What's the point of in car wifi?

bniu

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 21, 2010
985
179
Since in car wifi is tied to your mobile share data limit, what value does in car wifi add? Don't cell phones already have direct LTE connections? And don't cell phones already have tethering capabilities? That and a car charger which your cell phone can be plugged into wouldn't even drain your cell phone battery, which makes me wonder what use is there for in car wifi?
 

Tyler23

macrumors 603
Dec 2, 2010
5,641
146
Atlanta, GA
Since in car wifi is tied to your mobile share data limit, what value does in car wifi add? Don't cell phones already have direct LTE connections? And don't cell phones already have tethering capabilities? That and a car charger which your cell phone can be plugged into wouldn't even drain your cell phone battery, which makes me wonder what use is there for in car wifi?
Some people have laptops and wifi only iPads that they could then use in the car.
 

tdhurst

macrumors 601
Dec 27, 2003
4,003
101
Phoenix, AZ
Huh?

Easier to use and likely better reception than a phone would be.

Not everyone is equipped with a smartphone and tethering plan.
 

yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
14,888
2,480
St. Louis, MO
Cars have more powerful and bigger antennas so theoretically, better reception and speed. But it's not something I'd ever pay for.
 

Lloydbm41

Suspended
Oct 17, 2013
4,025
1,439
Central California
Cars have more powerful and bigger antennas so theoretically, better reception and speed. But it's not something I'd ever pay for.
This is the exact reason. Much more powerful radio and transceiver units in the car. I can also see OnStar getting into the game and utilizing their frequencies for 4G satellite connections.
 

perezr10

macrumors 6502a
Jan 12, 2014
996
376
Monroe, Louisiana
It would probably be cheaper to pay for monthly data for your can than to pay $100/month for a cell phone plan. A lot of people lately are starting to question how much they really NEED to be connected 24/7.

I'd guess a lot of people would be happy if they could make calls from their home and car wifi.
 

Woochifer

macrumors 6502a
Apr 22, 2007
685
0
Not all mobile plans offer free tethering, while other plans limit the tethering data usage to well below the monthly cap.

As others pointed out, a car will likely have better reception because of the larger built-in antenna.

Also, the in-car wifi plans are not necessarily connected to a mobile share plan. GM offers data-only plans starting at $5-$10/month. The 1 GB plan costs $15-$20/month, which is the same as AT&T and Verizon's overage fee alone. Only if you're an AT&T customer can you add the car to a mobile share plan for $10/month.
 

MyiBill

macrumors 6502
Feb 8, 2012
379
30
My car has wifi through tmobile and has horrible service in my area because of it, I received it for free for a year when I purchased my car and I have actually wanted to use it on multiple occasions but couldn't because of the service issue. I didn't realize at&t allowed you to add to the mobile share plan, I wonder if the car is "unlocked" and would work on at&t as well?