WiFi in your car? Really? Really.

The Money Reporter, MPL Communications Inc., 133 Richmond St.W., Toronto, ON, M5H 3M8. 1-800-804-8846

Technology is already changing the way you are, and will be, doing your banking. Now, the latest technology will be coming to your car as well.

Rogers Communications Inc.
(TSX:RCI.B) has teamed up with Sprint Corporation (NYSE:S) to introduce what they’re calling a “connected car.” A car with wireless high-speed Internet access to keep you plugged into the online world while you’re on the road.

And it’s coming soon. The two partners are projecting a 2014 launch date for this service.

Here’s the deal. Any car equipped with the Sprint Velocity system – as Chrysler Group does in the U.S. – and any person with a wireless account with Rogers, can put the two together and get a wireless connection in the equipped vehicle. You can literally turn your car into a living room on wheels.

The system enables drivers to use smartphones to start their engines and an interactive touch-screen dashboard provides customized content, including news, sports scores, weather alerts, driving directions and vehicle diagnostics.

Imagine your kids streaming a video on Netflix on the car’s own WiFi in the back seat while you’re zooming down the highway.

Sprint says the system will eventually support online shopping, mobile payments, e-mail and other applications.

You can expect that Telus Corporation (TSX:T) and BCE Inc. (TSX:BCE) won’t let Rogers have exclusivity in this business. Rather, you can expect that Telus and BCE will be contacting other vehicle manufacturers in a bid to sign them to exclusive contracts.

Speaking of Telus, word on the street is that Telus is back in the running to take over the cash-strapped Mobilicity. 

Mobilicity has received court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act, giving the company desperately needed time to arrange its affairs. Mobilicity also received additional funding from its existing noteholders to maintain its “going concern” status until Spring 2014.

In June, the federal government nixed a deal that would have seen Telus buy Mobilicity for $380 million. The Globe and Mail is saying that sources are telling them that Telus and Mobilicity are back talking again.

If true, it’s not clear what has changed that would make a sale palatable for the federal government this time around, although it’s now closer to 2014.

There is a restriction on incumbents buying spectrum from startups until 2014. Mobilicity can sell its spectrum as of February 2014.

At any rate, Mobilicity says it has a proposed transaction before Industry Canada, which is reviewing the deal.

The Money Reporter, MPL Communications Inc., 133 Richmond St.W., Toronto, ON, M5H 3M8. 1-800-804-8846


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