Audi is using Sierra Wireless AirPrime embedded wireless modules to help develop and test an LTE-connected infotainment system. (LTE = Long Term Evolution for higher speed wireless communication.) Still in the development and testing stage, the system has been showcased at several industry events this year, including the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January, and CeBIT in Hanover, Germany, in March. Drive tests were started in late 2011 and are ongoing.
Sierra Wireless AirPrime modules are available with varying combinations of LTE frequency bands and fallback technologies, and were the first LTE modules available, allowing Audi to work on the leading edge of wireless technology as LTE networks roll out.
LTE was developed by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP)—a body uniting 6 telecommunications standards bodies, known as “Organizational Partners” and providing their members with a stable environment to produce the Reports and Specifications that define 3GPP technologies.
These technologies are constantly evolving through what have become known as generations of commercial cellular / mobile systems. 3GPP was originally the standards partnership evolving GSM systems towards the 3rd Generation. However, since the completion of the first LTE and the Evolved Packet Core specifications, 3GPP has become the focal point for mobile systems beyond 3G.