General Motors kicks off its new era of corporate in-car connectivity next month with the arrival of the 2015 Chevrolet Malibu which will be the automaker's first vehicle available with OnStar 4G LTE data service. By the end of 2014, over 30 more new GM vehicles also will offer the ability to function as mobile Wi-Fi hotspots. The program will launch with a complementary 3 month/3 gigabyte trial period with subsequent contract data plans to start as low as $5 per month for OnStar customers who also subscribe to the Safe & Sound or Directions & Connections plans. OnStar users who don't subscribe to those plans will pay $10 per month for the same 200 megabytes of data. GM points out that most 2015 Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC vehicles with OnStar will come standard with five years of a new OnStar Basic Plan as well as six months of an OnStar Directions & Connections plan while others, including those on lease programs, may offer an extended OnStar trial period.
According to AT&T's data usage calculator, GM's 200MB baseline plan would be sufficient to stream more than 6.5 hours of music, surf the Internet for 13 hours or send more than 10,000 emails without attachments. Those needing more bandwidth have two additional options. Monthly allocations of 1GB, 3GB and 5GB are available for $15 (subscribers)/$20 (non-subscribers), $30 and $50, respectively. Owners of these GM vehicles also will be able to opt for a pair of one-time 4G LTE deals. A $5 charge for a single day will purchase 250MB of data while a 10GB/12 month package will cost $150 for those who subscribe to the aforementioned OnStar plans and $200 for those who don't. Existing AT&T customers also can add their vehicles to a Mobile Share Plan for $10 per month.
"Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac will be the first vehicle brands to market with 4G LTE connectivity offered on such a broad scale, and we're excited to give millions of customers an opportunity to explore the technology without paying extra for a data plan for three months or three gigabytes," said OnStar President Mary Chan. Because OnStar with 4G LTE is embedded into the vehicle, users also will get improved access to all traditional OnStar services like vehicle diagnostics and remote vehicle access as well as simple, direct Wi-Fi connectivity. The 4G LTE hotspot can support up to seven paired devices and functions both inside and outside of the vehicle.
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