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Keep the Unlimited 3G Plan!

Right now, all owners of a MS enjoy unlimited 3G data to access the Internet, which I think is fantastic.
However, it is known that Tesla plans to start charging for the data (starting November or December 2013) soon, which is to my dismay because I do not want my car's enjoyability being controlled by shit companies such as: AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, etc.
Do you want to pay for data on a monthly basis? I believe this will discourage some people from actually getting a data plan, and instead opt to just buy a GPS and not use the fantastic screen inside the Model S.

I think that Tesla should continue to fund the 3G in all the MS cars, regardless of how they are doing it.

Your thoughts?


So you don't want AT&T, Verizon, Sprint etc, then which one do you want to pay for?

Right now, you can configure your Tesla to use your cell phone WiFi.

There is no reason that you have to use the big 3 3G if you don't like them.

Tesla only said you can use Supercharger for free forever (with activation) but it has repeatedly said that you will have to pay for the monthly data plan very soon (and it has been over 1 year very soon.)

well, you don't have to pay, just tether your phone or tablet internet connection (you need software version 5+ in the car), no big deal, right?

I don't have 5.6 yet so I don't know what it can do, but I know the last company I want to deal with is AT&T. I've read rumors that 4G will be through AT&T. I don't want to have to pay for verizon and AT&T and I will never switch over to only using AT&T for cell service. I'd be happy with the 3G as it is.

Who do you think your 3G connection is currently be controlled by? Just because Tesla is footing the bill doesn't mean you aren't already slave to these companies. Same goes for tethering to your phone.

The 3G currently in the car is provided by AT&T.

Would a tethered 4G LTE phone introduce new performance on the Tesla OS and attendant screen refreshes? Just curious because this might eventually be a solution to paying for two data plans, per the OP's complaint, one with the car, and a second with your smart phone with data plan.

Tethered access seems to do nothing to increase performance. I have 5.6 there's no perceptable difference between 3G and thethering with Verizone LTE. Others have reported little/no difference as well.

As it realtes to the 3G, Tesla has always said we'd have to pay eventually, so I have no issue with it. Others, like Audi, charge a monthly fee, so it's not out of market. The question will just be how much does it cost? I think Audi is $14.95. Anything more is too much, IMO.

Tesla is giving you the option to go through them (they pick the provider) or tether via any company of your choosing. If you don't like 3G you can go WiFi. If people choose to purchase a supplemental GPS to Navigate... well that is there choice. All you have to do is choose your poison. I don't know how Tesla can be more flexible then that.

Lastly there is nothing "free" from a company. If they give you free 3G, they will just jack up the price of the car to cover the free 3G. Personally I would choose this option. Or better yet, the choice of a flat upfront fee that gives me "free" 3G for life or pay month to month. Any free for life plan should be transferable to all future owners.

Sounds like we will have a choice.

1. Pay tesla for slow 3G service.

2. Pay our cell provider for tethering 4G/LTE high speed service and get use of the tethering outside of the car as well.

Unless Tesla adds an LTE upgrade for free, seems like a no brainer.

I get youyouxue's point but I think at some time it is only right that we pay for the wireless service.... whomever we choose to use.

Right now the car uses AT&T. I have been screwed so many times by AT&T that I will never pay them money again. I am more than happy to use it for free because they do not have my billing info so they can not illegally bill me for stuff I don't want or has been canceled.... and what I mean by that is I had to go to my attorney general of my state and file a claim before AT&T would refund me for services I never wanted or signed up for. Plus once I canceled all my services ATT continued billing for months afterward even tho I called them every month to re-cancel... and yes they did bill me the cancellation fee the first time I canceled but they continued billing me month after month for the services.

I already use my smart phone for mapping. The Tech package mapping system has received such inferior reports that I am still glad I didn't get it. My cell phone is the perfect size to pretty much snap in right where the driving direction would be on the Tesla. The almost exact same extremely expensive APP Tesla uses is cheap on the Android market for my phone and it includes offline maps too (altho I don't use it because it was disappointing).

If it turns out I need 4G I will purchase a new phone since my two year old one could use an update then leave my old phone hidden and tethered in the car plugged into a USB charging port. I would rather spend a little more than deal with ATTs really bad customer automated transfer around until you get hung-up on system.

I will admit that where I live ATT does have good signal strength.
I just won't use them.

You already are using AT&T, the only difference is that Tesla is footing the bill. Everyone knew when they bought the car the free ride wouldn't last forever. Personally, I am just hopeful that I can put my own SIM in it.

In Canada no doubt we will end up on the Robbers (Rogers) network. Their prices are insane and coverage in my area is regrettably extremely limited. (My wife paid a minimum of $85.00/mo for a BIS blackberry plan. She never goes over her minutes and uses my phone for long distance. The price is just Rogers being Rogers. By comparison Wind is $40/mo, every month.)

That said I don't want to lose remote connectivity to my car... looks like I'll be signing up for Rogers soon. Sigh.

So basically I will have a choice between paying a monthly fee and have a car with GPS or not paying a monthly fee and not having a car with GPS?

How does that make any sense.

If you have the tech package, GPS works without the data plan. The Garmin database in local in the car. Without data, you can still enter an address and the instrument display will show you the route.

Without data you will not get the Google map or web access, as they require a data connection.

If you are in the US, your current connection is on AT&T. Where Tesla goes next is a little unclear. The next step-up from 3G on the AT&T network is 4G/HSPA which is a decent bump in speed. Since it is essentially 3G on steroids, there is a good chance that this can be rolled out with the existing Model S hardware (radio + antenna). It really depends on exactly what HW Tesla used. The next step up is 4G/LTE which is significantly faster. LTE requires new hardware. It would likely be implemented as one of those on-the-fly upgrades. I have no idea how easy/hard it would be to retrofit LTE HW, but I would not hold my breath.

As many folks pointed out, you can tether after 5.6 so you can pick your own carrier. Apparently the Model S actually has two SIMs--one for Tesla's use and one for us, so Tesla can still pull their telematics even if you don't buy into the connectivity package.

Use volkerize, there were a couple of hefty threads on this a month or so ago.


I am not sure in which of these threads that I read it but I thought I had read that the current hardware does not support 4G and is not upgradable to do it either. So those of you who are thinking your performance will improve are most likely mistaken.

Now I for one will get improvement just by being able to get off AT&T which is what Tesla is now providing. In this area of the country my maps are basically worthless about half the time since they can't get a signal to update with. I am not sure why they couldn't be cached for when you have no signal but that is another question entirely.

omar beat me to the punch.

Little bit unfair. I ordered my model S in early October and they are still sourcing the parts. What is actually going on I have no idea. I should get the deal I signed up for which is free 3g. Not my fault Tesla is so successful it takes 3 months from order to delivery :(

Free 3g was absolutely and never in anyone's contract.

Except Signature MS get free 3G for 3 years. My non-signature MS gets free 3G for 3 months (long past that now). I don't see 3 months free 3G on the web site anymore... did that get deleted or did I just miss it? It may not be shown because it's N/A until they start billing people.

3G/4G what about antennae?

ref TeslaTap: "
If you have the tech package, GPS works without the data plan. The Garmin database in local in the car. Without data, you can still enter an address and the instrument display will show you the route.

Without data you will not get the Google map or web access, as they require a data connection."

How do I get GPS without Googlemap? I have the Tech package, but when in poor reception areas I do not get a map...hence I cannot see where the road is leading me...are you saying I still have GPS? If yes, for what if it is not displayed on a map?

The comments of using a phone/pad to tether to seems doable, however the reception of 4G inside a car may not be that great. As a minimum we should have some kind of connection to an antennae?
Having said that with all the hardware in the car the only viable solution would be to integrate this in the car system. I vote for free for life connection and of course an in car upgrade to latest technology (seems to be 4G, LTE for now)

GPS without 3G is dependent on your definition. Every other car on the planet includes map views and operation without putting in an address. Same with any hand held device. This is my definition of automotive GPS. I expect to be able to look at street layouts without having to put in an address. It is bad enough thats this function doesn't work reliably with ATT 3G due to reception problems. I do not want to pay for this crappy service when I already paid for it in the Technology package. I paid for a 17" screen and full functioning GPS. I don't care about internet, traffic, Google maps or Gracenote. If I want those I'll pay for them. Tesla can either continue to provide the complete GPS function on their own SIM, or they can make the data available via onboard memory or even a USB stick. That map system in the instrument cluster is crap

I think they will continue free 3g in the US until they fully rollout software that allows tethering.

I wanted to get a feel for data usage on the MS so I tethered it to my phone and everything worked great. I estimated I use a couple of Gig per month. But everything about how you use the car affects your usage. Most of my maps are fairly zoomed out so I don't need many updates over the internet when I drive.

Notes: 1) I don't use that much internet radio. 2) I drive 1200 miles per month.

If tethering to your cellphone's 4G connection through WiFi doesn't provide any performance increase on the browser, there is no reason to believe adding it to the car's hardware would. It's most likely the processor/graphics unit that needs to also be updated. I'd pay good money for that. While they're at it, make audio output compatible with the browser (yes I'd like video too, but realize the laws and such). I will probably just pay the monthly for 3G so I can retain remote control of my car via the app.

I won't have my Model S until December so I may be mistaken here but, wouldn't tethering also have a limitation. You would not be able to use a smartphone app to operate the vehicle (turn on the A/C on a hot day for instance) since you presumably don't have your phone in your car at the time. I suppose you could dedicate a phone to providing connectivity to the car but that seams a bit of a kludge to me.


I recall 3G free for one year for Signatures. I don't recall if 3g was free for one or three months for Production cars.


You might try using a "hot spot" for the car.

I have 4K roller over minutes on AT&T so woot woot!

You are not going to have to have an account with ATT to get 3G. If Tesla wanted to do that, they would have done it already.

What I expect is a tiered pricing system similar to what Mercedes uses. MBrace costs 280 a year for roadside assistance and remote access and another 14 a month for internet.

Yme - sorry if I wasn't clear. All cars have GPS and it works all the time. The issue may be that without an internet connection, the primary Google map will not appear. V5 software is supposed to do some caching, so perhaps if you connect via WiFi at home, it will cache some of the local area, so that it continues to display the Google maps from the cache. I have no idea how wide of a region the cache may work. Of course, there will not be any traffic data.

With the Tech package, you can enter an address, even without Google maps and set up navigation. This will appear on the instrument display and does not require any internet connection. It should provide complete routing to your destination. I've seen it work fine in areas where there is no internet connection.

I realize this is not the same as the wonderful Google map on the main display, but it is clever that the navigation works without the Internet connection.

I also remember that signatures got a full year of 3G service, and all others were to get 3 months. If you're beyond this point, I gather we are borrowed time, and once v5 fully rolls out, we'll be asked to pay for continued usage or switch to tethering.

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