All of the big U.S. wireless carriers have rolled out new or updated unlimited data plans in recent weeks, and now Chevrolet is introducing one of its own for customers of its entire line of vehicles.
The $20 per month unlimited prepaid plan, for owners of Chevys with in-vehicle OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspots, is being offered in conjunction with exclusive partner AT&T.
While that advertised $20 price will of course be higher once you get nailed with fees and taxes, it will still be a better deal than the $20 for 4GB and $40 for 10GB per month deals that Chevrolet is phasing out when the unlimited plan goes into effect on March 3. A $10 monthly plan for 1GB of data, as well as a $5 daily data pass for 250MB and $150 12-month pass for 20GB will still be offered.
The rollout of an unlimited data plan follows Chevrolet’s move last summer to cut prices of some of its data plans in half.
Chevrolet claims customers used about three times as much data via OnStar 4G LTE in their vehicles last year compared to the year before (the company didn’t have actual customer data usage averages available). Chevrolet says it has sold more than 3.1 million OnStar 4G LTE-connected vehicles since mid-2014.
Growing demand for in-vehicle data services, used for everything from passenger entertainment to getting work done while stopped, has car makers scrambling to deliver more options. Ford, for example, recently introduced a service that works on older cars without Wi-Fi hotspot systems built-in.
It will be interesting to see if Chevrolet’s competitors will now follow suit with even more network service deals, just as the wireless carriers have followed each other with unlimited data offers.
Though as Consumer Reports warned, beware the hidden costs of infotainment and other network services being bundled into vehicles. In many cases, you can get much of what you need through your smartphones.