AT&T and ZTE today announced the wireless company’s first WiFi hotspot module made specifically for vehicles. It’s called the ZTE Mobley, and, well, it’s a hotspot. It runs on AT&T’s 4G LTE network, so you’ll be able to muster up decent speeds for whatever it is you need to do in LTE-covered areas.
The ZTE Mobley differs from other hotspots in a couple of ways, though. For starters, you don’t need to turn the device on or off: it’s always on when your car is on, and automatically shuts off when it isn’t. It likely sips power from the cars’ massive battery and plugs right into a standard on-board diagnostics port which can be found in most vehicles released since 1996.
AT&T also won’t charge you for the hardware if you opt for a 2-year commitment to paying for service, though it only costs $100 without the chains attached. Even better is that it can be added to Mobile Share Value Plans for just $10 per month, so it can sip from a large pool of data (which should be plentiful now that they support rollover data).
Otherwise, you can pay $20 per month for 1GB, or $30 per month for 3GB. That’s not a whole ton, but if all you need the hotspot for is basic work (such as email and messaging) then it should be more than enough.
Worth it? That’s up to you to decide. The convenience factor is the biggest reason for its existence, though if you’re an AT&T customer with a Mobile Share Value Plan you already have hotspot features on your smartphone at no added cost. You may as well use that if you don’t mind having to turn it on and off each time you hop into your car (and having it plugged into a mobile charger, because hotspot eats smartphone battery right up).
The ZTE Mobley September 11th both online and in-store, so be sure to head out to a store near you that day if you’re interested.