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Data plan announced?

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.

Jerry3, I'm just repeating what two Tesla reps told me at the DC event. Tes, the Sigs include 1 year of free service. The reps told me that service will be provided thru Tesla, not the cell carrier.

OnStar works through Verizon, but that doesn't mean you simply have the option of circumventing GM and adding some kind of plan directly to a Verizon account.

I just talked with Lance in Bellevue. He said that Sigs will receive a free data plan for one year. The rest of us will not. However, the monthly charge is most likely to be $19.95. He didn't say how much data that involves.

"If it's ATT, it won't matter because of the new ATT plan that will combine everything (and unlimited domestic phone calls/texting)"

Actually, if that $20/month figure turns out to be true, it could be cheaper to buy the "Tesla" plan with its own data allotment than to add the car to your share plan (if that would even be possible, which I doubt). Adding another device to the shared plan itself costs money!! There is no listed fee yet for a car, but a mobile hotspot is $20. While a tablet is only $10, since the car acts as a hotspot, it might get priced that way.

The $20/month sounded low at first, but upon reflection, it would not surprise me. They will probably need to see how much data people really use in the car before they can get pricing right, but I suspect Tesla wants early adopters to get the full functionality from the car (hence the free year of service to Sig owners). Besides a light usage IPad plan (250 MB) can be had for even less than that ($15). The question is, when the connection is there, will data useage be light or not? Are people really going to use the car as another place to read email? I see connecting to car when parked (has to be low bandwith, if this even requires the data plan), some downloading a maps (which again would presumably be limited since route maps can be done at home), maybe some music streaming (has to be the biggest data eater reported at 28 MB/hour), very occasional web lookups (when stopped, and not just browsing).

The wildcard is how often passengers are using the hotspot feature. Like my 3 kids are going to want to stream Netflix and play on-line games (should I get the car AND if I let them into the car). But while I would choose to take the Tesla sometimes with the whole family just because it will be a nicer vehicle than the van, the number of times all 5 of us are in the car for any length of time would be pretty minimal.

cybercop, if the wifi hotspot reaches beyond the car your kids might play their games thru it from the house and not even remember they are still logged into the Tesla wifi hotspot.

Currently I use my 10" Acer tablet much like the Tesla will be used (it gets Velcro'd on the Saturn dash when I am out). When I am within 100' of my house it is logged onto my home network. When I am on the road/out (streaming Pandora, google maps, occasional browsing and facebook) it is on my smartphone hotspot. That is how I plan on using the Tesla. I will not be getting a data plan for it.

I use about 400MB a week or <2GB a month. Half of that is on my home network the other on the smartphone 4G. I expect that to double with the S because it should be easier and sound better to listen to Pandora in the S. On vacations with the Tablet most all that ends up on the 4G smartphone which has T-Mobile's 4G, 5Gig unlimited data plan with tethering. (no extra charge for going over 5Gig it just drops to 3g speed)

That might give you all an idea what your data plan will need. That does not include the misc 4g data used for the phone itself or when my wife's phone is tethered to mine (she has a tiny data plan because she rarely uses it)

@cybercop +1 for streaming Netflix on the go. My kids can hardly wait for that.

Has anyone else heard more on the data plan? A TM rep told my husband that this was not needed. I think she was confused as to his question. We will be at a store on Saturday and will discuss again. Just thought there might be news on the subject...

Have not heard. The current Sigs get a year free. I think that means the regular productions which will start happening in a month or two will need to pay for a plan. Let us know what you find out.

There is no tesla hot spot. You can't connect to it. I checked with reps. You can only connect a phone hot spot TO the car. I'm doing this instead of paying for car data. 4g unlimited Lready on my phone with free wifi hotspot app.

There is 3G already active on the Sig cars but they are not allowed to say which carrier. After watching signal strength on my iPhone and car in the same areas, I highly suspect service is provided by AT&T. There is no ability to connect to WiFi right now or to use the Tesla connection as a hotspot. We can hope these abilities will be added with a software update.

@drripps@mac.com - If the browser is working in your Model S, do an IP Lookup. Try this site: http://whatismyipaddress.com/ip-lookup The Website should display your IP address in a box. Click on the "Lookup IP Address" button. It should display the details. Mine looks like this:

General IP Information
IP: 69.224.126.96
Decimal: 1172340320
Hostname: adsl-69-224-126-96.dsl.sndg02.pacbell.net
ISP: AT&T Internet Services
Organization: AT&T Internet Services
Services: None detected
Type: Broadband
Assignment: Dynamic IP
Geolocation Information
Country: United States us flag
State/Region: California
City: Poway
Latitude: 32.9628
Longitude: -117.0359
Area Code: 858

Hello, AT&T!

@drripps@mac.com - PS. I think the Tesla connection as a hotspot went the way of the 4 USB ports and the lighted vanity mirrors. You should still be able to tether a hotspot capable mobile phone to the Model S Wi-Fi.

Crap! Sorry for any confusion. The example I cited is my home IP address. I just put that out there for Model S owners to try and see what comes up in the car.

@stevenmaifert The ip lookup site was blocked! I found another though, that worked, and it is confirmed that our car is on AT&T. Interesting...we went to Netflix on the car browser and the page loaded but when trying to stream a movie we got a message that said we needed to view on equipment which could play the file (something like that). Will play more with this. There are definitely sites which won't load.

Also, what Model S WiFi? I don't think it's set up to receive a wifi signal. We can hope the equipment is there and they haven't updated the software needed for the Model S to connect to wifi.

That's interesting! In the industry the term is MVNO, or Mobile Virtual Network Operator, which is a company that contracts with the actual carrier like T-Mobile or AT&T, and resells using their own brand name, handles their own billing, Customer service, ect, ect.

If the data plan is 20 bucks a month, that's not bad. I was hoping we'd have an open system, kind of like XM compatable car stereos, where you have a seperate module that is the XM receiver produced by a seperate company, and just plugs into the radio when you are ready. Most of the wireless companies have data sticks out and they use a USB interface. But it's OK. $20, not so bad.

@drripps@mac.com - From the specs page "Wi-Fi ready", although I have read on other threads that this function has not been activated yet on the first cars that were delivered.

@drripps@mac.com - Sorry for the multiple posts here. With respect to the streaming video services, the Model S browser may need the Flash Player plug-in. You could go to the Adobe Website and see if it will download and install.

jbunn;
yes, $20 would be quite competitive. GB sorta slightly hinted something snazzy might maybe could come outa their head-banging, tho'.

BTW, it's "etc. (= et cetera)" and "separate".

I'm spelling challenged. Always have been.

20 a month to not plug my phone in with 4g sounds like a lot. Especially since the audio quality is better through USB and it charges the phone anyway.

I think Netflix uses Microsoft's Silverlight plugin, pretty doubtful that would be supported. Though once Tesla opens up the API building an app for that should be pretty easy.

Why Tesla will not release information on this is odd considering people with cars can just look it up. Why do they want us finding out this information this way?

@Scorch, I don't think Tesla Motor's is intentionally holding data back, it's just not their primary focus and can be very premature. The software, like the car, isn't 100% the vision that TM want's it to be currently, BUT it will get there and they will make VIN# 0001 up to par with VIN# 9999. Updating a document doesn't take long, true, and sharing it isn't a chore, but I believe it's not high or even on their priority list at this time.

Anyone heard whether we'll have the option to use a different browser, like Chrome?

I've heard rumors that Chrome is on the way.

I'd rather Firefox :P

+1 on Firefox

+1 on Chrome :)

I don't care which browser Model S uses as long as it will accept the Sling Media plug-in. I want to watch my home satellite TV receiver from anywhere... I do, I do I do :)

Agreed Steven - Sling is outstanding would be perfect in the Model S.


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