GM offers OnStar subscribers mobile WiFi access for $5 a month

Road trips transformed with data for up to seven devices

Published: May 13, 2014 03:45 PM

General Motors has announced pricing for its new OnStar 4G LTE connectivity service will start at $5 a month, effectively turning a subscriber’s vehicle into a mobile WiFi hotspot able to support up to seven devices.

Set to launch next month on the 2015 Chevrolet Malibu, the low-cost data plans added to the cost of a paid OnStar subscription. Non-subscribers pay $10 per month. New car buyers can sample the service at no cost for three months or the first three gigabytes of data, whichever comes first.

GM plans to roll out the service on more than 30 models from Buick, Chevrolet, Cadillac, and GMC by the end of the year, making their lineup the largest variety of models currently available with mobile Internet access.

The 4G LTE package includes access to 200 megabytes of data per month, which GM says is enough to stream more than 6.5 hours of music, surf the Internet for 13 hours, or send more than 10,000 emails. Of course, if you have a carload of passengers, each tapping into the mobile WiFi, the bandwidth will be consumed quickly. Some monitoring and moderation would be wise for gadget-friendly families.

Customers benefit from a stronger signal than they would through a smart-phone antenna, and the hotspot is activated whenever the car is turned on.

To get the $5 monthly rate, subscribers must sign up for either the OnStar Safe & Sound or Directions & Connections plans, which start at $200 and $300 per year, respectively, and include a variety of safety and convenience features. (See plan details.)

Optional plans allow up to 5GB of data use for $50 per month, or users can sample the service for $5 per day. AT&T customers can add a GM vehicle to their existing Mobile Share Plan for $10 per month.

—Jim Travers

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