Audi Announces In-Car 4G LTE Pricing: Is it a Rip-off?

Audi and AT&T have finally announced pricing for their new in-car 4G LTE plans. The first of its kind in the U.S., the plans will initially launch in Audi's 2015 A3 sedan, which goes on sale this year, but will eventually be available in all of the German automaker's vehicles. Options include a 5GB, 6-month plan for $99 and a 30GB, 30-month plan for $499. That's a lot of cash to turn your car into a rolling hotspot.

When you break the pricing down, it equates to roughly $16.50 per month for the 6-month plan and $12.50 per month for the 30-month plan. A 4GB data plan through AT&T will cost you $30 per month, while a 6GB plan will cost you $40 per month, that's roughly $7.50 and $6.70 per gigabyte per month. A 30GB data plan will run you $185 per month or $6.16 per gigabyte per month.

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AT&T says users will eventually be able to add their vehicles to their Mobile Share plans, which means your car will be able to pull from the same pool of data as your smartphone. If you purchase two smartphones today and put them on the same 2GB Mobile Share plan, you'll end up paying $40 per for data for both handsets, or about $20 per gigabyte.

Opt for a 4GB AT&T smartphone plan and you'll end up paying $70 per month or $17.50 per gigabyte. A 6GB plan costs $80 or $13.00 per gigabyte. Move up to a 30GB Mobile Share Plan for $299 and you'll pay $9.99 per gigabyte of data. That's about $3 less per gigabyte than Audi and AT&T's 30GB plan. For now, it would be nice if AT&T cut the cost of 4G LTE for Audi drivers that already are on a Mobile Share plan.

Audi may be the first automaker to offer in-car 4G LTE connectivity, but its exclusivity won't last for long. GM announced a similar plan during CES 2014 in January, though no pricing for the feature wasn't discussed.

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  • I don't get it; what will it offer that your cellphone doesn't? Is it going to have some mega-booster? Personally I have unlimited data and wouldn't have it any other way. But my phone itself can be a hotspot if I so choose. Rarely I'll connect the laptop to it for emergency work issues but generally it can do the surfing I need at the time. Seems more like a $ grab due to a hot trigger word to me honestly.
  • This would be great for using google maps to get around traffic on the larger in dash unit rather than running down the phone battery. It would also be great to use Pandora on the cars sound system.
  • I'm looking to reduce my monthly bills, no add to them. No thank you.