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The Bulletin

GM is turning its new Chevy cars into Wi-Fi hotspots

Posting in Technology
Most of GM's Chevy vehicles including the 2015 Corvette and plug-in hybrid Volt will be embedded with 4G LTE connectivity, a tech upgrade that includes a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot and an app store. 

GM, which announced plans last year to connect all of its U.S. fleet to AT&T's LTE network, provided more specific details of the 4G rollout in a statement ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show. The 2015 Chevrolet Corvette, Impala, Malibu and Volt will be the first GM vehicles to come optionally equipped with OnStar 4G LTE. Those models will be followed by the Equinox, Silverado, Silverado HD, Spark and Sprak EV. In the Canadian market, the Chevrolet Trax will also have the 4G option, GM said in a statement. 

The 4G LTE rollout will mean most Chevrolet vehicles will have built-in Wi-Fi hotspot, which will allows its passengers (and let's be honest probably the drivers too) to connect their smartphones, laptops and tablets to high-speed Internet without burning through their data plans. Each vehicles can accommodate multiple devices at one time, the automaker said. 

In short, these vehicles will become a mobile entertainment and communications hub. And unlike the current setup for GM cars in U.S., which are connected to Verizon's 2G CDMA networks, this arrangement with AT&T will bring faster speeds. 

AT&T smartphone customers can add GM's 4G-connected cars to their mobile data plans. GM did not reveal pricing. Additional pricing and data packages for the OnStar 4G LTE will be announced later this year, GM said. 

GM also said an app store will be built in select 2015 Chevrolet models in the U.S. and Canada. Users can access the app store by pressing the "MyLink" screen in the car. Available apps will connect drivers to vehicle data, music, news, weather and travel information. Planned apps include Vehicle Health, iHeartRadio, Priceline.com, The Weather Channel, NPR, Slacker Radio, TuneIn Radio, Cityseeker, Eventseeker, Glympse and Kaliki.

— By on January 6, 2014, 10:41 AM PST

Kirsten Korosec

Contributing Editor

Kirsten Korosec has written for Technology Review, Marketing News, The Hill, BNET and Bloomberg News. She holds a degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She is based in Tucson, Arizona. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure