Went to the New York International car show this weekend at the Jacob Javits Center in NYC. The show was pretty good, there seemed to be less people than previous years but one particular feature that was at the show I'd like to discuss is the new WIFI service in Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep automobiles. Basically the service will allow for WIFI access during your entire drive in a Chrysler automobile. The service is called uConnect Web and costs $29.99 monthly and basically utilizes cell phone 3G signal to provide WIFI through out the car. Inside the car a wireless router is installed that boosts the cell phones signal inside the car through out the ride. This would allow you to utilize a laptop, iPhone, etc inside the car through out your entire drive. Additionally, the wireless router has pretty good range so technically you could leave the car in your garage and get wireless service through out your entire house. Of course you may need to have the car on so it may not be very feasible but definitely possible.
My only issue with the service is that the input for the WIFI signal comes from a cell phone provider’s signal. Everyone knows that internet over 3G cell phone networks is fairly slow. The people I talked to at the New York International car show said the wireless router boosts the signal making it faster but who knows how accurate that is. Internet everywhere including the car has been a dream by many for a lot of years now. WIMAX has thus far mostly been a bust as companies like Clearwire (CLWR) have burned through a lot of cash in a quest for internet everywhere.
Our belief is, who better to lead the way in a quest for internet service everywhere than a satellite company? Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI) will launch satellites in the next couple of years that will have more capabilities than the current birds that exist in the sky today. Imagine if Sirius XM Radio chooses to utilize part of their bandwidth and the new satellites to beam down an internet service to automobiles or anyone for that matter that has an open line of site to the sky. Sirius XM Radio already has deals with every major automobile company in the U.S. and Canada and would be an ideal candidate to provide such a service. This might be wishful thinking on my part and we realize several technical challenges with Sirius XM Radio's bandwidth exist but with technology anything is possible. Watch a uConnect Web video in new 2009 Chrysler vehicles here.
Disclosure: Long SIRI