What ever happened to 4G LTE? Anyone have experience upgrading from the previous 3G?

What ever happened to 4G LTE? Anyone have experience upgrading from the previous 3G?

This came up a couple months back but seemed to have died out. I know the cars in production in June have the equipment for the 4G LTE but has anyone tried to upgrade their 3G to LTE (if so, how much is the installation?)? Is it unpopular to the point where I'm not hearing about it at all?

rzander01 | July 21, 2015

I took delivery on July 10th and the car was on LTE already, not sure when they flipped.

willyang326 | July 21, 2015

Right, there is a thread talking about cars delivered after June. They all have LTE installed or at are least LTE capable. But I am wondering what happens with the previous owners that have 3G and want to upgrade to LTE right now.

Dramsey | July 21, 2015

Probably nothing. No other car vendor has ever offered such an upgrade. | July 21, 2015

Actually Tesla has said a retrofit is in the works. No idea yet on timing or cost.

carlk | July 21, 2015

Nothing was said except a few rumors. I guess it is not going to happen.

rmg007 | July 21, 2015

I was told by someone inside Tesla the LTE retrofit was expected to be made available in the fall.

JPPTM | July 21, 2015

The upgrade will be available.....soon.

FWIW my wife's end June 2015 S70D has LTE and it is way better than my 2013 3G.

willyang326 | July 21, 2015

Tesla seems to never have a solid timeline for anything :(. I asked about the ludicrous upgrade on another thread and even though Elon said something about 6 months, it is mostly still speculation on when the upgrade will be done, even though I've been "put on the list."

acegreat1 | July 22, 2015

I picked up my car june 3rd. And it's only 3g

bentzma | July 24, 2015

I just picked up my S today and my display shows LTE. VIN = 0928xx

rmg007 | August 5, 2015

LTE retrofit is now available for $500. If you're interested, call your SC to schedule an appointment.

bak_phy | August 5, 2015

@JPPTM How is it way better? I mean in a practical way. Any chance you could put the cars side by side and do some sort of comparison? I think that many of us would appreciate that as the phone connection is such an important part of how the car functions

I'm thinking of getting the upgrade but for $500 it better be a very significant improvement.

JPPTM | August 5, 2015

bak--overall snappier, faster downloads. I suggest you head over to the TMC site and search for artsci's post on his recent LTE upgrade and his testing...more definitive than my comments.

bak_phy | August 5, 2015

@JPPTM thanks! I think I'll get it. 3G coverage seems to be getting worse around here (NJ) so this might help.

Haggy | August 5, 2015

My guess is that the LTE upgrade will be available some time before or after 7.0 comes out.

Pluto is a Planet | August 5, 2015
Bartolo | August 5, 2015

I just called service, and they confirmed that they have the parts to do the upgrade to 4G. $500. Appointments are running several weeks out.

steven warner | August 5, 2015

@bartolo: What city did you call?

dvanlier | August 5, 2015

I have LTE. The web browser is still extremely slow, I believe it's due to lack of graphics processing power as opposed to 3G vs LTE. Don't worry older owners, I don't think you are missing much, once they update the graphics chip that's when you want to upgrade.

Bartolo | August 6, 2015

@steven warner -- I use the Watertown, MA, service center and called them.

Pluto is a Planet | August 6, 2015

I have to agree with dvanlier, dragging down an app to put it on the bottom part of the touchscreen is annoyingly slow. Not to mention sometimes when getting directions, the entire HUD has a slow framerate.

willyang326 | August 7, 2015

Glad to see this thread came back to life. The service person I contacted for the ludicrous upgrade said they would let me know when the LTE upgrades are available too but that didn't really happen so I'm contacting him. Will update once I know more. 3g and LTE made a huge difference in my phone and I have the same carrier (atnt) that tesla uses, so I'm excited to see if it will translate to as drastic of a change as the network for my phone.

joer293 | August 7, 2015

I'm very interested in LTE upgrade. If 3g is fine for you in your area, don't waste your money on the upgrade. From my experience and Eastern USA location, the LTE tower capacity of AT&T is much better than the oversubscribed 3G towers. Using my AT&T LTE phone tethered to the Tesla, there is significant improvement in the same area over the 3g capacity. It's mainly about carrier capacity, not the technology. AT&T isn't improving 3G anymore, all focus is on LTE backhaul and LTE-A, LTE broadcast, etc. 2G and 3G spectrum being reallocated to LTE spectrum will continue to degrade the 3G experience.

willyang326 | August 7, 2015

@joe the problem for my area is that the signal is very spotty, when the 3g signal is strong, the connection is sufficient for all the functions of the car, but when I hit a deadspot, everything just goes to shit. So it's more about coverage for me than actual speed of the internet. But as mentioned above, if the UI doesn't improve it might still be pretty useless with a faster/better covered network.

Toothless2 | August 7, 2015

I just made an appointment with my SC for the LTE upgrade. $500 and takes half a day. I don't mind the speed of 3G, but it's frequently unavailable even when I have 4 bars of LTE on my phone. This is in San Jose where you'd think ATT would have enough towers. Its worth $500 to have Slacker most of the time instead of less than half the time.

Rocky_H | August 7, 2015

I keep seeing comments like @GreyGhost1 and others about not having coverage with 3G and wanting LTE to have more coverage. In my area, it is very much the opposite. LTE is a recent deployment, so it's spotty, while the 3G coverage blankets everything.

AmpedRealtor | August 7, 2015

The LTE radio will step down to 3G if there is insufficient signal for LTE.

Alex W | August 7, 2015

I got the upgrade installed this week. LTE is substantially faster when it comes to loading map content and also when connecting to streaming audio. It was $500.

Rocky_H | August 7, 2015

@AmpedRealtor, Yeah, I get that you have access to both bands then, but it's just such a foreign idea to me that there would be any area that has LTE but NOT 3G. Kind of like a building having only 240V outlets but no 120V ones.

AmpedRealtor | August 7, 2015

As far as hardware updates go, this one sounds like a great bang for your buck if you are in areas of good LTE coverage. I get a good LTE signal here in Phoenix almost everywhere on AT&T. I'm going in for annual service next week and I've asked to get the LTE upgrade. Service said they are still waiting to receive the upgrade kits.

Pungoteague_Dave | August 7, 2015

Any info yet on upgrade cost?

Hart | August 7, 2015


willyang326 | August 8, 2015

Update: contacted a rep and they said there is a waitlist now for the upgrade and it will be $500 like everyone else said.

ashokrs | August 9, 2015

I received my TMS on Apr-23-2015. I called the brand new SC @ Dedham-MA and scheduled to upgrade to LTE. The parts don't seem to be available yet.
I understand from other posts that the web browser would still be slow after the LTE upgrade. To get some boost, I plan to purchase "Wilson Electronics Mobile 4g Cellular Signal Booster Kit" from

Besides my local commute within Boston area, I will be traveling between NYC to Boston at least once a month in the next 4 years. I thought this upgrade will help.

Now, I will have to research on the installation of Wilson booster.

P85marin | August 9, 2015

Is the LTE upgrade considered a hardware update that qualifies for those who purchased the prepaid service plan? Recall that in addition to annual service visits, this plan is supposed to include Model S hardware updates as they become available.

ashokrs | August 9, 2015

Good question. I don't know the answer to your question.
I didn't sign up for the prepaid service visits anyway.

Redmiata98 | August 9, 2015

Wow, good question. If so, I guess you could ask for it at the next annual service visit.

AoneOne | August 9, 2015

Tesla doesn't cover optional upgrades. They will cover replacement of parts that aren't up to their standards, like some of the main battery power switches (contactors), or to remedy design defects, like the battery protection hardware (the titanium plate, etc.), but optional enhancements, like the second internal charger, or LTE are at the customer's expense and discretion.

So long as 3G is functional, and LTE is an incremental improvement, I expect that Tesla will continue to charge for the upgrade. However, if LTE became necessary, perhaps because AT&T pushed Tesla off the 3G network, then I'd expect that they would to cover the cost, but that's not the case today.

So, it doesn't hurt to ask, but I'd expect to pay for LTE.