You can add an integrated WiFi hotspot, powered by a cellular carrier, as a new car option. However, I prefer to purchase older cars in order to avoid a car payment. ZTE and AT&T just announced a reasonably priced, convenient option for people who have older cars that want to add connectivity to their vehicle.
The ZTE Mobley is a small plug-and-play solution that you simply insert into your vehicle OBD II (on-board diagnostics) port. With the device plugged in to this port, there is no need for an external power source or even an on/off switch to control it. Simply plug it in and when your vehicle is on the WiFi hotspot is enabled.
Lixin Cheng, CEO and chairman of ZTE USA, stated, "We worked with AT&T to define, build and deliver a product that was both useful and affordable. Collaborating with like-minded organizations in the U.S. has brought innovative Wi-Fi products to market that fuels our success and industry evolution."
AT&T's LTE network provides the data signal to the ZTE Mobley. If you are already an AT&T customer, you can simply add the ZTE Mobley to your shared data account for $10. If you are not an AT&T customer, you can sign up for a DataConnect plan for $20 for 1GB or $30 for 3GB.
The ZTE Mobley is free with a 2-year contract or $99.99 with no service commitment.
While many of us have smartphones, it is common for younger family members not to have a data connection without WiFi at home or on the road. While I prefer to talk to people in the car, I understand that younger generations like to engage via social networks and interact with their mobile devices. The ZTE Mobley on AT&T looks like a great way to add connectivity to vehicles made in 1996 and newer.