Here’s How Your Tesla Could Be Affected by AT&T’s 3G Network Shutdown

AT&T will officially shut down its 3G network today, completing the phase-out of nearly obsolete connectivity as new broadband options become available. If you own a Model S vehicle built before June 2015, your car may be affected.

AT&T planned to shut down its 3G network as LTE, 4G and 5G networks offer customers faster speeds. 3G is simply no longer necessary. However, customers of other companies who have used AT&T’s 3G network are also affected. Unfortunately, that includes anyone with a pre-June 2015 Model S, as their infotainment center needs to be upgraded to be compatible with the new networks.

In July, Teslarati reported that shutting down AT&T’s 3G network would require a retrofit for any Model S built before June 2015. The retrofit is available for just $200, though an affected vehicle could be nine years old by then. Infotainment upgrades for owners who drive pre-April 2018 Model S or Model X are also eligible to purchase the MCU2 upgrade, but it’s available for $2,000 plus tax unless Autopilot Computer 2.0 or 2.5 is installed. For vehicles equipped with the Autopilot 2.0 or 2.5 computer, the upgrade is only $1,500.

How to know if your Tesla Model S is affected

Tesla encourages owners to check if their vehicles are affected. “Your vehicle will be affected by AT&T’s 3G network shutdown if it is a Model S vehicle built before June 2015 and has not been upgraded to an LTE-capable modem or purchased a infotainment upgrade, as these vehicles were not produced with a compatible 4G/LTE modem.”

“You can also check your vehicle’s cellular network by looking at the connectivity status bars/icons near the top of the touchscreen. If “LTE” is displayed next to this icon at any time (may require a stable cellular connectivity), your vehicle will not be affected by AT&T’s 3G network shutdown,” Tesla said.

Owners can schedule the appointment by accessing the Tesla mobile app. Select “Schedule a Service” > “Upgrades and Accessories” > “LTE Upgrade”.

The upgrade is necessary because Model S built before June 2015 uses a 3G-capable modem. Newer versions contain LTE-enabled modems that will work with 4G and 5G networks.

Without an upgrade, owners will lose the ability to access the following features unless connected to Wi-Fi:

  • Roadside assistance to unlock your vehicle remotely
  • Certain mobile app features including Summon, cabin pre-conditioning, vehicle tracking, remote unlocking, etc.
  • Select infotainment features, including navigation, maps, live traffic updates, up-to-date information on Supercharger availability and outages, online music streaming, and live map updates. edge
  • Live updates

AT&T said CNN Business in a statement released earlier today, “For nearly two years, we have proactively sent numerous direct mail, billing messaging, email and text messages to help customers transition to next-generation networks before the end of 3G services on February 22.” AT&T has provided free replacement phones to many users with 3G devices since 2020.

3G networks were launched in 2002 and were integral to the growth of cell phones and wireless communications. Eventually, faster speeds were needed and the shutdown of 3G networks globally is part of a broader commitment to reuse 4G and 5G infrastructure, which are more efficient than 3G. Verizon and T-Mobile will also deactivate their 3G networks by the end of the year.

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Here’s How Your Tesla Could Be Affected by AT&T’s 3G Network Shutdown

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