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GM Offers In-Vehicle 4G LTE Connectivity

General Motors (GM) has announced that it will offer an in-vehicle 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot with data included at a relatively low monthly rate. This will make it easier for drivers to access streaming audio content and potentially reduce use of conventional radio broadcasts.

"Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac will be the first vehicle brands to market with 4G LTE connectivity offered on such a broad scale, and we’re excited to give millions of customers an opportunity to explore the technology without paying extra for a data plan for three months or three gigabytes," said Mary Chan, OnStar president. "Later this year, we will begin to offer data plans and our customers will be able to connect for as little as $5 per month."

The low rate will apply to drivers who subscribe to OnStar "Safe and Sound" or "Directions and Connections" plans. For an extra $5 per month they will get 200 megabytes of data. The GM announcement said this would be enough to stream 6.5 hours of music or 13 hours of web browsing according to AT&T's data usage calculator.

Plans for OnStar customers not subscribed to advisor-based services will start at $10 per month. The announcement said one GB/month data plans would cost subscribers $15 and non-subscribers would be charged $20. Plans for as much as five GB per month are available, as well as discounted bundles with other services.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.