Data Cost for cell network

Data Cost for cell network

I saw some older posts that the Model S had 4 years of free cell connection. Do we think the cell connectivity will also be free on the Model ≡? They have touted over the air upgrades as a asset to the vehicle, just curious if that will carry over to the mass market vehicle.

PhillyGal | 8 April 2016

FYI - Over the air upgrades primarily happen at home when you're connected to your home wifi.

skygraff | 8 April 2016

Hadn't even thought of that, PhillyGal, thanks for the heads up. I have an unattached garage far enough away from my router that it might be an issue to consider before delivery.


Octagondd | 8 April 2016

Thanks PhillyGal. That makes the most sense.

adias.angel | 8 April 2016

@skygraff Take a look at Ubiquiti wireless access points. We also have a detached garage and this helped us to extend the range all the way to the back of our property line. Works great.

deesugar | 8 April 2016

The model 3 will require a constant Internet connection for a variety of reasons:

1. The new live free/busy status of Supercharger stalls
2. Autonomous driving uses live crowdsourced data
3. Monitoring
4. Not all people have WiFi where they park their car (for updates)

They may decide to charge for Internet access and other things but we'll have to see.

Captain_Zap | 8 April 2016

There was already discussion about charges for cell service almost 4 years ago. (It was more like an uproar.)
People said that they would choose to use their own hotspot before they would pay for another cell service.

stevenmaifert | 8 April 2016

WiFi access has never been a requirement for OTA firmware updates for Model S. In fact, the early adopters (me) went for months before the WiFi was even activated, yet we still got numerous OTA updates as Tesla was working out some of the early software bugs. The only stipulation that Tesla has ever made that I know of was for WiFi access for OTA updates to the navigation on-board maps. Some owners think you will get a firmware update sooner if you're WiFi connected, but I don't know if Tesla has ever confirmed that.

Octagondd | 8 April 2016

@stevenmaifert - Do you have a monthly cell bill for data use while driving or was it all built into the price of the vehicle? I assume it is built in, but just curious.

PhillyGal | 8 April 2016

I've heard varying reports of when Model S owners will start to have to pay for data but I don't personally know anyone that has. I bet that they will include the cellular service with the Model 3 for at least a year to start. If they can mathematically make it work, they'd probably include it for longer. I don't see Tesla as desiring to make a profit off the cell service anymore than they try to make a profit of of maintenance (which they don't.)

mbb | 8 April 2016

I asked them when I purchased Model S and the answer is the data connection is free. It's unlikely they will charge for model 3 too. Data connection is required for the function of the vehicle. It's used for software download, monitoring, GPS etc. It's also used for internet radio(slacker) which will need subscription after free trial. It can be used for web browsing but it is slow and video is disabled. I find myself rarely use the web browser because phone is more convenient. So it probably cost Tesla very little for the connection that they don't even mention it

jordanrichard | 8 April 2016

In Jan 2014 Tesla announced that internet was free for 4 years effective then. So MS owners who got their cars as far back as June 2012, got 4 years, starting in Jan 2014. Those who took delivery in January and subsequently afterwards, got 4 years, from the time they took delivery of their car. So, come Jan 2018, that will be when this free period ends. Between now and then, who knows what Tesla will do.

deesugar | 8 April 2016

The Data Connection will always be running on the Tesla system because it's necessary for system related needs. But again they can decide at anytime to turn off Internet browsing or any other customer facing service and charge for them.

SCCRENDO | 8 April 2016

I am 3 years in so far. Everything still good. Who ever uses the Internet browser? It sos-so even with my LTE upgrade

GeorgeA | 8 April 2016

I don't think Tesla will ever charge a fee or make data connection an option because of all the previously stated reasons such as system upgrades, monitoring etc. Tesla knows this feature combined with the large display is one of many items that make their EV attractive to buyers and stay one step ahead of the competitors. We use the internet fairly often and I am also 3+ year owner since Feb 2013. Nice to have when you want to use it. Still crazy about my S.

stevenmaifert | 8 April 2016

@Octagondd - No monthly bill. AT&T is the carrier in the USA. I suspect Tesla has us all on a very large family share plan :)

staze | 8 April 2016

As most have said, the will likely include it. Too many benefits for them. Plus, with everyone moving to new mobile tech like LTE and 5G, it leaves plenty of unused 3G bandwidth available for uses like this at low, low cost.

yongliangzhu68 | 9 April 2016

So (LTE/4G???) data is included? Does it include user data like internet browsing and mapping? Hotspot creation? Is it unlimited?

dsvick | 9 April 2016

On a related note...

If the M3 comes with Android Auto support, that uses the phones wireless connection right, it is just mirroring the phone screen to the car display.

PhillyGal | 9 April 2016

@wj - Data is included and unlimited. Browsing? Yes, but it's not as convenient as you'd think.
GPS? Yes
Hotspot? No

The above is Model S, likely similar for Model 3. | 9 April 2016

As much as everyone wants free, I suspect there will be a monthly charge after some period (maybe after 3 months or 1 year for Model 3 owners). The 4 years relieved an overloaded staff from figuring out a way to charge customers and deal with all the headaches that come along with that. There is also a bit more room to include those costs in the price of the Model S/X for a longer period.

With the Model S/X, they provide the option to connect via WiFi to your phone's hotspot, so depending on your phone's plan it might cost nothing to connect this way. I expect this choice will be available on the Model 3 too.

jordanrichard | 9 April 2016

Well, the day they start charging, they had best improve the speed at which the internet works and included video playback. I mean, would anyone here pay for this type of slow internet connectivity and lack of video, in their home?

Red Sage ca us | 9 April 2016

Streaming video, while parked, seems to be a no-brainer, even if it required connection to WiFi or your own Hotspot. Doing so while driving though, would require a change to regulations in certain States and Territories.

mrdaniel | 9 April 2016

Don't forget Elon Musk owns a rocket company. And that he has plans to launch hundreds of satellites to support an internet (perhaps AP is correct that Internet should be lowercase!).

Can he pull it off before the launch of Model 3 and figure out a way to network everything together?

yongliangzhu68 | 10 April 2016

@mrdaniel' This is a preliminary 'fantastic' idea of a futuristic plan much like the Hyperloop. As of now there are no standards or protocols in place. Even if it is 'fast tracked' you are looking at will over a decade before it could even be partially functional. Also you can't build hardware into the M3 for a system that doesn't have any standards in place yet.

Haggy | 12 April 2016

It's easy for many owners to turn their existing phone into a hot spot for the car, and others can pay $10/month for a small box that does the same thing, so I can't see Tesla charging more for a connection than people could get one for on their own. The really inconvenient aspect of the connection is that Tesla didn't build it in a way that the sim slot is convenient, nor did they give us a configuration screen where we could specify carrier specific connection parameters.

The advantage of a customer provided hot spot is that it's portable and not limited to the car. I'm sure Tesla is paying a fraction of what a customer would pay for a data plan that would likely use far more data.

anujasharma19 | 12 April 2016

"No monthly bill. AT&T is the carrier in the USA. I suspect Tesla has us all on a very large family share plan :)"

Oh goodie. If AT&T is involved, that means the NSA is building a map of everywhere you drive and everything you do in your car. AT&T never met a kilobyte they didn't send straight to big brother.

I'll be surpirsed if they don't start mailing us speeding tickets without ever pulling us over.

stevenmaifert | 13 April 2016

@davidnippert - If you have privacy concerns, you might want to read the Telematics Services Subscription Agreement that comes with your Motor Vehicle Purchase Agreement. Here's some excerpts from the one that came with my Model S:

8. Information Collected. We collect information about you and your Tesla EV several different ways... (e) from your Tesla EV itself. The information we may obtain from your Tesla EV includes, without limitation, information about the vehicle and its operation, including without limitation, vehicle identification number, location information, speed and distance information ...

9. Use of Information about You or your Tesla EV. You agree that we can, subject to applicable laws, use any of this information we collect, and provide such information to... (i) comply with the law and any and all legal requirements, including valid court orders and requests from police or other authorities...

Xerogas | 14 April 2016

Model S has two SIM cards: one for Tesla private data (software updates, telemetry), the other for user data (Slacker, maps, web browsing)

So I imagine that Tesla may never charge for *their* SIM card, because it's vital to the operation of the vehicle, but they certainly could start charging for the end-user SIM.

Big T | 14 April 2016

January 7, 2014, Tesla and AT&T announce a new multi-year contract for AT&T to provide 3G and 4G service to Tesla vehicles. February 19, 2014, Elon Musk announces that all Tesla vehicles will have an additional 4 years of free cellular service starting from January 1, 2014.

My guess is that Tesla negotiated a 4 year deal with AT&T so no promises could be made beyond the expiration date of the contract. So, on January 1, 2018, you should expect to start paying for cellular service or you will see a further extension of free service due to a new contract with a cellular service provider.

It is interesting that the late 2017 estimated delivery date for Model 3 coincides with the cessation of the free cellular service.

jordanrichard | 14 April 2016

They will just negotiate another contract. Would you pay for the quality/speed of internet service we get in our cars? I sure as hell wouldn't. I don't know if it's the screen or the service/browser but when I am on sites like CNN or even this forum while in my car, it takes forever before the screen reacts to any selection you make.

yongliangzhu68 | 14 April 2016

@ jordanrichard: It has been posted that Tesla is using the 'old' 3G network. Hopefully they will transition to 4G/LTE.