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Thread: Cars with built-in WiFi? I don't get it.

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    Cars with built-in WiFi? I don't get it.

    Can someone explain what's so "cool" about having WiFi built into a car? I presume this is a service that you have to pay a monthly subscription fee for. It also looks like just one more thing that will break and be expensive to fix. It seems a lot more efficient to just activate tethering on your phone if you need to connect a tablet or laptop. Does anyone know what the car companies charge for using their built in WiF?
    Donald Newcomb

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    It's a way for carriers to snag some serious money by the kids sitting in the back burning up Netflix on full quality for hours.

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    Quote Originally Posted by digiblur View Post
    It's a way for carriers to snag some serious money by the kids sitting in the back burning up Netflix on full quality for hours.
    Well, I figured the $eriou$ money part but it absolutely can't be cost-effective.

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    You'd be surprised how many rich families there are out there fully willing to pay and use this feature! But yes, streaming videos and download apps will burn data.

    As for price, most are AT&T and you can add them to your share plan. I recently heard that if you have unlimited data with AT&T, you'll be able to buy unlimited data for your AT&T car for an additional $40/month.
    Carriers I've used: Sprint, T-Mobile, Cricket, AT&T, Verizon, Page Plus, Virgin Mobile, Movistar, AT&T Mexico, Telcel, Straight Talk, RingPlus.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Volaris View Post
    You'd be surprised how many rich families there are out there fully willing to pay and use this feature! But yes, streaming videos and download apps will burn data.
    Must be a lot of people with a lot of money to waste.
    As for price, most are AT&T and you can add them to your share plan. I recently heard that if you have unlimited data with AT&T, you'll be able to buy unlimited data for your AT&T car for an additional $40/month.
    If you didn't have to sign up for a year but could sign up for only the month you'd be on a long cross-country vacation, it might be worth $40.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Volaris View Post
    You'd be surprised how many rich families there are out there fully willing to pay and use this feature!
    You'd be surprised (or maybe not surprised, but saddened) to learn just how many non-rich families there are out there who're willing to pay for it. After all, $40/month from a big chunk of the 99% adds up to a much bigger pile than $1000/month from the 1%.

    ...you'll be able to buy unlimited data for your AT&T car for an additional $40/month.
    Heck, I barely even spend $40/month for gas!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRNewcomb View Post
    Can someone explain what's so "cool" about having WiFi built into a car? I presume this is a service that you have to pay a monthly subscription fee for. It also looks like just one more thing that will break and be expensive to fix. It seems a lot more efficient to just activate tethering on your phone if you need to connect a tablet or laptop. Does anyone know what the car companies charge for using their built in WiF?
    It is "cool", but nothing I would pay for. But then, I am not the target demographic for the service.

    Coolness Factors
    Wifi Internet access for everyone in or near the car. Everyone can do their own thing, hopefully not including the driver*, but you know they will. Most phones don't have tethering.

    Tethering the phone runs the battery down or requires messy cables to charge, and requires you to pause and enable it.

    No separate Mifi to keep charged or connected to another messy cable. No Mifi box to slide around, get lost or stolen. Like a GPS, leaving a Mifi visible is an invitation to get a window smashed to steal it.

    Cell signal may be better than a phone in marginal areas with the external antenna.

    For the family demographic, It will improve your relationship with the object of your affections and your children. For the younger adult and teen demographic, you will get free sex with no strings attached. This is what the Chevy ads would lead us to believe.

    For business uses, this can be seriously useful and may be a good value for things that need a notebook or tablet.

    Uncool Factors
    The cost. Far too many people will buy into this as another small to moderate monthly expense that don't really need it when the money would be better used for savings and investment. This is the new satellite radio for cars.

    It will likely be Googlefied. They will be collecting lots of information about where you go and what you do. My Mifi has GPS in it. Anyone want to bet that the car cell-Wifi doesn't?

    It will further degrade children learning patience and delayed gratification. Sure it will shut them up, which is nice, but benadryl is cheaper.

    Chevrolet/GM is pushing this hard. They have had OnStar since analog cell. They are including it in the full price range of cars, unlike OnStar only being available in higher priced models. They include the first three months or 3 GB free - standard free sample marketing. Like Tom Lehrer wrote about drug dealers, "To kids they give free samples, because they know full well, that today's young innocent faces, are tomorrow's clientele." The price is about $10 a month per GB.

    *I have seen someone driving down a 65 mph four lane highway at rush hour steering with their thigh playing a flute. As Monty Python said, "...pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space 'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth."
    Last edited by bobdevnul; 06-02-2016 at 03:11 PM.

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