The traditional fixed line and mobile carrier's days could be numbered if the roll out of a new 'Global Mesh' project by the automotive industry goes to plan.
The project could see the delivery of about 100 million wireless access points per annum in new cars across the planet.
Nathan Stewart from IT and Cloud solutions provider Total Group, who is technical lead for the initiative set for launch in 2021, told Comms Dealer: "Within two years of launch the automotive industry will have more coverage and bandwidth than the existing copper, fibre and mobile networks combined. They will overnight become a super carrier."
It's expected that by 2022 the automotive 'Global Mesh' will provide 10Gb wireless bandwidth across the globe anywhere within a few kilometres of a modern car.
Stewart says the network will be self-building, self-upgrading, self-powering and, as an infrastructure investment model, existing carriers will not be able to compete.
"Every new car will have an access point. The mesh will have complete global wireless coverage and visibility of over 10 billion devices and approximately six billion people," he said.
"By 2021 we expect that the access points will be ratified at 802.11ax standard or better, providing multiple gigabit bandwidth over many kilometres by 2023.
If the project comes to fruition it could have a huge impact on the existing telecommunications industry. Facebook and Google have similar plans for global wireless coverage. Stewart believes it will change network provision paradigms and will push ICT resellers into completely new business models.
"A free fast global wireless network could be disruptive for personal, residential and SME line rental and connectivity but we think enterprise connectivity will be slow adopters.
"Existing carriers will very likely leverage the network and data products will be available to resellers and distributors.
"I suspect that for the reseller community revenue will shift from providing lines and connectivity to providing solutions, security, data, IT services and marketing products.
"If the network is freely provided the data rights and ability to leverage big data and marketing influence increases.
"By 2022 a further three billion people and 10 billion devices are expected to start using the internet. A great opportunity awaits resellers that adapt and adopt new solutions and prepare to leverage the user and IoT explosion.
"The ability to leverage and profit from free wireless is well proven in the retail and hospitality space and resellers will need plan for how similar models can work on a global basis," added Stewart.