AT&T to offer 4G/LTE connectivity for Recreational Vehicles
U.S. operator AT&T is partnering with technology developer Togo to offer exclusive 4G/LTE connectivity to recreational vehicles in the U.S. Togo Roadlink will bring AT&T’s high-speed network to RVers using any make, model or year of recreational vehicle. Togo is a division of TH2, a global technology-focused joint venture between U.S.-based Thor Industries and New Zealand-based Thl.
The Roadlink C2 connectivity app turns any RV into a Wi-Fi hotspot through an installed hardware system. Multiple tablets and smartphones can be connected using Roadlink C2.
The announcement builds on the collaboration between AT&T and Airstream, a Thor Industries subsidiary and maker of the iconic “silver bullet”-styled travel trailer. In 2018, Airstream and AT&T partnered to offer 4G/LTE connectivity to any Airstream vehicle.
While the market segment being targeted by AT&T with this technology partnership is doubtless quite small, it is an interesting niche market because of its particular nature. RV users like to spend vacations or retirements going on very long-range road trips in these special vehicles, which are equipped such that the travelers can live out of the vehicle and do not need to stay in hotels or any other accommodations. As a result, they will usually not be using hotel Wi-Fi or other local connectivity options, and in addition—and more importantly—they will frequently be driving through remote regions where cellular coverage is likely to be poor or non-existent.
AT&T correctly saw this as a market opportunity. If RVs are often in places where those on board cannot get a cellular signal, the operator will get their business by enabling to get connectivity through installed hardware providing Wi-Fi via a route other than ordinary cellular service.
If AT&T makes Roadlink C2 available to non-AT&T subscribers, that will constitute an opportunity for the operator to enlarge its customer base for regular mobile service, in that it could help them win subscribers among satisfied RVers, when they are not on their RVs. The expansion of the technology from just one kind of RV to virtually all indicates the growth-oriented point of view of the operator in this market sector.