Audi and Verizon will partner to bring Verizon’s LTE network to power Audi’s in-car connectivity, including the passenger Wi-Fi hotspot and unlimited LTE.
This year, Audi hopes to launch A4 and A5 models with Verizon Unlimited data plans included if the driver subscribes to Audi connect Care, Prime, or Plus packages. These packages start at an extra $28 per month, and the Plus package that offers Wi-FI connectivity is another $10 on top of that.
Per Pom Malhotra, director of Connected Vehicle and Data for Audi of America: Keeping customers connected to the world and what’s important to them is a demonstration of our commitment to them and to the future of mobility.
Unfortunately, these cars will not make use of Verizon’s newest 5G network. Verizon’s mmWave 5G network is barely built out in select cities and requires essentially a line of sight to the cell tower, so it would be difficult to imagine the next-gen network being useful in a car today. However, Audi owners who keep their cars for three years or more may lament the slower networking when true nationwide 5G networks appear.
Customers who buy qualifying vehicles will get to try all of Audi’s Verizon-connected services for six months. If drivers opt only for Audi connect Prime, the connection will be throttled to fit “music streaming” speeds. Audi connect Plus members will get full LTE for Wi-FI. Some of the Verizon-connected cars will use eSIMs to handle network authentication. This makes the cars easier to transpose between different markets, as eSIM technology is becoming more universal than the variety of SIM cards carriers use.