Ericsson and Mannesmann VDO in strategic alliance for development of in-car infotainment solutions  

Ericsson Mobile Communications AB and Mannesmann VDO AG have announced their plans for a strategic alliance. The two companies will closely cooperate in developing integrated in-car communication and information systems and their applications.

The cooperation uniquely bundles know-how in all elements of car infotainment - the merger of in-car navigation, communication, telematics and entertainment. Enormous expansion rates are predicted for the car infotainment market. More than ten million mobile terminal modules are expected to be built into cars by the year 2003 in the EU and the US alone. The alliance brings together Mannesmann VDO's technological capabilities as system supplier with Ericsson's expertise in mobile communication technologies.

Bluetooth, as an example, is a wireless local area network developed by Ericsson. It permits wireless transmission of data between mobile telephones, portable computers and other electronic equipment, which makes it ideal for in-car applications.

Another example of possible applications in the car environment would be traffic information and Internet services provided over WAP (Wireless Application Protocol). Ericsson played a leading role in developing WAP, a de facto standard for mobile data communication. This protocol allows fast transmission of Internet content to wireless devices.

"Infotainment and communication to and from the car will grow rapidly," said GŁnter Hauptmann, Member of Executive Board of Mannesmann VDO. "Teaming up with Ericsson ensures that we will take a large proportion of this promising market. It will strengthen our position as the world's leading supplier of integrated in-car communication and information systems."

"At Ericsson we have a vision that people should be able to communicate whenever and wherever," says Jan Ahrenbring, Vice President Marketing and Communications at Ericsson Mobile Communications. "To implement our communications solutions in the automotive environment we feel it is important to team up with suppliers who know the automotive industry so we can concentrate on our core competence, which is communication.

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