Bentley’s new Wi-Fi option promises fast speeds, secure operation
Six-digit price tags demand six-digit levels of quality, no matter the component.
Andrew KrokReviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
When you're paying Bentley-tier money for a car, you probably expect
levels of quality in every system. That's why Bentley is preparing to launch its own
hotspot service that promises both speed and security.
Bentley Advanced Connectivity is set to arrive on Bentley's full lineup in 2019. The automaker teamed up with Viasat, a company with loads of experience in this arena, to create a Wi-Fi hotspot that one-ups all the rest, as one would expect when spending six figures on a vehicle.
The router that enables this connectivity is a bespoke creation that hides in a car's trunk. It can wield three different SIM cards, allowing the vehicle to aggregate multiple networks' worth of bandwidth. The router links to a hub with a physical broadband connection, which supplies the vehicle with internet access through a dedicated app on a phone or tablet.
Bentley told MSN that, in theory, one passenger could be streaming a movie while another passenger takes a Skype car, while another passenger could be downloading and uploading large files. That's a lot of bandwidth, but that's why Bentley had to go back to the drawing board and work with Viasat on a bespoke solution. Other Wi-Fi hotspots promise connectivity for even double digits' worth of devices, but that traffic is all channeled through a single provider with limited bandwidth.
Security is always at the top of everybody's mind, and Bentley considered a secure network paramount to its success. The automaker claims its new Wi-Fi hotspot is very secure, and that's likely true -- its partner Viasat makes satellite-based broadband communication technology for the US government, so Viasat knows what it's talking about here. It's unclear how much this option will cost, and if it requires specific data plans, but expect it to arrive (likely with some more information) next year.
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