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Audi Drivers Can Soon Get More Data Services From AT&T

AT&T customers who drive eligible Audi vehicles will be able to connect their cars to their AT&T Mobile Share Value data plans for $10 a month.

AT&T and Audi connected car

AT&T is now offering customers who drive eligible Audi vehicles the ability to connect their cars to their AT&T Mobile Share Value data plans for $10 a month, just like they were adding a tablet computer to their accounts.

In addition, Audi drivers and AT&T customers who don't have Mobile Share Value plans for their mobile devices will now be able to buy a stand-alone 1GB monthly data package for $20 a month that will work in their cars, according to AT&T.

The new services were announced by Audi on Sept. 10 as AT&T continues to expand its mobile offerings in the latest vehicles. The services will work in 2015 Audi models A3, S3 or Q3 that are equipped with Audi connect services, according to Audi.

The AT&T Mobile Share Value Plan lets customers buy a monthly allotment of data to share among their connected devices.

Back in January, AT&T and Audi had unveiled on-board 4G LTE service in the 2015 Audi A3 in the United States, according to Audi. Those data plans begin at $99 for a six-month plan with a data allotment of 5 GB, and $499 for a 30-month plan with 30GB. The 4G LTE data plans are also available on the Audi S3 performance sedan.

Beginning Oct. 1, owners of 2015 Audi A3, S3 and Q3 models who are not eligible for the Mobile Share Value data plan will be able to sign up for $20 monthly plans for $20 per month for 1GB of data per month in their vehicles.

AT&T already offers mobile services for other vehicle brands, including Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC and Volvo. In May 2014, AT&T added General Motors to its growing list of vehicle makers that are including connected services in their cars and trucks, according to an eWEEK report. Under that deal, the 2015 Chevrolet Malibu will be the first LTE-equipped vehicle, followed by more than 30 other Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles by the end of year, according to GM.

The LTE-enabled GM vehicles will be able to act like a WiFi hotspot, offering connectivity to up to seven devices, as well as access to OnStar—which has evolved well beyond the emergency service that was most drivers' first experience with in-car connectivity.

For GM vehicle owners who aren't AT&T subscribers, GM also unveiled its own pricing for monthly and one-time access to AT&T's LTE network.

According to GM, an OnStar Basic Plan will come standard for five years in most 2015 model Chevrolet, Buick, GM and Cadillac vehicles with OnStar hardware; six months of OnStar Directions & Connections service will also come standard. Certain leasing programs, and vehicles, may extend the OnStar trial periods.

Drivers who subscribe through GM to OnStar Safe & Sound or Directions & Connections plans receive a suite of safety and security services; for $5 more a month, they can receive 200MB of data—"enough to stream more than 6.5 hours of music, surf the Internet for 13 hours or send more than 10,000 emails without attachments," GM said in the statement. Monthly options go up to 5GB for $50 a month.

One-time packages (say, for a car trip) are $5 a day for 250MB. OnStar subscribers can also pay $150 for 10GB of data use over the course of a year, and non OnStar subscribers can get the same offer for $200.

In April, at the New York International Auto Show, AT&T announced a deal with Volvo to power its model year 2015 vehicles, which are also arriving this summer. And in January, at the Consumer Electronics Show, the communications giant announced deals with Audi and Tesla, and the creation of AT&T Drive, a connected car mobile platform, and Drive Studio, a 5,000-square-foot innovation center in Atlanta where developers and automakers can collaborate.