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Entertainment (June 29, 2009)

Going Mobile With Wi-Fi for the Car

New packages put the Web on 4 wheels
by John R. Quain

VW VanIt was inevitable: Cars are getting high-speed Internet access and turning into mobile Wi-Fi hotspots. It's great for impatient backseat passengers and drivers who want the latest navigation information on summer trips, but could Web access someday open up the family minivan to hackers?

Autonet Mobile recently announced that Volkswagen dealers would offer its "uconnect web" Internet package in its vehicles. Autonet's $514 option includes a Wi-Fi router that can be hidden in a trunk or under a seat. The router connects to the Internet using Verizon's high-speed cellular data network and then shares the connection with any Wi-Fi device in or near the car. Monthly Internet access costs $29, delivering speeds from 800 Kbps to 1.2 Mbps, similar to home DSL service.

"We want to become the ISP or the network for cars," explains Sterling Pratz, CEO of Autonet Mobile. FULL STORY

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