By on April 8, 2013

Audi has – via Audi Connect – turned its cars into mobile WiFi hotspots for a few years already. Now comes the killer price: For just $15 a month, you can have all you can eat wireless internet in your car.

Audi has teamed up with T-Mobile which lets you access its 3G network for cheap – once you have gotten over a minor sticker shock: The $15 plan requires an upfront $450 payment. This secures your 30 months of service after six months free for new car buyers,  Extremetech says.

If you don’t want to commit for such a long time and a big lump of a payment, you can choose a $30 month-to-month plan. Using the factory-installed cellular modem, the in-car WiFi hotspot will serve up to eight users at a time.

The drawback of course is T-Mobile. Its coverage can be a bit spotty, and its 3G service often degrades to last century GPRS when outside of population centers.

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11 Comments on “Audi Offers In-Car Internet On The Cheap...”


  • avatar
    Loser

    Good, now I can surf porn, jack it, text and eat a burger all at the same time!

    • 0 avatar
      MeaCulpa

      In that case I’ll suggest you nix the milkshake at the drive-through. Thus avoiding the potential for some very unpleasant spill confusions and cross contamination.

  • avatar

    I’m not sure why you’d want this when you’re almost certainly already getting a smartphone data plan.

    I can tether any device I want using my Verizon cellular account for free. That tempting offer was why I switched to Verizon. Ironically enough, they had to be forced to support free tethering as part of a legal settlement.

    In general, though, I hope automakers can support using a phone’s internet access instead of a separate plan – nothing’s better than no extra charge Internet, after all.

    D

  • avatar
    hreardon

    I would expect more subscription services from automakers moving forward. Fact is, between build quality, options, design and safety the playing field has been substantially leveled. Moving forward these are the kinds of things that will increasingly differentiate competitors.

    For executives who are being chauffeured or those who spend large amounts of time being shuttled between locations this could be useful, but I consider this at the moment to be a fringe benefit of marginal value considering how many people already have data plans on their tables/smartphones and also have tethering options. To make this a ‘must have’, the automakers will need to bundle services that can ONLY be accessed throguh the in-car data service.

  • avatar
    lon888

    Why in the world would you want an expensive service like that from T-mobile? I currently have T-mobile as my cell carrier and their coverage is the absolute worst! Get 10 feet off an interstate and your coverage is gone. I live in a city of about 750,000 residents and I can’t even get my phone to work inside my office building. I’m getting ready to leave them very soon….

  • avatar
    Richard Chen

    I used to have T-Mobile (USA) but had problems with reception in my house, along with the above mentioned 2G data off the beaten tracks. On AT&T now, WiFi hotspot capability is included with the plan, the kids get spoiled with Netflix to go.

    What I’d like to see is a 2 DIN head unit capable of Airplay screen mirroring, so GPS can display on the dash despite the iPhone being in the pocket. That’s possible now if you jury-rig an in-car TFT + AppleTV + power inverter, but doesn’t seem to be worth the hassle.

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    I have had T-Mobile for like 8 years now and I almost never have signal problems. I’ve driven all over the East coast, out in the boondocks of Kentucky, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, anywhere in Florida, etc. I can almost always get 3G and usually get 4G. The only places I sometimes get stuck back to 2G is inside some buildings like bottom level malls or one of the movie theaters we go to. Apparently it would depend on where you are, but T-mobile has been more than reliable enough considering the price versus Verizon. Is Verizon better? Oh yes definitely, but I pay almost half of what I would on Verizon, Sprint, or AT&T.

    They used to allow tethering for free but then they started to charge for it, and I didn’t feel it was worth it. But now the new plans do not charge for it but it is capped. I suppose subscribing to it in your car is the same as getting built-in nav, some people just don’t mind paying for the convenience. One would think that the antenna built into the car is better than the one on my cell phone, and I don’t have to worry about draining my phone battery so the kids can browse Facebook while we take road trips.

  • avatar
    holydonut

    Chrysler has had UConnect Web for years… the take rates probably round up to 0%.

    Doesn’t help that the only two vehicles you can get this in are the Viper and Ram Truck.

    http://www.driveuconnect.com/features/wifi/

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      The WiFi hotspot really only makes sense in a vehicle with a back seat.

      Sienna + phone WiFi hotspot + iPad + Netflix in kids mode -> no whining on family roadtrips FTW!


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