4G LTE GM Cars

On Monday, General Motors gave additional details on the ability of their future cars to access AT&T’s cellular network through OnStar’s information and emergency aid services.

As CNET reports:

“The 2015 Chevrolet Malibu will be the first of a fleet of more than 30 GM models that will come with a 4G LTE connection powered by AT&T this year. Customers get either three months or 3 gigabytes of data as part of a free trial, and can re-up with plans that range between $5 and $50.”

AT&T customers will be able to add a connected car to their mobile share plan for an additional $10 a month. With an LTE connection, the car can act as a Wi-Fi hotspot that can connect up to seven devices. Customers will have the following plan options per month:

  • 200MB – $10
  • 1GB – $20
  • 3GB – $30
  • 5GB – $50

AT&T rewards customers can buy 10GBs to 20GBs per month for between $100 to $150, which can be divided among all of a family’s smartphones, tablets or cars.

Although GM believes that this technology will be the next great platform, there are still a number of hurdles that will hurt both GM and AT&T from making this a popular option.
First, many customers will already own a smartphone with mobile hotspot capability and it is unlikely to be popular for them to have to pay additional money for another pricey AT&T data connection that gives them little data. Therefore, if you plan to consume any reasonable amount of data on that 4G connection in the car, you will have to pay yet another highly-priced internet bill per month.
Second, we are still not sure how customers will react to the system GUI that has been a huge, persistent problem for them in the past. GM’s platform still does not have many connected apps therefore you will not be using your vehicle the same way you would your iPhone or Android smartphone. The apps that are included on GM’s app store include Pandora, NPR and Slacker Radio which would rip through the 200MB bucket in a short amount of time.