GM Announces New Plan to Take Your Money – 4G LTE Data Plans

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General Motors announced pricing this week for its 4G LTE plans through a partnership with AT&T. These plans will allow you to have Wi-Fi and join OnStar as yet another lucrative profit generator for the company. Call us skeptics, but you have to give GM credit for finding new ways to increase profits.

GM Announces New Plan to Take Your Money - 4G LTE Data Plans

GM is launching a 4G LTE data plan, providing wi-fi to its vehicles.  Wonderful. Take your kids to the beach and they can watch a movie instead. Great idea.

The new 4G LTE plan will bring Wi-Fi capability to numerous GM vehicles. Working through the OnStar device, cellular 4G LTE signals will be broadcast throughout the vehicle as Wi-Fi networks. Thanks to the roll out of OnStar years ago, the devices to make this work are standard equipment in many GM vehicles.

As one would imagine, OnStar subscribers will receive a discount. For them, they can access 200 MB of data for just $5 a month. GM says this is “enough to stream more than 6.5 hours of music, surf the internet for 13 hours or send more than 10,000 emails without attachments.” There are also plans to offer 1 GB, 3 GB and 5GB for $15, $30 and $50 a month, respectively.

If you don’t have OnStar, you can get the service for $10 a month. Also, 1 GB goes for $20, 3 GB for $30 and 5 GB for $50.

Expanding OnStar

We have to give GM credit though. They found a way to expand the usability of their OnStar hardware. GM executives have been looking to expand the OnStar profit machine for several years now. This 4G LTE plan is the latest effort to take it from the security oriented, monthly subscription service into a robust multi-dimensional offering.

Last year, then GM CEO Dan Akerson told Automotive News that the 4G offering “opened up what I think are potentially lucrative lines of business that don’t exist.”

GM is planning on looking at expanding App offerings, connect vehicle maintenance data with dealer service departments, change/eliminate Cadillac’s CUE and Chevrolet’s MyLink systems into one and consolidate billing. It is hard to not see this as a good plan – albeit once privacy concerns have been addressed.

Why expand? Analysts say OnStar pulls in $1.5 Billion in revenue annually with a profit margin of 30 to 35 percent. That fat profit margin is five times more than GM’s 6.2 percent, reported in their first-quarter adjusted earnings report before interest and taxes. That is a LOT of profit.

Our Take

This is great and all, but really? If you are in that much need for Wi-Fi in your car, why wouldn’t you just setup a mobile hot spot offered through pretty much every cell phone carrier? You can easily add this to your plan and pay the one bill. Plus, as technology changes and improves, your cellular company will be on the leading edge in making these changes.

The reality is that we get it. There are going to be lots of people who are going to like/use this service much like they use OnStar. We just think there are better offerings in the marketplace than using GM’s service.

Lastly, what about the ongoing problem of distracted driving? This seems to just enhance the possibility of it happening.

Toyota Camry – Innovation that Makes Sense

There are great technology innovations that makes sense. How about a wireless charging system? Toyota has one in their brand-new 2015 Toyota Camry. This pad, located under the center console tray, will charge your cell phone (as long as its capable). No strings attached, just place your cell phone on the center console tray and it will start charging.

This wireless charging system has been around for a little while and we can’t wait to see it in the Tundra.

The facts are automakers have ALWAYS been behind the technological curve thanks to their ridiculously long product cycle time frames. As we wrote about Monday, speeding up this process could help automakers to stay on top of technology better. Although, we still prefer automakers stick to build cars and cellular companies sticking to providing wireless data service.

What do you think? Do you like this idea? Privacy concerns?

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Filed Under: Auto News


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  1. Randy says:

    Privacy has been gone for years, so I am over it. LOL

    As far as this technology is concerned my only wish is that GM’s tie with AT&T will not further “down grade” AT&T.

    It would be a lot better for the “world” if GM actually put their resources into cars that worked; but we are long past that stage. Making automobiles is not their primary function.

    Of course the key part of the subject is 4G LTE; so why don’t the car companies get really smart? Why not make your phone the car (or car the phone)? Why not make your smartphone the “key” part of the infotainment system?

    Essentially all car company’s do such a poor job of the infotainment system, why not give the car buyer the choice like:

    I want full Apple service on Carrier X


    I want full Droid/Google Now service on Carrier Y

    Just plug the chip “you want” into the dash board and away you go. How simple, how elegant. And that stuff already works! Today’s infotainment systems are hit and miss – mostly a miss.

  2. Larry says:

    What’s great about this? It’s no wonder GM is in trouble. Who doesn’t have a smart phone these days, (other then me)?

    Locked your keys in the car? How about hiding a key under the car/truck, I’ve been doing that for 40 years and have never been locked out.

    My wife has an iPhone, iPad, iMac, windows commuter at work. I have a MacBook, Inreach messenger. We have DSL at home and wireless accounts on the road. I would also suspect we have much less electronics then most people these days since I only have a dumb cell phone. The Inreach satellite locater will allow me to send an SOS message from any spot on earth. So, why would anyone give GM money for what they already have. Most people already have more connectivity then they already can use.

    GM needs to spend more time building better switches and less on junk people don’t need. This is one company which need to be split up.

    • mendonsy says:

      Try to get a GM without OnStar.
      It’s impossible unless it’s a fleet vehicle. They won’t build it.

      • Tim Esterdahl says:


        That makes sense when you consider what GM wants to do. It makes zero sense for them to offer a truck without it. I don’t like it, but that makes sense.


      • Larry says:

        Can’t get GM product without OnStar?

        Well then that’n no problem for me. I can get a Subaru, a Toyota and others without that junk.

        To all, don’t spend your hard earned cash on something you don’t want just because they won’t sell it without something you don’t want.

        Take it off or I walk and then, I get to keep my money and the 8 percent it will earn every year.

        It’s time to recognize that GM isn’t too big to fail, it’s too big to survive.

  3. Anonymous says:

    What a bunch of GM haters!!! Mary Barra is steering GM in the right direction…Toyota has significantly lost it’s luster in the automotive marketplace. You should worry more about Honda penetrating your market share.

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