OnStar, GM's connected car service, has been standard on all of the company's cars and trucks for years. The basic functionality includes remote access, vehicle diagnostics, and some other simple connected features, with more advanced fare like GPS navigation and theft protection hidden behind paid tiers. For the last few years Chevrolet has also offered in-car Wi-Fi hotspots powered by the OnStar system, connected to AT&T's LTE network. Following the latest tweaks in AT&T's unlimited plans for smartphones, the companies are now offering unlimited data to cars, too.
$20 a month gets you unlimited data access for any mobile gadget or laptop connected to the internal Wi-Fi hotspot in your car or truck. That's a pretty great deal on its own, assuming you (and someone else who isn't driving) are in your car often enough to make it feasible. Previously AT&T had offered 1GB, 4GB, and 10GB monthly passes at $10, $20, and $40, respectively. At the moment it's not clear if AT&T will be putting the same data limitations on OnStar customers as it does on smartphone users, i.e. potentially slower speeds after 22GB and lower-quality video by default.
Chevy estimates that it's sold more than 3.1 million cars and trucks with LTE hotspots included, in addition to tens of millions of cars with more basic OnStar functionality. The unlimited data option might be a thrifty way to get a month's worth of cheap data for a long roadtrip, as opposed to expensive day passes or hotel Wi-Fi. The plan will be available tomorrow from OnStar's web or mobile management tools.
DETROIT — After using more than 4 million gigabytes of data in 2016, Chevrolet owners in the U.S. with an in-vehicle OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot will now have access to an unlimited prepaid data plan for only $20 per month. It will be available starting March 3, and Chevrolet will offer this groundbreaking plan enabled by AT&T across its entire retail lineup.
Chevrolet data usage has increased exponentially as owners have come to appreciate the ability to stream video on a tablet, send email on a laptop or play online using a gaming console in their vehicles, and now customers can utilize the full potential of their OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot without worrying about running out of data.
“We have contractors bidding jobs in their Silverados, families streaming movies in their Suburbans and Malibus and everyone tapping into the cloud for music,” said Alan Batey, president of GM North America and global head of Chevrolet. “With the most affordable unlimited 4G LTE data plan in the auto industry, the widest availability of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and new connected services like OnStar AtYourService, our momentum can only grow.”
Last year alone, Chevrolet customers used nearly 200 percent more OnStar 4G LTE data in their vehicles compared to 2015. In the second half of 2016, Chevy owners used almost as much data as they had the previous 24 months since OnStar 4G LTE launched.
To put this data usage in perspective, Chevrolet owners and their passengers streamed the equivalent of more than 17.5 million hours of video in 2016.
“We’re pleased to deliver this special unlimited data plan to Chevy owners,” said Chris Penrose, president, IoT Solutions, AT&T. “Accessing the internet through AT&T’s 4G LTE Wi-Fi, passengers now can access all of their content and enjoy endless entertainment on the go.”
As the first automaker to offer 4G LTE connectivity across its entire retail portfolio, Chevrolet has sold more than 3.1 million OnStar 4G LTE-connected vehicles since June 2014 and has more vehicles on the road equipped with 4G LTE than any other automaker.
Today, along with the 4G LTE connection enabled by AT&T, the OnStar Basic Plan comes standard on all new Chevrolet retail models. The Basic Plan includes select remote vehicle services and the OnStar AtYourService marketplace via the myChevrolet mobile app among other features.
For more information on plans and pricing, please visit OnStar.com.