Future Retrofit - LTE —> 5G ?

Future Retrofit - LTE —> 5G ?

So since the latest and greatest available today is LTE and 5G is on the horizon... Will tesla be selling an upgrade to the newer standard in the future?

On a related topic, why does the WiFi get disabled once you start driving, I would really like to enable my hotspot device to the WiFi (This could also be another work around to a 5G solution).

Intent of the question is, how upgradable is this car or is it meant to be e waste and just toss it in the trash and go buy a new one?

grahamcrackerscomics | 5 april 2020

Seeing as how LTE 'does the job' of streaming your MUSIC, letting you browse the INTERNET and streams NETFLIX/HULU without having to constantly pause - I'd say there's pretty much a zero chance of retrofitting to 5G on these cars. Why spend the time and money when the job is getting done now.

As far as not HOTSPOT service - that's again due to cost. If they gave it to you, people would most likely gobble it up, costing them more money. I suppose it could be offered as an added expense, but I would not hold my breath thinking it's going to be added for free.

Magic 8 Ball | 5 april 2020

They are going to skip 5 and go straight to 42.

bjrosen | 5 april 2020

They are charging for premium service now, they could charger for the hotspot. I was happy to give Onstar $20/month for a hotspot and I'd be happy to give $20/month to Tesla for the same service.

As for 5G, it won't be very helpful in a car. You don't need 5G speeds for navigation or streaming music. You don't even need it to stream Netflix. The primary application for 5G will be to replace cable or FIOS on the last mile.

Lonestar10_1999 | 5 april 2020

No one can see the future but I would expect that Tesla will be producing cars capable of 5G. That being said, you will likely need to trade in your existing LTE equipped Tesla if you want the latest and greatest 5G model.

This will have a positive impact on new car sales but it will have a negative impact resale value of existing
LTE equipped Teslas. All Tesla owners understood this when we bought our Tesla primarily for its leading edge technology.

RichardKJ | 5 april 2020

Back in the day I paid $500 to upgrade my 2014 Model S from 3G to LTE. The upgrades became available a few months after LTE became standard. Probably in 2015 or 2016. 3G "did the job" but I wanted the latest and fastest.

T_Scheen | 5 april 2020

Voice recognition would definitely benefit from 5G.

majassow | 5 april 2020

It's not YOU that would necessarily benefit from 5G, it's Tesla. It would allow them to increase their driving data set collection dramatically.
Just like it's worth it to Tesla to include FSD hardware even in cars with no FSD...for the data.

lbowroom | 5 april 2020

If anyone would, it would be Tesla, unlike BMW who told people to pound sand when their 2G service went unsupported.

rxlawdude | 5 april 2020

Until "5G" really means the same across carriers and bands, 4G is a better bet.

SalisburySam | 5 april 2020

The Nissan LEAF of earlier vintages came with 2G. When disabled Nissan offered a $199 upgrade to 3G by replacing the telematics control unit. Nissan absorbed whatever cost was above that number including labor. That’s the good news. The bad news is the new TCU was very problematic causing some owners to have to reset the TCU very frequently by pulling the fuse. I was one of the lucky ones and had no issues with the new unit until it died a year later out of warranty. Since the vehicle can only go 30-35 miles, I opted to not do the repair.

EVRider | 5 april 2020

@fazman: Although WiFi disconnects when you shift into gear, you can touch the LTE icon to reconnect to WiFi if you want to use your phone as a hotspot while driving. Other people do this. Just make sure your phone's data plan is up to the task.

plugzin | 5 april 2020

Was FAZMAN misunderstood? Was the real question, "why can't I use my own hotspot to continue premium connectivity on the road, and not just while stationary?" Doing so has zero impact on Tesla's data costs.

plugzin | 5 april 2020

Just saw response from EVRider. Will need to try that.

mrburke | 5 april 2020

@Magic 42 is not the answer. I think Tesla is going to go to 11.

But is all seriousness. The killer app for G5 will be better communications between cars. How much smart will FSD be if it knows what the Tesla that is 3 to 10 car lengths ahead sees and is doing ?

Magic 8 Ball | 5 april 2020

Only thing I see in the OP is:

" it meant to be e waste and just toss it in the trash and go buy a new one?"

A carefully crafted dig at Tesla is all I get from it.

andy.connor.e | 5 april 2020

I dont see how a vehicle would ever need more than 4G upload/download speeds.

Lonestar10_1999 | 5 april 2020

A Tesla M3 is analogous to a frosty mug of beer. The foamy head is all the cool high tech features and the liquid beer is the safe and reliable transportation it provides.

So even when the cool high tech stuff gets old and dated, the M3 will still have value if it provides safe and reliable transportation. Personally I wouldn’t feel the need to upgrade to the latest and greatest model if my trusty SR+ gets me to work every day and doesn’t become a money pit.

fazman | 5 april 2020

@Magic: You are a troll, you add no value to any discussions.

@plugzin: Yup you understood my intent

@Andy: I have no idea why any computer would need more than 640k of ram

@mrburke: Agreed, thats why i am hopeful they thought about it and its hopefully a simple plug and play swap, if not than piggy backing on the wifi of an external hotspot should do the trick for a 5G work around.

@EVRider: thanks for the tip, i will try that!

@ibowroom / @SalsburySam: Yup, had the same issue with my 2G BMW Assist on the e90 (I still have that car with 190k on the clock).

@RXLawDude: Thats fair, but i’m just stirring the pot in hopes that if no one has thought about it yet... maybe it will be looked into before it is needed. I give it a hand full of years before LTE is shut down.

@ majassow: Very true indeed

Magic 8 Ball | 6 april 2020

"Intent of the question is, how upgradable is this car or is it meant to be e waste and just toss it in the trash and go buy a new one?"

Intent was clearly stated.

WW_spb | 6 april 2020

Another Troll from Fish clan?

bjrosen | 6 april 2020

mrburke@ You are right that vehicle to vehicle communication would benefit from 5G, the short range of highband 5G would be ideal for that application. However by the time V2V is implemented we will probably be in the 6G generation. V2V requires a single worldwide standard to work, it does no good for Tesla's to only be able to communicate with Tesla's and Chevy's with Chevy's. V2V will offer some huge benefits. V2V could make a big difference in road congestion, if self driving cars could talk to each other you could have virtual trains on highways which pack cars much closer together then is possible with human drivers that are limited by human reaction times. Virtual trains would be more energy efficient then cars running at today's spacing, they wouldn't be subject to the same traffic jam effects that we experience today, as a result the same road could carry many more cars at higher speeds. But that can't happen until there is a standard, which is probably years away, there are enough cars that implement the standard, and that laws change to create virtual train lanes that are restricted to self driving V2V vehicles.

andy.connor.e | 6 april 2020

not sure how computer RAM has anything to do with internet bandwidth. No, i dont think Tesla vehicles should use 5G, not only because 5G has a very short usable distance, but because the car will never literally ever require that kind of bandwidth demand. Even when FSD gets to level 5 - kick your feet up in the back seat and watch netflix, Netflix can stream 1080p no issues using 4G capacity. But ultimately, whatever the Tesla vehicles use for internet, will more than likely be coming from starlink. So my opinion is relatively invalid.

Magic 8 Ball | 6 april 2020

5G spreads CV-19. /s

Backstory: people are burning down 5G towers in the UK.

andy.connor.e | 6 april 2020

wtf? i would be burning them down because they're being deployed without making sure the 5G radiation band wont have health consequences. People really do dumb things.

Magic 8 Ball | 6 april 2020

Nothing a foil hat won't take care of, be safe.

mrburke | 6 april 2020

@bjrosen - V2V is not needed. Increased band-width would allow more info and that info could go through cell towers and Tesla's servers. Tesla will need faster servers to process more information and do it faster.

fazman | 6 april 2020

@Magic “They see you Trolling... They hating... Patrolling they tryin to catch me ridin dirty..” That song really reminds me of your Trolling style.

@andy “ not sure how computer RAM has anything to do with...” Google it, your too young to get the reference i guess... your just not techie enough.

@Bjrosen V2V would be neat, but the likelihood of all these players working together will not happen any time soon. I would say lets get one charging plug adapter standardized first before V2V. I would imagine Waze would be that V2V communication platform today. All these mapping apps are all trying to get that data to be the one that rules them all.

M-A-B-MCMLXXX | 8 april 2020

andy.connor.e | April 5, 2020
"I dont see how a vehicle would ever need more than 4G upload/download speeds."

There are advantages beyond bandwidth. 5G for example offers much lower latency than LTE (less than 1 microsecond, compared to 10 micro seconds). If driving decisions are eventually processed off-board the vehicle, that could matter.

andy.connor.e | 8 april 2020

How does ping matter in a vehicle?

RES IPSA | 8 april 2020

My understanding is that 5G is required for Level 5 autonomous driving as cars will need to communicate with one another in near real time speeds. I think there is a good chance that Tesla will need to retrofit its existing vehicles with 5G capabilities. Another reason I am glad I bought FSD for 3k during the fire sale in April 2019.

M-A-B-MCMLXXX | 8 april 2020

Right now? It probably doesn't. However if driving decisions are being made off board due to sensors on board, it could. Maybe.

That was just one difference. Some 5G waveforms I believe support higher bandwidth while in motion than LTE. Opening up new bands like the mmwave 5G de-conflicts with other cellular comms. Etc.

Joshan | 8 april 2020

RES IPSA | April 8, 2020
My understanding is that 5G is required for Level 5 autonomous driving as cars will need to communicate with one another in near real time speeds. I think there is a good chance that Tesla will need to retrofit its existing vehicles with 5G capabilities. Another reason I am glad I bought FSD for 3k during the fire sale in April 2019.

If this requires every vehicle to communicate as you said we are decades out, have any links stating this from companies actually doing autonomy? pretty much every vehicle on the street today would have to be removed. Not going to happen.

Joshan | 8 april 2020

Elon Musk

Humans drive using 2 cameras on a slow gimbal & are often distracted. A Tesla with 8 cameras, radar, sonar & always being alert can definitely be superhuman.

Cars can already communicate better with each other than humans. A car will always put the turn signal on, will always do a head check, etc. If humans do not have to talk to each other to drive why do cars?

jallred | 8 april 2020

Tesla is active in the general SoC community. Even predicting patents on stuff like NoCs with redundant encryption paths. You don't have people working front line of computer architecture and not be making plans for upgrades to your car's embedded systems.

Give them time, more and more Tesla ASICs coming and there will be upgrades of MCU. When they upgrade MCUs they will have networking in mind.

jallred | 8 april 2020

predicting = producing

Joshan | 8 april 2020

A little more on that reasoning from Elon

Elon Musk

Certainly no problem for a 144 trillion operations per second computer to make ~15 steering/acceleration/braking maneuvers per second. That’s a trillion calculations between each output command.

RES IPSA | 8 april 2020

Interesting... the forum won't let me copy and paste a link to Waymo article. Keeps saying access denied

Magic 8 Ball | 8 april 2020

All about syntax. Try putting a space or two in front of the link or recomposing your post.

jallred | 8 april 2020

Links are a pain. Always seems to need a blank line or two before the link.

M-A-B-MCMLXXX | 8 april 2020

removing https:// usually works for me. Or make a tinyurl or

RES IPSA | 8 april 2020


M-A-B-MCMLXXX | 8 april 2020

"And the bandwidth improvements are a natural fit for such cars, which record an estimated 1.4 terabytes to 19 terabytes of sensor data per hour."


jallred | 8 april 2020

They mean acquire, not record.

Tuning In | 8 april 2020

You guys are really serious about your concern that your Model 3 doesn't have 5g? By the time 5G is widely available and common your car will be at least 5 years old and it'll be time soon for the next car. In addition to 5G there will be a lot of things out there that your Model 3 doesn't have. We're at year 2 in our anticipated 5-6 years of ownership of our Teslas already. New year we start saving for the next 3 years for our next Teslas. Time goes by fast; and along with it your car ages as well.

Magic 8 Ball | 8 april 2020

The only ones showing "concern" are concern trolling. Concern trolling is a method of trying to scare people away from purchasing. It comes in many forms but it easy to spot once you become aware.

andy.connor.e | 8 april 2020

By the time 5G comes around for vehicles, starlink will be dominating.

jallred | 8 april 2020

If you have an older S with an older MCU, you can upgrade to the new one. It will happen again.

M-A-B-MCMLXXX | 8 april 2020

Starlink complements cellular. Cell will dominate urban areas. Starlink’s advantage is elsewhere.

RES IPSA | 8 april 2020

I have only kept cars for 5 years at a time in the past. But I purchased FSD, so I am going to keep my M3 for as long as possible. Assuming Tesla is the first (or one of the first) companies to have Level 5 enabled vehicles, your used M3 just significantly increased in value. That is when I would want to sell (if ever).