AT&T signed up 500K cars for its 4G network last quarter

Audi and GM are both offering in-car 4G connections through AT&T

AT&T signed up half a million cars to its 4G network between July and September, the result of deals with Audi and General Motors to connect cars and offer in-vehicle hotspots for riders.

The carrier began offering 4G service for GM vehicles in June, with pricing beginning at $5 per month for 200MB of data.

For that, the carrier estimates users can stream about 6.5 hours of music, 13 hours of web surfing or thousands of emails. Prices rise to $50 per month for up to 5GB, and one-off daily data passes are also available.

The GM service is offered through its OnStar subsidiary. The 4G signal is delivered to passengers via a WiFi hotspot that can support up to seven devices, according to the auto maker. The hotspot extends a short distance beyond the vehicle so that passengers can access it when the car is parked and they're nearby.

The first GM car to have 4G was the 2015-model Chevrolet Malibu and GM plans to offer it in more than 30 cars by the end of the year.

GM wasn't the first auto maker to put 4G in cars. It first appeared in the 2015 Audi A3, which is also being serviced through an AT&T connection. The Audi Connect service is billed per six months and costs between $99 for 5 gigabytes of data and $499 for 30 gigabytes.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

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