Tesla Signs Multi-Year High-Speed Wireless Connectivity Deal With AT&T


For the AT&T lovers out there (there’s at least a few in the US, right?) who happen to own a Model S too, the multi-year exclusive contract signed between Tesla Motors and AT&T will surely thrill you.



For the Model S owner against AT&T…oh well.

Tesla and AT&T just signed a multi-year exclusive deal that gives AT&T control over the Model S’ wireless connectivity:

AT&T, the leader in connected cars, and Tesla, the premier all-electric vehicle manufacturer, have entered into a new multi-year exclusive agreement to enable current and future Tesla vehicles in North America with high speed wireless connectivity. AT&T connectivity will power Tesla’s remote engine diagnostics, telematics, and industry-leading infotainment features such as Internet radio, Web browsing, live traffic, weather and navigation, all accessed through the 17-inch touchscreen.

Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO of AT&T Mobility, stated:

“It’s an honor to work with a company as innovative as Tesla on delivering a connected experience inside automobiles for both drivers and passengers.”

Even Tesla CEO Elon Musk chimed in:

“Tesla’s goal has always been to catalyze the market for electric vehicles for all consumers while providing an exceptional driving experience.  AT&T’s advanced and reliable wireless connectivity will help Tesla continue to deliver a cutting-edge ownership experience.”

The multi-year deal includes not only the Model S, but the upcoming Model X and likely Gen III too.  So, like it or not, Tesla owners will be with AT&T for some undisclosed “multi-year” length of time and perhaps even longer.

Categories: Tesla


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18 Comments on "Tesla Signs Multi-Year High-Speed Wireless Connectivity Deal With AT&T"

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Of course, there is absolutely no mention of how this deal will effect Tesla car owners. I’ve expecting a shoe to drop as to how much I will have to pay per month. Currently, Tesla is picking that up but I don’t think that will last for ever.

I have never browsed the web in mine. I hope they dont force us to have it or I will be selling my Model S.

With the current release of Model S firmware, the car can use any wi-fi, including someone’s hotspot, so, if AT&T doesn’t work, tether the car to some other network.

Not that big a deal.


As long as that continues to work. If, because of some exclusivity deal, they force you to use AT&T or nothing, that would be very bad for Tesla.

GM is using AT&T for its 4G LTE

Does this mean it will continue to be free to car owners? Is web access going away?

Sorry, I see web browsing is in the AT&T quote. The previous article I read on this didn’t mention web browsing when they quoted AT&T.

The communications gateway in the RAV4 EV, supplied by Tesla, also contains an AT&T SIM and cellular radio for the Entune EV APPS functionality. Every time you turn off the car it phones home and updates the car’s SOC and GPS position on the Entune server.

However, the in-dash apps that use more data, like Pandora, require a bluetooth connection to a smart phone with the Entune app installed and running. The smart phone app pulls the required data from the phone’s data service.

Article doesn’t mention if its LTE or 3G. High speed can be classified as either. Audi specifically mentioned LTE connectivity in their upcoming A3 ICE release.

On a side note when I test drove a Model S a few weeks ago, I asked the salesman why it didn’t have LTE? His response was that 3G offers more coverage and that there may be a software update to enable in the future. Yikes. I stopped asking questions.

Many sources both inside and outside Tesla have assured that 4G ( LTE )
was in the pipeline. This seems to be that next step. Verizon’s network
is much larger and powerful, but to me – it’s plain why Tesla and others are
leaning towards AT&T. Primarily those reasons can be found in my post below.

I have a years-long disapproval of Verizon. It goes back to the days when I had to have a landline for my business and Verizon was my only choice. I had to deal with monthly, sometimes weekly issues, and hours spend on hold or getting hung up on. It wasn’t only the foul-ups and added junk on my bill, it was the sheer incompetence of their every customer service move. It seemed they just didn’t care that my business paid their salaries. Then, one day, whilst in the middle of a months-long attempt to obtain a replacement modem for my burnt-out one ( they promised a replacement for one dollar )… And my umpteenth call to some person who didn’t realize Seattle was in “THE OTHERRR WASHINGTON, OH YEAH!”, that I was able to place my phone online and keep my original number. Years prior I had enough of Verizon’s horrid customer service with my mobile phone, and changed over to T-Mobile – less expensive, but naturally a much smaller, less reliable network. That very day I was determined to find Verizon’s corporate office, and after Googling for 5 pages or so, I finally found an address to send a… Read more »

What I have been thinking is —- if carmakers can make deals with a selected
data service provider for volume, this could mean a small(-ish ) monthly
hotspot service fee ( $4.00-$9.00? ) to the customer for in-car or cellular
phone hotspot connection.

That’s surely better than the existing prices for such services and hardware.

TL;DR – I’m sure it’s basically the “status” of Telsa for AT&T, and consequently, they gave Telsa a deal – Similar to the original Apple IPhone deal – That said, as long as Telsa is paying the monthly bills, it’s really their call, IMHO, and should matter little to the owner..

Wow, that’s quite a tirade. I don’t know why you’re complaining about T-Mobile’s device financing system. It’s far better than paying AT&T a high service fee that includes bi-annual device subsidy, and paying for your phone FOREVER. 0% financing for a limited amount of time on T-Mobile is far preferable to me. Also, I could take my out-of-contract iPhone to T-Mobile and get a reasonable service fee from day one. The only reason I don’t have T-Mobile is that I can’t get good signal inside my house and even a signal booster did not fix it.

Back to the subject at hand – Tesla likely uses AT&T for two reasons. First, 3G GSM is ubiquitous around the world. Second, AT&T has existing plans for companies operating low bandwidth connected devices like alarm backup, automotive connectivity, remote sensing, public charging stations, etc.

Umm AT&T is the best i dont see what the lowkey bashing is about

It will be interesting to see if AT&T will throttle back web browser use in the vehicle, if you go over 3 GB a month… :p