updated 01:35 pm EDT, Thu June 26, 2008
Chrysler uconnect Official
Chrysler through its Mopar parts division today made official its uconnect web service. The feature briefly previewed yesterday provides a 3G cellular Internet connection to any Wi-Fi equipped device in a car and effectively gives constant, rolling Internet access to notebooks and handhelds. The network runs over EVDO and gives users downloads between 400Kbps to 800Kbps and uploads at roughly 400Kbps. The speed is enough to allow live streaming video and online gaming, Mopar claims.
Range for the hotspot is estimated at about 100 feet, or enough that the hotspot can be accessible outside of a parked vehicle from some homes or at an event.
In contrast to some services, uconnect web is completely platform-agnostic, the company stresses. Users can connect using any modern desktop- or handheld-sized operating system, including iPhones with slow or non-existent access to AT&T's network. Security for the router at the heart of the service is handled through neutral methods such as WEP encryption, MAC address filtering to only allow specific devices, or by restricting access to the wide-area network port.
The automaker plans to make the feature available both in all 2009 Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles and will make the feature available as an add-on implementation at the same time. Adding the router costs $449 with service set for $29 per month with a contract.