Do you have a monthly data plan for your car? If not, then it is time to start considering one. OnStar has been around since 1996 and is one of the first companies to offer wireless services for cars. With this service, drivers can use their phone's data plan through their car's in-built connection. Many other services provide the same type of thing but with different features. We will review some of these services in detail below.
Verizon is one of the most popular cell phone providers in America. They offer a data plan for cars called OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics. This service allows you to connect your car's built-in modem with their wireless network. It provides internet access through your Smartphone. You can download music, make calls, and even track where you are driving. The price starts at $19.99 per month, but it does include unlimited talk and text within the US.
Did you know that Verizon offers Wi-Fi hotspots as well? If you do not want to pay for a monthly data plan, they provide the same thing hourly. It is called Go90, and it can be used within your car or anywhere else around town. The only difference with this option is that there are no extra fees if you go over your hour limit. This makes using their service more cost-effective. You cannot make phone calls. It will only work for web browsing and music streaming services like Spotify radio or Pandora.
Sprint is another cell phone provider that can work well in your car. The monthly plan starts at $14.99 per month. This includes 200 voice minutes and unlimited text messages within the US. Sprint also has an option that matches Drive First by Harman Audio Connection Kit for Android. It has the Car Connection Mobile App features for iOS users who have iPhones installed into their vehicles' radio systems. It includes GPS tracking that helps to know when you are speeding. It also gives directions to the nearest gas station or restaurant with their Sprint Drive First app.
AT&T also has a similar service called Mobile to Vehicle Service (MTU). This is for customers who have already installed an OnStar Guidance Plan into their vehicle. Prices start at $24.95 per month. The monthly subscription includes domestic calling anywhere in America. It also has free access to most third-party apps like Spotify radio or Pandora music streaming online. You can connect through your Smartphone's data connection. The cost is $14.99 per month and includes unlimited calling within the US and 200MB of data to use every month. If you go over your monthly limit, you will be charged an extra fee. This varies depending on additional usage. T-Mobile has a similar option for their customers who have already purchased the OnStar Basic Plan.
Monthly Fee, Directions & Connection Package - Monthly fee +$35/month. Security Plan - $24.95 monthly fee + optional one-time payment for equipment.
The cheapest package from OnStar is their 'Basic Plan.' For as little as $20/month, you can get several helpful safety tools. You have access to their 'Emergency' button with your OnStar PIN. Pressing this is an emergency call that takes you right to a live advisor. You will get help on how to keep you safe in the event of an accident or break-in. They'll be able to track where your car is if it gets stolen and report it back to local authorities. By pressing 'Roadside Assistance,' someone will come out and either give you directions or take care of any problems on the road. Now, for more features like Directions & Connections, join up one of two monthly fee packages. The first option brings all three services into one package for $35/month (on top of the basic monthly fee of $20/month).
The option combines all three services with their Security Plan for one low price of only $24.95. It also has an optional one-time payment depending on what kind of equipment you'd like installed in your vehicle (ranging from $150 to $299). It comes with a set of equipment.
'OnStar Smart Sensor'
This small device lets them know when your car has been in an accident or if it's even bumped into something. It also detects any extreme G-Force movement, like someone breaking into your vehicle. When this happens, OnStar will call you and speak with their emergency operators. They can assist you until help arrives.
Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance Module (SVLA)
It is better known as GPS tracking. If your car gets stolen, OnStar will be able to track its exact location for police use. They'll send out alerts whenever there are changes in speed or direction. A Stolen Vehicle Slowdown Module (SVSM) is a separate piece of equipment. It can help stop your car from theft altogether. If someone tries to steal it and drive away, this device will slow the engine down.
You can choose to upgrade your vehicle if you want OnStar's more advanced safety features. There is also a subscription option for Directions & Connections that come with the 'Basic Plan' and the same monthly fee. To update you need:
Vehicle Diagnostics sends an email alert when something happens with your engine (like low oil pressure). It lets you make or receive calls through voice commands on specific compatible car models. You will know what might need attention soon without having to bring it to a mechanic.
A Remote Door Unlocking
It can turn off your car's engine from anywhere if it doesn't start - even if someone is driving. You can also set reminders for yourself or change radio stations without leaving the house using this app.
That's all there is to know about the different types of wireless data plans available for OnStar. There is also information on similar services like AT&T DriveSmart & Verizon Vehicle. Remember that each one has unique benefits. Be sure to do some research before signing up with any provider.