only really of benefit to passengers due to the potential dangers of distraction. Whilst this is a prototype vehicle at present, Audi will be making LTE an option available in their production vehicles. The UK will not really benefit from this new technology until early 2014 when it is expected that LTE will be able to go live in the UK, but if other car manufacturers follow suit, we could see a whole host of vehicles ready for the UK market by this date, allowing us to get ever more connected.