As more automakers provide options for in-vehicle internet access, the pressure is on to provide connected car options at a reasonable price. Chevrolet was the first automaker to integrate 4G LTE connectivity into every one of its new vehicle models. As such, Chevrolet had the luxury of owning the market for connected cars and set rates and data limits accordingly.
However, with more automakers offering the service, pressure is on to provide 4G LTE coverage at a more reasonable price with higher data limits.
Chevrolet responded to market pressure in a big way, and made news with an announcement that it will cut prices for most in-vehicle 4G LTE data plans by half. The following plans were available immediately after the announcement:
1GB per month plan reduced to $10 a month; 4GB per month plan for $20 a month; 10GB per month plan reduced to $40 a month; 20GB plan at $150.
Chevrolet has received criticism that the data limits are small compared to what a user would need in a connected car. For example, a 90-minute video streamed on Netflix burns through between .45GB to 4.2GB of data, depending on resolution.
Even at the lowest resolution, watching two movies would use up a 1GB plan. Anyone who has kids knows that two movies a month would never be enough for to keep the little ones quiet and entertained while in a car.
Another catch not often mentioned is that car owners must pay for an OnStar plan in addition to their 4G LTE plan. OnStar plans range from $20 to $35 per month. Car owners should be sure to add that cost to whatever 4G LTE plan that they choose. Chevrolet does offer three months of free service to new car buyers.
While the concept of connected cars is an exciting one, many consumers find it less expensive to use their own hotspot for on the road connectivity. Cell phones with hotspots, or mobile Wi-Fi devices, often provide a much less costly alternative to paying for OnStar and 4G LTE plans.