GM's embedded 4G infrastructure will let passengers connect to an in-vehicle hotspot (Photo: GM)

General Motors plans to equip next-generation models with embedded 4G LTE sim cards, paving the way for a greater array of services to be available to the connected car.

The US automaker announced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that the first GM cars to get 4G LTE would be 2015 Chevrolet, Buick GMC and Cadillac models in North America. The service will be delivered through mobile operator AT&T.

Other carriers will in future help GM roll out 4G worldwide, including to its European brand, Opel.

“In addition to allowing consumers to bring in and connect to personal mobile devices, the vehicle will also act as its own mobile device, enabling embedded vehicle capabilities,” said Mary Chan, president of GM's new Global Connected Consumer division.

Mobile data speeds of LTE are up to 10 times faster than prevailing 3G technologies and LTE will provide opportunities for services not available today. These include simultaneous voice and data connections, in-vehicle hot spots, streaming videos, new connected safety features and faster application downloads.

GM's planned 4G integration won't require a customer smarthpone to use connected services. The sim card is integrated into the vehicle.

AT&T sees its agreement with GM as a new oportunity to broaden its automotive offering. Said Ralph de la Vega, CEO of AT&T Mobility: "We’re also looking forward to working directly with GM researchers and engineers as well as the developer community to invent new in-vehicle applications that will take full advantage of our powerful network.”