GM first launched its OnStar 4G LTE in-vehicle data services in the United States and Canada back in 2014 and was the first mainstream automaker to offer such a service in a wide variety of vehicles. When the service first launched, the only other automaker offering a similar connected service was Audi – a luxury brand whose products cost significantly more than a Chevrolet or GMC, for example.
GM says its trucks and three-row SUVs, such as the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Yukon, are “consistently the most popular for Wi-Fi usage” among its customers. It’s likely that truck owners need onboard OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi for work use or when doing recreational activities, while SUV owners could be flocking to the service to help entertain kids while out on the road on on long haul trips.
OnStar 4G LTE data plans are provided through AT&T. All customers that purchase a new Wi-Fi equipped Cadillac, Chevrolet, Buick or GMC vehicle will receive a free trial of the service (one month or 3 GB for Buick, GMC and Chevrolet and three months or 3GB for Cadillac) but customers must sign up for a data plan to continue using it after the trial is over.
Monthly OnStar data services plans start at $15 for 1.5 GB. OnStar also offers 5 GB a month for $35 monthly and 11 GB a month for $70 monthly. Qualifying current OnStar members can also take advantage of an Unlimited Data Plan for $25 a month, $250 a year or $450 for two years. Users can connect up to seven devices at once and can connect to the vehicle’s hotspot from up to 50 feet away.
OnStar says in-vehicle Wi-Fi “can bring new value to vehicle owners in good times and bad,” by enabling them to play streaming audio apps or make video calls on their daily commute, allowing kids to play online games on road trips, or serving as a backup hotspot when there is a power outage.
GM anticipates the number of OnStar 4G LTE subscribers it has will grow in the future as customers place increasing importance on in-vehicle entertainment and apps and as it adds new capabilities and features to the product.