Feeds

GM reveals how much you'll pay to turn your car into a rolling 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot

Anesthetize your quarreling nippers with digital distractions

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

GM has announced how much it will set you back to turn one of its 4G LTE–equipped vehicles into a mobile hot spot for Wi-Fi–only kit such as the one your li'l nipper will use to stream NetFlix in the back seat on the way to grandma's house.

"Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac will be the first vehicle brands to market with 4G LTE connectivity offered on such a broad scale," said OnStar President Mary Chan – OnStar being GM's partner in providing over-the-air security, navigation, diagnostics, and other capabilities.

While GM's vehicles may be the first to offer 4G LTE on what Chan characterizes as a "broad scale," they're not the first to add such tech to their line in the US. As Forbes points out, a few weeks back, Audi began offering 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot connection through its OnStar-ish Audi Connect in its new 2015 A3 sedan.

GM's rollout, however, will be a wide one, beginning with the soon-to-be-released 2015 Chevrolet Malibu, then followed by 15 Chevys, four Buicks, six Jimmies, and seven Caddies, all by the end of this year. Each in-car Wi-Fi hotspot will support up to seven simultaneous devices, which GM notes can include laptops, game consoles, smartphones, and tablets.

List of GM models to be equipped with OnStar/4G LTE

A moment of silence for Pontiac, Oldsmobile, and Saturn – or, for that matter, LaSalle and CarterCar

GM will use the tried-and-true "the first one's free" marketing model to get customers to use its service. "We're excited to give millions of customers an opportunity to explore the technology without paying extra for a data plan for three months or three gigabytes,” said Chan.

After that test run, GM – through its online provider AT&T – will start charging for data streaming. Subscribers to OnStar's Safe & Sound or Directions & Connection services will be able to add 200MB of data per month for $5, 1GB for $15, 3GB for $30, and 5GB for $50. Non-subscribers will pay $10, $20, $30, and $50 for the same bandwidth amounts.

GM cites AT&T's Data Calculator when saying that 200MB of bandwidth is "enough to stream more than 6.5 hours of music, surf the internet for 13 hours or send more than 10,000 emails without attachments."

Another nicety that GM hopes will entice users is the ability to not subscribe per se, but to simply bag one day's bandwidth of 250MB when needed – say, during the aforementioned trip to granny's – at $5 for OnStar subscribers and non-subscribers alike.

Finally, should you just want to load up on bandwidth, big-time, you can purchase it in 12-month, 10GB chunks at $150 for OnStar subscribers and $200 for non-subscribers. Fleet deals can also be negotiated.

Color us old-fashioned, but we look back through a gauzy nostalgic veil to the days when long car trips meant fighting, fussing, and fidgeting in the back seat rather than each kid being hypnotized by a glowing fondleslab, cocooned in their own isolated world, most definitely not seeing the USA in their Chevrolet.

But then again, your Reg reporter won't miss having to howl at his own back-seat brawlers, "Don't make me go back there!" ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs
Zero, not infinity, is the Magic Number customers want
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
NBN Co execs: No FTTN product until 2015
Faster? Not yet. Cheaper? No data
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.