With the first cars being delivered I still have yet to see anything about the data plan and pricing in the car. I think one of the news stories mentioned 3G which was surprising but they did say pages loaded slowly in the car.
They will announce a carrier, or perhaps a technology, and the data plan will be yours to negotiate, I imagine. Idealy like an XM ready radio, you pick your receiver from any compatable vendor, and plug it in, and off you go. I think most of the major carriers make 4g sticks on the USB standard. That would be nice if you ever move or want to change provider.
Was just reading the Motor Trend article, and the author states the car has a SIM slot. That implies that the car uses GSM technology, which should make our international users very happy. In the US, the GSM standard is used by AT&T, T-Mobile, and a number of smaller carriers. Based on long experience with the company, I'd recommend T-Mobile, but your actual mileage may vary. You can check the list below for GSM carriers.
The review stated that the SIM card was "built-in". How than would one exchange an ATT SiM card for a T-mobile SIM? What if the card is one of the newer smaller SIMs? Anyone have clarification on this? I really don't want to be dealing with yet another carrier. Thanks- Rob
Update: 3G is confirmed GSM. Tethering would sem to be a viable option if one chooses to avoid another carrier plan. I guess those with grandfathered unlimited data plans are pretty excited right now.
I'm confused. Elon specified several times in the SH meeting that all Model S cars would have 4G. Did he mean soon, but not yet? Or did he misspeak?
Possibly the car supports 4G but if there is only 3G coverage available, the connection is only 3G, obviously.
I am guessing AT&T, but I would also love to know what frequencies are supported. It would be great to be able to get 3-4G speeds from AT&T or T-Mobile sims.
How solid is the info on the ability to tether? I do have a grandfathered unlimited AT&T data plan and a jailbroken iPhone. I was hoping to see the capability to tether. Any idea if it would be over bluetooth, wifi, or USB? I have only heard rumors about tethering capability.
Since the Model S can log into any Wifi hotspot, you will definitely be able to use the hotspot that your phone provides.
Bluetooth is enabled. Sounds like a match!
Thank you Volker. I didn't realize that the Model S could log into WiFi. I haven't seen all that much information on the connectivity capabilities of the Model S.
Anyone else think that 1 year of free connectivity provided to the Signature holders just sprang out of the lack of any clear provider options/contracts? Still no one can say how the S would access the interwebs.
Tethering capability was actually mentioned by a Tesla rep. Can't comment on presence or absence of 4G.
Is there a tethering option over 2G (Edge) for a T-mobile user or would I need to jailbreak my iphone? Does the car even support 2G? I realize I'd be dealing with glacial network speeds but it would still be sufficient for email and pre-entry climate control.
Verizon users would seem to be in the catbird seat. They can fire up the free personal hotspot included with their iphone as long as they monitor data usage if they're not on unlimited data plan.
If it supports 4g, it supports 3, 2, and 1 G. All backward compatable. The speed of course is the issue.
@jbunn, I'm afraid that's not correct. Most chipsets support all or some range of the standards, but the generations are not remotely similar at the radio level. 1G was, of course, analog radio, and is almost never supported any more by advanced chips. 2G, GSM (I'm ignoring CDMA2000 in this posting) is Time Division Multiple Access, where the phones are allocated time slots in which to transmit. 3G, UMTS and HSPA+, are wideband Code Division Multiple Access. 4G, LTE, is Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access. In the latter two, all devices transmit at the same time on the same frequency, and use different techniques to sort out the signals from each other.
But the point of my posting, I guess, is that there are an increasing number of chips and service providers who are trying to move to "Single mode LTE", that is, chips with no backward compatibility at all, especially for telematics applications.
At the moment, 4G implies 3G, but that's because the LTE networks are not widely enough deployed to be useful yet, so no-one builds devices that are LTE-only.
Tesla unofficially confirmed that AT&T is the wireless provider they are currently using for the data plan during my test drive.
During the pre-drive gathering, a rep would only confirm it was GSM. I said "so it's AT&T" and he replied "it could be T-Mobile." Sticking to the official line not to confirm things unannounced, I guess.
But then while I was driving I was asking about the Internet connection and asked "so you've got AT&T connected?" and the rep replied "yeah."
Obviously I could not pull up ipchicken and check that statement given that I was driving, but someone who thinks of it before their test drive might do it while you are parked.
AT&T is typically near the bottom of the rankings of the major cell phone companies. I have it on my iPhone. I can personally vouch for their honestly very poor service. I count the days till my plan runs out so I can switch to Verizon. Can someone illuminate me as to why Tesla teamed up with AT&T knowing as they must that AT&T is generally regarded as providing below average service?
Money. If AT&T is the provider, then I bet they offered Tesla a better deal.
I was told In Seattle that the decision had not yet been made.
ATT uses the same world wide standard that every country outside of North America uses. Because Tesla sells world wide it only makes sense to use a standard that won't require different hardware for different countries. I've not had a problem with ATT on my iPhones.
Luckily I will be able to tether my T-mobile phone. I just recently dropped ATT because of their need to add stuff to my plan without me acknowledging it. It was cheaper to pay the cancellation fee than keep the forced huge data plan I would never use. I had the option to keep my existing phone which tells me it might be possible to use t-mobile or ATT. ATT does have great rates for those that use the large amount of minutes and data in their plans.
I can also vouch that in the Bay Area where Tesla Motors, Apple, Inc., Google and a few other Silicon Valley notables call home that AT&T Wireless(as crappy as it is all over the rest of the country) has had the highest customer satisfaction rating for dropped calls and consistency around there. At least it was the case about a year ago and for many many years before that.
I'm currently in Las Vegas, AT&T Wireless is HORRIBLE here!!
Are you forced into having a data plan? I hope not . I have an iphone and an ipad and I hardly ever use the data plan on those - preferring to use free wi fi when needed. I am getting a performance model with tech pkg so the car will already have nav on the hard drive. I certainly don't need another data plan.
In the DC event (Gaithersburg) does it tell you anything that my iPhone AT&T said 4G but the car said 3G? Also the rep indicated that the car is a WI-FI hot spot, or is that what you have been saying above?
T-mobile tethering will indeed be possible.
I read somewhere else (sorry too lazy to find it again) yesterday or today that Tesla was planning to buy a block of time/bandwidth from AT&T and resell to its customers. I'm pretty sure this possibility was raised by someone months ago.
I am the one that posted that the Tesla reps at the DC event said they will purchase a large block of data from the carrier and resell in smaller blocks to the vehicle owners. The also told me that the system is GSM, but would not confirm that it is ATT, other than to smile when I noted that the Roadster used ATT.
As to whether the car supports 4G, I was told the car currently supports 3G only, that Elon was mistaken when he said 4G ships with the car. They said eventually the car will support 4G and/or LTE via an upgrade. They would not indicate whether it would be a free upgrade or a cost option. All they would say is the car was designed to enable them to change from 3G to 4G and/or LTE.
If it's ATT, it won't matter because of the new ATT plan that will combine everything (and unlimited domestic phone calls/texting)
Jerry3, what you say may not be accurate. If Tesla is the provider of service (as a reseller of data purchased from ATT), you may not be able to include the Model S in the mew shared data plan announced by ATT. I guess we will have to wait to see how this playes out; i.e., whether we can purchase a data plan directly from ATT, or if a data plan can only be purchased from Tesla.
I called Tesla today and asked them, but they would not comment. All they told me is they hope to have negotiations with the cell carrier completed soon.
WOW those ATT data plans SUCK. seriously. I am glad I just got rid of them. My data plan would have been going up with ATT if I kept them.
Mine will go down because I have a lot of minutes on my phones.
I haven't heard anything that indicates Tesla will be a reseller of the service. They said that the Signatures would get a year's free service but I envisioned some kind of a credit to offset the phone charge. If it's extra, then they're going to have a problem explaining why you can't include the service on your normal plan.