BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union states opened the way to competing technologies for internet connected cars on Thursday, rejecting a European Commission push for a wifi-based standard backed by Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE).
FILE PHOTO: Signs of Qualcomm and 5G are pictured at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Shanghai, China June 28, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo
The result represents a win for BMW (BMWG.DE) and Qualcomm (QCOM.O) which support a rival 5G telecoms system.
Germany, France and Italy, with powerful car industries, were among 21 countries to vote against the EC proposal at a Brussels meeting of EU representatives, an EU official said.
This contrasted with EU lawmakers in April who endorsed the wifi plan over 5G technology. The auto and tech industries have been split over which technology works better and is safer.
The European Commision, which wants to set benchmarks for a market that could generate billions of euros in revenues for carmakers, telecoms operators and equipment makers, has said wifi is available now, unlike 5G, and would help road safety.
“We will therefore continue to work together with member states to address their concerns and find a suitable way forward,” European Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc said in a statement on Thursday following the vote.
Other supporters of wifi technology, which primarily connects cars with other cars, include Renault (RENA.PA), Toyota (7203.T), NXP, Autotalks and Kapsch TrafficCom (KTCG.VI).
Meanwhile the backers of fifth generation (5G) standard, which will hook up to both cars and devices in the surrounding environment, include Daimler (BMWG.DE), Ford (F.N), PSA Group (PEUP.PA), Deutsche Telekom (DTEGn.DE), Ericsson (ERICb.ST), Huawei, Intel (INTC.O) and Samsung (005930.KS).
Supporters of 5G say it has a wider range of applications in areas such as entertainment, traffic data and navigation.
The vote was welcomed by telecoms lobbying group ETNO, whose members have spent billions…