Sprint targets car-makers with Velocity connected car platform

Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) introduced an in-vehicle platform, called Velocity, that the operator said will allow car-makers to offer drivers customized features such as security, navigation, remote diagnostics, emergency services and infotainment.

Sprint said Velocity, which it debuted at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show today, will be available globally. The carrier will act as an integrator for auto makers, and Sprint said the platform will work with wireless technologies other than CDMA, which is currently the company's primary air interface technology.

According to Tom Nelson, director of marketing for global wholesale and emerging solutions at Sprint, the company's platform is network agnostic and Sprint will work with network providers outside the United States to add connectivity to the Velocity platform. "We are providing the platform, the integration and even the customer experience," Nelson said. "We are not just providing the connectivity."

Details on Velocity are vague, primarily because Sprint envisions each deployment of the platform to be customized--auto makers will be able to pick and choose the capabilities they want. Nelson said Sprint will use its existing customer relationship management and billing platform to help automakers understand what their customers want. Sprint can then adapt to those preferences to develop and personalize the product.

Velocity isn't Sprint's first product in the connected car area. The company earlier this year announced its partnership with Chrysler Group's Uconnect voice-activated vehicle communications system. The Uconnect system lets users connect their cellular phone to the vehicle's audio system so they can manipulate their phone via voice commands.

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