Rivian's Connect+ plan highlights auto upselling

Electric vehicle maker Rivian is the latest automotive company to introduce premium connectivity options.

Mike Dano, Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies

June 7, 2024

2 Min Read
Rivian Truck, EV, Electric Vehicle on the highway in Michigan, USA
(Source: Roy Johnson/Alamy Stock Photo)

Electric vehicle maker Rivian this week took the wraps off its new Connect+ wireless service plan, which features access to premium services like satellite imagery and streaming music.

Broadly, the company's new plan helps to underline a general move by the automotive industry to offer tiered wireless service plans that are similar to the ones offered by wireless network operators themselves.

Like some other automotive options, Rivian's new Connect+ plan costs $14.99 per month or $149.99 per year and offers several premium goodies beyond the basic connectivity services that come standard with all Rivian vehicles. Rivian's standard wireless services include live navigation, tethering and Alexa for basic vehicle commands.

The company's new Connect+ plan offers:

  • In-vehicle hotspots 

  • Satellite images

  • Alexa Connected commands

  • Music streaming apps like Spotify, Tidal and TuneIn

  • Google Cast and YouTube, but those are scheduled to arrive later this summer

Rivian said its Connect+ plan will be available in its vehicles later this summer.

Similar services

Other auto companies offer similar service tiers. For example, Rivian's electric rival Tesla offers "standard connectivity" that mostly runs over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Tesla's "premium connectivity" plan costs $9.99 per month or $99 per year and includes live traffic visualization, satellite-view maps, video and music streaming, and Internet browsing.

Similarly, auto giant Toyota offers a handful of plans including a streaming music option for $15 per month, a navigation-focused plan for $15 per month, and a "premium" offering with a variety of different services for $25 per month.

For its part, Ford offers a variety of wireless options, but the cost of its connected services varies by service and by vehicle.

The automakers' pricing options somewhat dovetail with the tiered pricing strategies of wireless network operators themselves. For example, Verizon offers its "unlimited welcome" for $30 per line and its premium "unlimited ultimate" for $55 per line.

AT&T has historically dominated the connected car market, selling connections on its network to automakers like Tesla, Ford and GM.

At the end of last year, AT&T counted a total of 127 million "connected devices" on its network, a figure that includes tablets, monitoring devices, connected cars and other gadgets.

But AT&T's hold on the automotive market is not absolute. For example, Audi signed on with AT&T in 2014 but switched to Verizon in 2020. Meanwhile, Daimler is reprovisioning from AT&T to T-Mobile while BMW is now moving from T-Mobile to Verizon.

About the Author(s)

Mike Dano

Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading

Mike Dano is Light Reading's Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies. Mike can be reached at [email protected], @mikeddano or on LinkedIn.

Based in Denver, Mike has covered the wireless industry as a journalist for almost two decades, first at RCR Wireless News and then at FierceWireless and recalls once writing a story about the transition from black and white to color screens on cell phones.

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