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FWIW, and I realize they are different brands, designs, etc... but some context with another car might be useful to someone:

Early Tesla Model S went through this almost identical concern and speculation. Original MS was produced with 3G only, and of course was highly reliant upon WiFi/Cellular for connection back to the mothership for car updates/etc as well as standard on-the-road Infotainment streaming and services. Later builds were produced with 4G/LTE (I don't know the cutoff point), e.g. my former "Sept 2015 Build" shipped with 4G/LTE as standard. IIRC in the late 2015 timeframe, Tesla came out with a retrofit "4G/LTE Upgrade" for early production models that was effectively a board to replace the 3G modem/built-in SIM. Tesla did not do a recall or provide some sort of free campaign to make the change. It remained a customer responsibility to upgrade or not, and as you'd expect there were owners on the forums that were @%(*#%$'d off having to spend a penny to (optionally) take advantage of the latest cellular standard that newer builds supported by default. IIRC, parts back then were just over $100, labor close to $300 US. While it was just a little board needing to be replaced, the entire MCU (big center screen) had to be removed to get to it in the depths under the dash, then vehicle software and connectivity had to be updated by Tesla Service to match.

My point being, some owners feel entitled for nearly a lifetime, but I don't see any auto mfgr being responsible to maintain future cellular and other connected technologies outside their control, once a vehicle or product with predefined specs is sold. I expect support for the latest standards in new MYs when I buy, so I've future-proofed myself as much as I can -- no different than how I've purchased PC/Mac and other tech for 40+ years. It's then great if a mfgr like Volvo has designed their vehicle or product so I can optionally upgrade or later retrofit at some reasonable price (whatever that may be to me at the time), vs having to purchase a new model -- at least I have a choice. I see those sort of options made available to owners as a potential benefit of the brand when considering my next purchase, even if I don't make use of the upgrade/retrofit myself. I won't likely keep my 2020 long enough to see 4G/LTE phased-out as is beginning to happen to older vehicles with only 3G, but even if I did, I would not expect Volvo to pick up the tab. As has been said, it's great Volvo is working on a solution for 3G-only vehicle owners to consider. We'll see what they come up with.
I disagree on several points.


1. If car manufacturers build their cars to "talk to the mother ship" or with connectivity in mind, future planning is imperative.

2. Future planning should include accessible modules that are plug and play ready and user upgradable. I.E. Think of a computer processor.

3. I'd have no qualms paying a few hundred bucks for the modules at the parts department, if the modules were in the glove box, or some logical area that requires minimal effort to reach. And then everyone purchasing a module could easily pop out the old and insert the new.

Unfortunately, the modules are probably going to be far cheaper than the labor necessary to install them. Poor forward planning on Volvo and other vehicle manufacturers' end.
 

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All connected vehicles would have an option, not just SPA. Remember, 2018 non-spa cars came with 4G. 🙂
Should they offer a 4G upgrade for connectivity modem on my 2015.5 I just hope that it works better than the original 3G. I've had consistently about 50% luck on getting a 3G signal in the built-in modem even when my phone on the same carrier has 3+ bars signal. Ha d the dealer look at it several times to no avail.
 

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Discussion Starter #46
AT&T delayed 3G termination until 2022 which is good for those of us with MY16 and before who use VOC app on our phones.

Verizon is still planning on a 2021 shutdown but that does not affect the Volvo VOC app since Volvo has a non-serviceable AT&T módem for VOC, traffic and selected third party apps.

As best e know, Volvo continues to work on an alternative post-3G solution for those of us who want it at a (reasonable) cost.


All the best from Minnesota USA,
A fine MY16 XC90 T8
 

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AT&T delayed 3G termination until 2022 which is good for those of us with MY16 and before who use VOC app on our phones.

Verizon is still planning on a 2021 shutdown but that does not affect the Volvo VOC app since Volvo has a non-serviceable AT&T módem for VOC, traffic and selected third party apps.

As best e know, Volvo continues to work on an alternative post-3G solution for those of us who want it at a (reasonable) cost.


All the best from Minnesota USA,
A fine MY16 XC90 T8
AT&T is still shutting down 3G as of Jan, 1, 2022. There is obviously buffer built into this and it won't just be an "off" scenario just services won't be guaranteed at all.

Non-SPA - If you want to, you can today go to the retailer, get a modem replacement and it will be a 4G. If nothing is wrong with your equipment (spotty service doesn't count) you can absolutely pay to get one installed.
SPA - Working on a solution. All I can say is that we do have a solution that works and is awaiting "approvals" to proceed.

In all cases, Volvo is planning to offer a specific upgrade campaign. Details are not defined. However, based on discussion the goal is to make the cost as affordable as possible while giving people the incentive to want to upgrade. Just takes time.

Unfortunately, a fair majority of people, especially non SPA cars, have 0 idea their cars have a modem or use VOC (I want to try and change that too...).
 
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Discussion Starter #48
@WhoaVolvo: Thanks a lot for all of the information.

^ This clarifies a lot.

I now understand why I cannot renew yet. If the SPA solution comes sooner than my renewal, it would avoid a lot of unnecessary effort to seek or process a subscription refund that would not have been necessary.

I will set back and relax until January 2021 comes unless the SPA solution comes sooner.

For SPA MY16 owners, you may want to hold off until a month or so before your subscription expires. IMO, Don’t worry about a discount expiring as it is a premature concern for us.


All the best from Minnesota USA,
A fine MY16 XC90 T8
 

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AT&T is still shutting down 3G as of Jan, 1, 2022. There is obviously buffer built into this and it won't just be an "off" scenario just services won't be guaranteed at all.

Non-SPA - If you want to, you can today go to the retailer, get a modem replacement and it will be a 4G. If nothing is wrong with your equipment (spotty service doesn't count) you can absolutely pay to get one installed.
SPA - Working on a solution. All I can say is that we do have a solution that works and is awaiting "approvals" to proceed.

In all cases, Volvo is planning to offer a specific upgrade campaign. Details are not defined. However, based on discussion the goal is to make the cost as affordable as possible while giving people the incentive to want to upgrade. Just takes time.

Unfortunately, a fair majority of people, especially non SPA cars, have 0 idea their cars have a modem or use VOC (I want to try and change that too...).

@WhoaVolvo - any update on the 3G solution a few months later? I'm very intrigued with this as I contemplate other mobile hotspot solutions. I just recently picked up a CPO 2017 V90CC and I guess it has a 3G modem.

Thanks!
 

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@WhoaVolvo - any update on the 3G solution a few months later? I'm very intrigued with this as I contemplate other mobile hotspot solutions. I just recently picked up a CPO 2017 V90CC and I guess it has a 3G modem.

Thanks!
2017 V90 (with the touch-screen) is 4G.

Still a WIP in progress, give it a few more weeks for any more formal info.
 

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Unfortunately, a fair majority of people, especially non SPA cars, have 0 idea their cars have a modem or use VOC (I want to try and change that too...).
You could start by pricing it so that it reflects what the service is worth. ;)

Maybe split it into multiple tiers. All I use is the smartphone app to remote lock and start my car, and that is by no means worth $200 per year. Something like that really just ought to be included for life with the car, but if it has to be paid, it is over priced by an order of magnitude.

I don't care about or want that silly concierge service. Make that a separate tier for those who want such a silly thing. I'd rather speak to people directly, call and make my own reservations.

It should also come with an absolute and unequivocal guarantee from Volvo that no user data from either the car or the phone the app is installed on is ever collected, kept or used for any purpose either directly by Volvo or by any third party. We don't need our vehicles spying on us. Especially with the China ownership arrangement the way it is.

Also give users the option to disable any and all telematics, for those of us that under no circumstances trust such things.

The fact that there is a factory SIM card in their car sending god knows what data back to the mother ship, that the owner cannot disable is the stuff big brother tales are made of.


As for me, I use my own SIM card in my S90, not the AT&T service, and I use it primarily for the hotspot and Spotify app. I only occasionally (maybe 5 or 6 times in the last year?) use the door locking and remote start features of On Call, and that's it. It's about to expire in a few days*, and honestly, I can't see myself renewing it. $200 annually for these meagre services that neither use particularly much data nor server capacity is just not worth it. Don't get me wrong. I can afford it, but at $40 per time I use it, it sets off every ripoff sense in my body.

And I do have privacy concerns. I am using the connected features of the car, but if I am honest about it, I am doing so against all of my better judgment. Honestly, there really is no reason my car, any car, should ever be connected to anything. This really is a brave new world.


*For some reason I thought the summer CPO promotion when I bought my car last summer was for three years included, but I only got one, and my dealership where I bought the car is now shut down so I can't inquire why...
 

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You could start by pricing it so that it reflects what the service is worth. ;)

Maybe split it into multiple tiers. All I use is the smartphone app to remote lock and start my car, and that is by no means worth $200 per year. Something like that really just ought to be included for life with the car, but if it has to be paid, it is over priced by an order of magnitude.

I don't care about or want that silly concierge service. Make that a separate tier for those who want such a silly thing. I'd rather speak to people directly, call and make my own reservations.

It should also come with an absolute and unequivocal guarantee from Volvo that no user data from either the car or the phone the app is installed on is ever collected, kept or used for any purpose either directly by Volvo or by any third party. We don't need our vehicles spying on us. Especially with the China ownership arrangement the way it is.

Also give users the option to disable any and all telematics, for those of us that under no circumstances trust such things.

The fact that there is a factory SIM card in their car sending god knows what data back to the mother ship, that the owner cannot disable is the stuff big brother tales are made of.


As for me, I use my own SIM card in my S90, not the AT&T service, and I use it primarily for the hotspot and Spotify app. I only occasionally (maybe 5 or 6 times in the last year?) use the door locking and remote start features of On Call, and that's it. It's about to expire in a few days*, and honestly, I can't see myself renewing it. $200 annually for these meagre services that neither use particularly much data nor server capacity is just not worth it. Don't get me wrong. I can afford it, but at $40 per time I use it, it sets off every ripoff sense in my body.

And I do have privacy concerns. I am using the connected features of the car, but if I am honest about it, I am doing so against all of my better judgment. Honestly, there really is no reason my car, any car, should ever be connected to anything. This really is a brave new world.


*For some reason I thought the summer CPO promotion when I bought my car last summer was for three years included, but I only got one, and my dealership where I bought the car is now shut down so I can't inquire why...
Wow great write up, can you also tell me how far I can drive west before I fall off of this Flat Earth??


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Wow great write up, can you also tell me how far I can drive west before I fall off of this Flat Earth??
Even if you completely and without reservations trust Volvo (which is a silly thing to do of any company, especially one that has financial ties to an oppressive authoritarian regime with well documented industrial and other espionage goals in the West) data collection is always a bad idea.

Any amount of data stored in one place becomes a target, and there is no such thing as a computer system which is immune to attack.

The only way to avoid data theft and misuse is to stop collecting it. Any data describing an individual, their preferences or actions needs to be the absolute property of said individual, and they need to be given absolute control over that data, including whether or not it is collected.

You'll notice that those who embrace IOT and the cloud the most are usually not IT professionals. They know better.
 

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Discussion Starter #55
Data collection and privacy concerns could and deserves its own thread.

This thread is about the 3G modem in certain vehicles and the planned shutdown of 3G service.


All the best from Minnesota USA,
A fine MY16 XC90 T8
 

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Discussion Starter #56
SPA 2016 (XC90 only) = 3G Modem
SPA 2017+ (All models) = 4G LTE Modem
CMA (All Models) = 4G LTE Modem

All other Non-SPA AND Non-CMA (legacy) models = 3G (if a modem exists at all).

See WhoaVolvo’s Post #47. Here is my summary.

1. Owners of the Non-SPA and Non-CMA can upgrade their 3G modem today. Each owner will need to assess cost v. value.

2. Owners of SPA 2016 XC90 will be offered a solution that is still in development. Timing and cost are still TBD. Each owner will need to assess cost v. value.


All the best from Minnesota USA,
A fine MY16 XC90 T8
 

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SPA 2016 (XC90 only) = 3G Modem
SPA 2017+ (All models) = 4G LTE Modem
CMA (All Models) = 4G LTE Modem

All other Non-SPA AND Non-CMA (legacy) models = 3G (if a modem exists at all).

See WhoaVolvo’s Post #47. Here is my summary.

1. Owners of the Non-SPA and Non-CMA can upgrade their 3G modem today. Each owner will need to assess cost v. value.

2. Owners of SPA 2016 XC90 will be offered a solution that is still in development. Timing and cost are still TBD. Each owner will need to assess cost v. value.


All the best from Minnesota USA,
A fine MY16 XC90 T8
Which means once 3G is killed off, Volvo has a choice to make. Find a compatible upgrade to allow legacy models to continue having Volvo on Call services and Roadside Assistance or discontinue the services all together. With discontinuing potentially infuriating owners with legacy vehicles like myself (15.5 S60).
 

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SPA 2016 (XC90 only) = 3G Modem
SPA 2017+ (All models) = 4G LTE Modem
CMA (All Models) = 4G LTE Modem

All other Non-SPA AND Non-CMA (legacy) models = 3G (if a modem exists at all).

See WhoaVolvo’s Post #47. Here is my summary.

1. Owners of the Non-SPA and Non-CMA can upgrade their 3G modem today. Each owner will need to assess cost v. value.

2. Owners of SPA 2016 XC90 will be offered a solution that is still in development. Timing and cost are still TBD. Each owner will need to assess cost v. value.


All the best from Minnesota USA,
A fine MY16 XC90 T8
Which means once 3G is killed off, Volvo has a choice to make. Find a compatible upgrade to allow legacy models to continue having Volvo on Call services and Roadside Assistance or discontinue the services all together. With discontinuing potential infuriating owners with legacy vehicles like myself (15.5 S60).
There is a 4g module for 2015.5 and newer. You can literally buy it now as a spare part and have it installed. It's noted by Gary too.

I can also confirm a few options are coming regarding discounted purchases and upgrade paths too.
 

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There is a 4g module for 2015.5 and newer. You can literally buy it now as a spare part and have it installed. It's noted by Gary too.

I can also confirm a few options are coming regarding discounted purchases and upgrade paths too.
How much is the 4g module? And how much is installation? Also is this an aftermarket part or Volvo Genuine?
 
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