“The First Internet Service Provider Specifically Designed for Cars”

I told you so.

It’s Autonet.

TURN YOUR CAR INTO A WI-FI HOTSPOT.

Fasten your seatbelt. Because the driving experience will never be the same again. With Autonet Mobile, the first ever, always-on mobile broadband network, you and your passengers can now enjoy internet services and Wi-Fi connectivity whenever you want to by turning your car into a Wi-Fi hotspot on wheels. IM, chat, stream media, email, games, on-line listen to music and more.

It ain’t cheap ($49 per month) – YET.

But already these guys have a deal with Avis for later in 2007. You’ll be able to rent your mobile Internet connection for about the same price as it costs for you to link up in an airport or at a hotel.

Without question there will be significant demand for the services that always-on connectivity can provide. And that includes streaming audio, a.k.a. “radio.” It is absolutely, positively inevitable that virtually every new vehicle will, within the next five years or so, be a potential roving hotspot.

Who owns the featured and preferred access path under that scenario? Because access – distribution – will be the key value point in the process. In the world of mobile radio, our distribution is currently both universal and exclusive. But when “the box” belongs to a third party, we are assured of neither easy distribution nor universal access. The “box owners” will do what Apple does with iTunes: Yes, anyone can post a podcast. But a very few are “featured” while most are not. The “filters” control the value. And in this scenario you and I are no longer the filters.

Put another way, anyone with a “Rock station” can theoretically buy access for that “station.” If he has enough money.

It’s time for the radio industry to put our money where our cars are.

Historically, every car has a radio because every driver wants one.

What if every driver one day wants something else more?

CONTACT MARK RAMSEY

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