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LTE service for Tesla S

I think that 3G issue with a bad signal, quality, performance, you name it, should be resolved ASAP. There are so many complains about 3G service quality. We all know that 3G is already "Yesterday". Today IPhone 5 works in many states on LTE and Internet is flying. TM should finalize their agreement with AT&T and we need to use at least 4G but better LTE service even if we should pay for it. Why should it be free? It's better to pay $ 50 and get what you want than wait for 3 minutes until next page opens

I plan on tethering to my verizon LTE phone via wifi. Yes, you will lose the smartphone app if you don't have the car connected to an alternate source of connectivity while you are away. I don't think that will be a huge problem.

Tesla has stated that you will soon (debate what soon means) be able to download google maps into the car's cache and it will pull up the map regardless of whether you have 3G service or not. Therefore, losing the signal regarding seeing the maps will eventually be a non-issue. However, the traffic function, search, etc. would still be hampered by a loss of 3G service.

Randy in the service dept. in Menlo Park said there will be a 4g module which can be easily swapped with the current 3g module. Don't know when it will be available though.

For those on 3G vs LTE have you ever used AT&T 3G and gone to Verizon LTE with a laptop or iPad? It's huge the difference in download performance (at least in Los Angeles where the LTE coverage is quite good on Verizon). It's analagous when the iPhone from Edge to 3G.

Frankly one main attraction is the browser in the car, but I wouldn't use it without LTE tethered or preferably upgraded in the car.

I live in the Bay area and I'm with AT&T. coverage sucks inside the buildings, but that's not a major issue unless you're inside a parking structure. also, their 3G speed sucks, but their LTE and 4G* speeds aren't that bad on my iphone 5 when I'm outside or in my house.

We just need wifi tethering so I can use my phone (I have a family share plan). I use it all the time for my laptop/ipad and works great....sucks a lot of data though.

It has been reported over at teslamotorsclub that the sim is hardwired in. If that is the case, you will not be able to install a T-Mobile sim.

The Model S desperately needs LTE, a car this advanced with 3G? it's embarrassing, everyone I show the car to asks why it's so slow loading everything.... moving from the 3g to LTE on the iphone5 in south florida was an amazing difference....

The Model S desperately needs LTE, a car this advanced with 3G? it's embarrassing!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well said!!!!!!!

My wife and i both use Verizon. For some time I was on AT&T and she was on Verizon. The AT&T service constantly underperformed. Whatever their boastful advertising say, At&T offers a second rate service in our neighborhood (Berkeley, near SF).

I read in the forum that the NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor is used in the Model S. The writer suggested that the Tegra 3 can't handle 4G or LTE. Any truth in that? Is TM going to start using the faster Tegra 4?

@tobys1 - The Tegra 3 processor has absolutely nothing to do with communications so it is agnostic to 4G or LTE or WiFi or anything else. Communications are in a separate module that I am sure can be replaced and upgraded in the future.

dmunjal@yahoo.com: Please explain how wi-fi will allow us to tether from our phones.

Steven,

Once they turn on wi-fi, it will be able to attach to any wi-fi access point. Say in your house while the car is in the garage. Your smartphone can also mimic the behavior of an access point with the personal hotspot feature. Both iPhone and Android support this as do Verizon and ATT.

The point is that the car will not know the difference when it is connected to your home wi-fi or your phone.

This is assuming that the car allows multiple profiles, not only one.

Loads of faulty assumptions here.
LTE connectivity is far faster, but it is NOT a software upgrade but rather a new baseband chipset. So it's unlikely to be upgraded for us and unless they designed the modem module in an upgradeable manner. Also the issue of coverage is not a significant issue. LTE chipsets are typically multimode, meaning they will fall back to 3G standards (e.g. UMTS) and all the way down to 2G (e.g. EDGE). So coverage is not an issue. Also the comment about LTE being in its infancy not being used for voice - not quite accurate. LTE today, just like all the 3G standards, is used for data only. Their is a future version of the standard (named VOLTE - voice over LTE) which will handle voice communications. But meanwhile the voice is still on GSM or CDMA.

Bottom line - i wouldn't hold out hope that we would be able to upgrade to a newer baseband. But if Tesla did design it to be upgradeable - COLOR me impressed!

Tegra chips are smartphone processors made by Nvidia. Nvidia can bundle it with a 4G HSPA+ cellular modem.

Tesla likes Tegra chips because Nvidia's strength is in graphic processing and fast response on the touchscreen.

But Tegra 3 was limited because it is not made with LTE on the chipset. In most cases, smartphone makers who used the Tegra 3 swapped it out for the Qualcomm S4 in the US, because the US is ahead in LTE network deployments, and we want LTE phones. The dual core S4 is neck-and-neck as fast as the Tegra 3. In some rare cases like the HTC One X+, HTC opted to bundle the Tegra 3 with a Qualcomm LTE modem. This increases cost and power consumption and space requirements a bit because it is no longer a single chipset. But those three factors (cost, power, space) don't matter much in a Tesla S. I think that no good LTE solution was available when they designed that element of the first Model S. I expect they will upgrade sometime soon on future models.

The Tegra 4 was announced at CES this month, has LTE on the chipset, in the form of Nvidia's Icera 500 modem. It also has MUCH better power and graphics performance.

So...long story short. Soon Wi-Fi will be enabled. For those current Model S owners who don't want to be limited by the decent 3G, then can get an LTE MiFi (or other portable hotspot), add it to their family plan, and connect their Tesla to the mobile LTE hotspot.

@BorisT - I too hope you and I will be impressed to find that Tesla made the modem module (likely w/ Icera baseband radio chipset) upgradable. It is possible that these chips are physically on a much larger module with the WiFi, RFID, bluetooth, and other logic, and therfore would be more expensive to upgrade as a whole unit. I would still expect to be able to upgrade. The fact that you can reboot the dashboard and console independently says to me that at least these two systems are likely independent modules despite both using Tegra 3 processors.

I sent an e-mail to TM and was told that if I bring along my LTE "hotspot" the car would connect to WiFi - then use LTE to the net. I travel with my LTE hotspot so the kids have hi-speed Internet connectivity on the tablets. LTE coverage is fabulous in every major city I go. Hopefully my Model S will never even need to use the 3G built in, and I should not have to pay for it in addition to my LTE service.

Scheduled to receive car mid-February...

@Robert42 - GSM is based on having a SIM, the only question is would it be easily accessible.

What I hope for is being able to put my own SIM in the car rather than being forced to pay for a separate AT&T data service.

The people designing these cars are designing something they would like to keep a long time. Telco standards are not long term. Of course it is upgradeable. Now when and for how much, that's the real question.

@steven.addis - in addition to wifi tethering, the car will also have Offline mode for the Maps feature so you won't have to stay connected to use them. That's coming soon, although not confirmed when exactly yet.

Verixon has some neat mobile hotspots that you can add to your verizon data plan and leave in the car. That way you can get LTE, Verizon, and not have to buy a new data plan. That's my data plan BTW once we get wifi.


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