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Car Wifi
Old 07-29-2019, 03:22 PM   #1
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Car Wifi

I was visiting a friend in a remote area of Maine and there was no cellphone signal (neither Verizon or ATT). My friend had a solution when driving in her car and she wanted to use her cellphone--her new Audi had WIFI built into her car. Evidently it is a hotspot (either through Verizon or ATT, first year free) with an antenna built into the roof of the car that could somehow pick up a cell signal even though our Apple smartphones could not pick up a signal. I guess the car antenna was more powerful than our cellphone antennas.

Anyone heard of a hotspot built into a car antenna? I have a 2015 Lexus and I wonder if this could be added to my car aftermarket.
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Old 07-29-2019, 03:24 PM   #2
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could be something like sirius fm that uses a satellite feed?
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Old 07-29-2019, 03:27 PM   #3
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Yes, my Volvo has that. Actually it has two of them. One is for the car's own apps (such as starting it from my cellphone to turn on heating or a/c before I return to it), and another for general usage by the passengers in the car. I would have to pay for that second one in order to use it, but I'm happy just relying on my phone.
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Old 07-29-2019, 03:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big_Hitter View Post
could be something like sirius fm that uses a satellite feed?
No, Sirius is not involved, it is cellular data through a more powerful antenna built into the car
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Old 07-29-2019, 04:32 PM   #5
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You could just use a signal booster. I have one from Wilson at home that usually gives me a bar or so extra if I put the phone in the cradle. I think it has a car kit option as well but I haven't used it. For awhile it was the difference between any service and no service, but now I get a better signal and don't rely on it.
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Old 07-30-2019, 11:30 AM   #6
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A lot of Northern Maine doesn't have good Verizon or AT&T coverage, but US Cellular works fine.

Maybe the car is capable of using that provider.
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Old 07-30-2019, 11:43 AM   #7
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i was with a buddy this weekend who pays a $40 hotspot subscription fee. He was literally ranting and raving about this thing the whole weekend. I know why too. When we were at this VERY busy event, 3 of us did not have cell coverage but when connected to his wifi hot spot we DID have data and cell coverage! (wiFi Calling)

It was great for sharing our pinned parking location and getting in touch with the people we needed to. It was a bit unreliable when 4 of us connected at once, but 3 seemed fine.

Convenient...YES, worth the extra $480/year...maybe not. For the 2 or 3 times I might be in this situation again, I think a formidable plan would suffice and is much cheaper.

People almost expect instant communications these days. What happened to the days when pops kicked off the boots, pressed play on the ole "answering machine" and then promptly returned the calls that mattered that evening after supper. Seems nowadays we need to text back immediately or face certain death or imminent banishment .
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Old 07-30-2019, 11:53 AM   #8
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My Jeep has it. You can pay for it on demand, as needed.
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Old 07-30-2019, 12:11 PM   #9
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My car has it but seems unnecessary so I do not pay for the service. My cell phone is unlimited digital and I haven't been in a place without cellular since about 2005 with no plans to go to Maine. lol.
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Old 07-30-2019, 04:57 PM   #10
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OP here, it seems that this car WIFI could be a really good thing if you live or visit in an area with poor cellular service. I was in Stonington Maine, beautiful place but little or no cell service. Verizon or ATT would not work at all , US Cellular worked poorly. My friend who has ATT car WIFI was able to get wifi in her car everywhere in Stonington. The cellphone would not work but the car wifi would. The car wifi antenna must be very powerful. I can see real uses for this, especially people living in remote areas or people RVing. Would also be helpful in mountainous regions with poor cell service.
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Old 07-30-2019, 05:25 PM   #11
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My 2019 Toyota Avalon does come with a wifi module, it runs on the Verizon network. It was free for the first few months but you then have to pay a monthly fee, I didn't bother signing up after the free use expired.
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Old 07-30-2019, 06:57 PM   #12
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My 2010 GM products have WiFi so itís been around awhile. Not talking high end model, either. I assumed it uses the satellite radio connection. I figured I would try it for traveling if consuming a lot of data but never tried it out.
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