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AT&T launches one-day tablet data pass, brings internet connectivity to Tesla

Nicole Lee, @nicole

AT&T senior vice president Chris Penrose announced a new $5 day pass for data at the GigaOm Mobilize conference in San Francisco today, with hopes that it'll compete against expensive hotel WiFi for frequent travelers. The day pass is limited to just 250MB of data. You can also opt for a $25 for 1GB plan that you can use any time within three months. The plan can be bought directly from the tablet itself via the carrier's website or AT&T's All Access app. "A WiFi tablet is good, but it's not good enough," said Penrose, hoping that all tablets will incorporate both WiFi and LTE going forward.

He also said that the company is hard at work on its connected car strategy, working with BMW, Nissan, Ford and Tesla to bring internet connectivity into those vehicles. Some of these deals are 3G/HSPA+ and not necessarily LTE. Tesla's deal, for example, uses HSPA+ to power the electric car's communications, remote diagnostics, various infotainment features plus a mobile hotspot plan in the future.

AT&T aims to use the traditional whole sale connectivity model with split SIM chip billing that can differentiate between types of data. This way the carrier knows which parts to bill to the customer and which to bill to the auto OEM. "If you haven't subscribed to a monthly plan, you can have a session-based plan. Say you download an audio book, the price of the book will also include the data cost of that download." It's already announced its GM strategy earlier this year, and Penrose said that it continues to plan to put LTE in GM's entire fleet as early as mid 2014.

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