& cplSiteName &

AT&T Makes GM Cars a Data Plan Add-On

Sarah Thomas
5/12/2014
50%
50%

Your car could soon be just another "device" on your Mobile Share plan, if you're an AT&T customer and happen to own a GM vehicle.

The carrier announced on Monday that it would soon begin supporting LTE on select GM cars as a $10 add-on to AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) Mobile Share data plans. That's the same cost as a smartphone or a tablet addition, and it'll give drivers 200 MBytes of additional data.

If more data is needed, which will likely be the case with the intensive apps that will run in the car, customers can opt to select from a range of plans including $20 for 1 GB of data, $30 for 3 GB, or $50 for 5 GB.

GM is running the service through its OnStar service, which turns the car into a WiFi hotspot capable of connecting up to seven devices. OnStar customers will get a three-month free trial with LTE and then have the option to sign up for a new plan, with a $5 discount on the 200 MB or 1GB plan. Or, as further options, GM is also letting drivers buy day passes of 250 MB for $5 or a year's worth of data at 10 GB per month for $200 -- $150 if you're an OnStar customer.

The connectivity option will first be available on the 2015 Chevrolet Malibu, followed by more than 30 other Chevy, Buick, Cadillac, and GMC models before the end of the year.

Why this matters
In-car connectivity is still a relatively new market, and AT&T is emerging as the market leader in bringing LTE to the open road. Its business model has been a question mark, but it's clear the carrier is willing to experiment with all kinds of options to see what sticks. With Audi, it's offering data plans in six-month or 30-month increments, betting that customers don't want to deal with it every month. With GM, it looks as if anything goes. What consumers opt for, if anything, once a free trial is up, will be good learnings for the entire machine-to-machine communications market.

Related posts:

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(7)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
denzer900
50%
50%
denzer900,
User Rank: Light Beer
5/13/2014 | 3:09:30 PM
Re: Can cars share?
Got that right. Question is who is the chip supplier to GM ?
Atlantis-dude
50%
50%
Atlantis-dude,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/13/2014 | 2:08:04 PM
WiFi Hotspot/Tether
It certainly simplifies. The question is whether the pricing is right.
Ariella
50%
50%
Ariella,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/13/2014 | 8:46:02 AM
Re: Can cars share?
@Sarah I'm with you on that. I like to just be set and forget about it. With our home phone, we had a limit that my daughter started to exceed every month, sometimes doubling our phone bill. So we upgraded to unlimited. 
Ariella
50%
50%
Ariella,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/13/2014 | 8:41:15 AM
Re: I like Tesla's wireless plan better...
@mhhf1ve speaking of Tesla, I just heard this morning that Toyota is dropping its partnership with the electric car producer in favor of exploring hydrogen fuel cells. I don't know if that will have any impact on AT&T's business, though. 
mhhf1ve
50%
50%
mhhf1ve,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/12/2014 | 9:04:56 PM
I like Tesla's wireless plan better...
I think Tesla also uses AT&T for its cars.. but the mobile plan is included with the car. I guess that's what you get when your car costs >$100K..?
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
5/12/2014 | 4:16:49 PM
Can cars share?
My concern with putting my car on my family plan is that it would eat up all the data so fast that no one else could get any. I think I'd prefer to pay all at once for a year or just bundle it in with the car purchase and forget about it.
mendyk
100%
0%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/12/2014 | 4:14:57 PM
Money sticks
This is kind of what I don't like about first-gen "connected car" initiatives so far as a consumer: They feel like cynical money grabs (a.k.a. ancillary revenue streams) with not much else behind them. I really don't need to pay the automaker or a mobile carrier extra for stuff I can already get with my phone.
From The Founder
Download our complete guide to de-risking NFV deployment in 2016, including:
  • An eight-step strategy to deploying NFV safely, based on input from the companies that have already started virtualizing their production networks.
  • Interviews with leading executives at Colt, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Cisco, Nokia, ZTE, Ericsson and Heavy Reading.
  • Flash Poll
    Live Streaming Video
    Prepping for the Future: Upskill U Explained
    During this short kick-off video, Doug Webster, Vice President of Service Provider Marketing, Cisco, and Light Reading’s CEO & Founder Steve Saunders give an overview of Upskill U.
    LRTV Documentaries
    LRTV Report: Mobile Core Innovation

    4|28|16   |   25:32   |   (0) comments


    Hear from multiple industry experts from Deutsche Telekom, SK Telecom, Heavy Reading, Huawei, Cisco, Ericsson, Nokia, NEC and many more about developments in the mobile core as operators virtualize their IMS and evolved packet core systems and prepare for a 5G world.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    NFV World Congress Highlight

    4|26|16   |     |   (0) comments


    The highlight of the NFV World Congress contains exciting telecom news. Join us for an inside look at Huawei's ICT 2020 plan and its latest collaboration with industry leaders.
    LRTV Interviews
    Unified Comms Finds Its Voice

    4|25|16   |   03:44   |   (0) comments


    Peter Quinlan, VP of UCC Product Management at Tata Communications, talks about the evolution of the unified communications and collaboration services sector and how voice is now a big part of current developments.
    LRTV Documentaries
    So... What Do We Do Now?

    4|25|16   |   03:24   |   (0) comments


    After a long hiatus, Max Dingman, the CEO of a GeeGhiz, returns for a motivational board room pep talk.
    LRTV Documentaries
    NAB 2016 Highlights

    4|21|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Light Reading's Cable/Video Practice Leader Alan Breznick climbs down from the slots to tell us about the latest news in broadcast technology at NAB 2016 in Las Vegas.
    Between the CEOs
    CEO Chat: Deepfield's Craig Labovitz

    4|21|16   |     |   (0) comments


    In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
    Shades of Ray
    Leading Lights 2016: Shortlists Announced

    4|20|16   |   0:53   |   (0) comments


    The judging is over and the Leading Lights 2016 shortlists have been published -- you can see who made the cut by clicking on this link.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Introducing MulteFire – Qualcomm at MWC 2016

    4|18|16   |   3.29   |   (0) comments


    MulteFire is the latest option for using LTE in unlicensed spectrum. As oppose to its close 'siblings', LAA and LTE-U, MulteFire operates solely in unlicensed spectrum, which enables it to offer the best of two worlds – LTE-like performance with WiFi-like deployment simplicity. In this interview, Sanjeev Athalye, Sr. Director, Product Management at Qualcomm ...
    Between the CEOs
    CEO Chat: Grant Van Rooyen of Cologix

    4|18|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    ONS 2016 – Demonstration of Huawei's NetMatrix Multi-Vendor SDN Orchestrator

    4|15|16   |     |   (0) comments


    This demonstration shows how Huawei's NetMatrix SDN Orchestrator (SDN-O) addresses an operator's core service agility needs for services spanning multi-domain, multivendor networks: it includes a demonstration of:
    - Rapid New Service Design: using YANG to model a complex example of multi-domain, multivendor L3VPN network connectivity service that ...
    LRTV Custom TV
    AT&T Wants to Own North Carolina

    4|15|16   |     |   (1) comment


    Venessa Harrison, president of North Carolina for AT&T, tells how the company will expand its GigaPower service beyond the seven N.C. cities it already serves.

  • This blog, sponsored by AT&T, is the second part of a ten-part series examining next-generation broadband technologies titled "Behind the Speeds."
  • LRTV Interviews
    Will NC Be First Gigabit State?

    4|15|16   |     |   (1) comment


    Alan Fitzpatrick, co-founder of Charlotte Hearts Gigabit, spells out the state's progress in at least starting to wire nearly every major market for gigabit service.
    Upcoming Live Events
    May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
    May 23, 2016, Austin Convention Center
    May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
    December 6-8, 2016,
    June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    All Upcoming Live Events
    Infographics
    A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
    Hot Topics
    Ultra-Broadband Summit, Hong Kong
    Iain Morris, News Editor, 4/27/2016
    GoT Fans Curse HBO (Not Right) Now
    Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 4/25/2016
    Mitel Asks: What Time of Day Do You Shower?
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/25/2016
    Analysts More Than Bullish on Comcast MVNO
    Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 4/22/2016
    Charter Jumps Gun on TWC Restructuring
    Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 4/26/2016
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
    Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
    Animals with Phones
    Live Digital Audio

    Of all the tech companies in the Valley, Intel has made the most aggressive commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workplace culture. It's doing so by taking concrete, measurable steps, making a large financial investment and through a commitment to complete transparency about its progress. In this radio show, WiC Director Sarah Thomas will be joined by Shlomit Weiss, Intel's Vice President, Data Center Group, and General Manager of Networking Engineering, who will share with us why Intel is tackling this huge challenge, how and to what effect. She will also discuss her unique experiences leading development of Client SOC development in the past and today leading development of all of the chipmaker's silicon hardware for networking IPs and discrete devices and managing a team of 600 engineers across Israel, Europe and the US.