Buick 4G LTEEnlarge Photo
Buick may have a reputation for squareness, but it's getting hip to the latest in-car mobile technology. The brand known for geriatric customers will join Chevrolet and Cadillac as the third General Motors brand to offer 4G LTE connectivity. Buick made the announcement at the 2014 DENT Conference.
The system--known as OnStar 4G LTE--will give equipped cars a Wi-Fi hotspot that opens up numerous infotainment possibilities. It provides a faster connection for checking e-mail, downloading or streaming videos, and playing games on mobile devices.
There will also be a selection of apps available through the Buick AppShop, including Cityseeker, iHeartRadio, and Slacker Radio. Vehicle occupants will be able to access playlists created for these apps via the 4G connection. Buick also plans to launch a Vehicle Health app, which will provide diagnostic data and allow owners to schedule maintenance.
In the U.S. and Canada, at least, AT&T will be the service provider, as it is with the other GM brands. Current AT&T customers can add their cars to their "shareable bucket" of data through the AT&T Mobile Share plan, while non-AT&T customers can pay for in-car data through OnStar.
Buick will offer 4G LTE on the 2015 Encore, LaCrosse, Regal, and Verano. General Motors Company [NYSE:GM] says all Buick models will have the feature by the 2016 model year, so expect the Enclave to get it sometime next year.
As with Chevrolet and Cadillac, the announcement of Buick 4G coincides with the launch of GM's tenth-generation OnStar hardware in the brand's models. Upgrades include voice and high-speed data services.