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We just ordered a XC40 Inscription T5 with advance package and park assist. I know it comes with VOC for one year and I think that 12 month subscriptions are $200. I will probably not re-subscribe but I do want to know more. Does this include the ATT connection fee? Another question is Map updates cost? I read somewhere that map updates are free and can use USB flash drives from a regular computer. Hard to believe, however I think they are using Google maps anyway. Connecting our Android phones and using center display would be okay. I have GM cars that came with OnStar but I never re-subscribed on those either.

It has been 15 years since we bought a new Volvo. we have a lot to learn.
 

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We just ordered a XC40 Inscription T5 with advance package and park assist. I know it comes with VOC for one year and I think that 12 month subscriptions are $200. I will probably not re-subscribe but I do want to know more. Does this include the ATT connection fee? Another question is Map updates cost? I read somewhere that map updates are free and can use USB flash drives from a regular computer. Hard to believe, however I think they are using Google maps anyway. Connecting our Android phones and using center display would be okay. I have GM cars that came with OnStar but I never re-subscribed on those either.

It has been 15 years since we bought a new Volvo. we have a lot to learn.
Congrats on your XC40! It's probably easier if I address each of your concerns as a list, so see below:

1) Model Year 2018 and newer cars come with 4 years of Volvo On Call standard. After that, renewals are $200/year as of this posting.
2) All connected vehicles come with "standard" internet connectivity which is intended to provide access to internet traffic info and any of the "low speed" apps such as the Weather App.
3) If you want to use Wifi Hotspot, Pandora, TuneIn, Spotify (officially) then you will need a data plan.
4) New cars come with a 3 Month / 3GB (whatever is first) data plan to try out those advanced services. If you wish to purchase a plan, it's directly with AT&T and not Volvo.
5) Maps are free. You can get them over the air, for free, via the bundled internet connection. However, if you let more than 2 updates lapse (not clicking the upgrade) then you will need the USB to update. You can always use the USB update however.
6) Your car will support Android Auto and Apple Carplay. Those systems are 100% separate from the included navigation system.
7) Open Ended Question: Why didn't you re-subscribe to On-Star? Why wouldn't you re-subscribe to Volvo On Call?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the concise reply! I have downloaded all the manuals and scanned/read most of them. Wow! A 600 page user manual. Never located this information exactly.

Re OnStar. I just never used it during the trial period on a loaded 2014 Malibu LTZ w/o Nav. I made two calls on the OnStar phone to make sure it worked. No advantage over cell phone. I was using Garmin for maps back then. I still like the non-tracking feature of Garmin but have reluctantly adopted Google maps and Waze. I have a spare tire, so service in zero cell zones was not an issue. OnStar just was not worth $16/month to us.

However I helped my father get OnStar for his two GM vehicles so that the family could use the satellite locating service to keep track of them! One of their elderly friends got lost and triggered a regional “silver” alert. He was found okay after a couple days but that was lesson learned. The OnStar map location feature worked great and we peeked in on them driving for several years. They do not drive now. I can see my kids activating VOC for us in about 10 years for the same reason.
 

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internet connectivity

Congrats on your XC40! It's probably easier if I address each of your concerns as a list, so see below:

1) Model Year 2018 and newer cars come with 4 years of Volvo On Call standard. After that, renewals are $200/year as of this posting.
2) All connected vehicles come with "standard" internet connectivity which is intended to provide access to internet traffic info and any of the "low speed" apps such as the Weather App.
3) If you want to use Wifi Hotspot, Pandora, TuneIn, Spotify (officially) then you will need a data plan.
4) New cars come with a 3 Month / 3GB (whatever is first) data plan to try out those advanced services. If you wish to purchase a plan, it's directly with AT&T and not Volvo.
5) Maps are free. You can get them over the air, for free, via the bundled internet connection. However, if you let more than 2 updates lapse (not clicking the upgrade) then you will need the USB to update. You can always use the USB update however.
6) Your car will support Android Auto and Apple Carplay. Those systems are 100% separate from the included navigation system.
7) Open Ended Question: Why didn't you re-subscribe to On-Star? Why wouldn't you re-subscribe to Volvo On Call?
#2 - just purchased 2020 xc90 inscription. how do i activate or get connected to the internet. Currently have iphones connected via BT and have BT connected internet checked. But not seeing traffic, weather. I know I can tap into 'connect to internet via modem" but that activates the SIM card via ATT. Please help...
 

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#2 - just purchased 2020 xc90 inscription. how do i activate or get connected to the internet. Currently have iphones connected via BT and have BT connected internet checked. But not seeing traffic, weather. I know I can tap into 'connect to internet via modem" but that activates the SIM card via ATT. Please help...
If you enable the "connect to internet via modem" you *do* want the SIM to be active. It will work, you don't need to pay unless you intend to use Wifi Hotspot as well as the media apps like Pandora or TuneIn. In short, turn ON the in vehicle modem. I personally don't use bluetooth tethering, just wifi when I want to test off the phone. When you enable the vehicle modem you should see a "globe" in the top left of the screen.
 

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If you enable the "connect to internet via modem" you *do* want the SIM to be active. It will work, you don't need to pay unless you intend to use Wifi Hotspot as well as the media apps like Pandora or TuneIn. In short, turn ON the in vehicle modem. I personally don't use bluetooth tethering, just wifi when I want to test off the phone. When you enable the vehicle modem you should see a "globe" in the top left of the screen.
Thanks for the reply. Once the trial period on the SIM expires with AT&T, will connectivity remain such that i can get 'low use' apps (via VOC) such as weather, RTTI without paying $20/month for data? When I did turn on internet via modem, the globe, SIM card icon showed up on upper left.
 

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Yeap - Just turn it on. You don't even need to sign up for the AT&T trial if you don't want to either. Just be advised that Pandora will *look* like it's connecting... but when you try to play a song it will just sit there. That's a symptom of just not having a data plan.... FYI
 

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I can't speak with personal experience on the new touchscreen systems in the SPA vehicles, but I can speak to the P3 sensus connect system. If you don't mind jumping through a few initial hoops, you can get a sim from freedompop that works in our cars. After the initial cost, you can cancel your paid plan and get 250mb of full speed data free each month. It's not enough to use a streaming service everyday, but it's useful for the random times you need to use something that requires a connection.
 

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#2 - just purchased 2020 xc90 inscription. how do i activate or get connected to the internet. Currently have iphones connected via BT and have BT connected internet checked. But not seeing traffic, weather. I know I can tap into 'connect to internet via modem" but that activates the SIM card via ATT. Please help...
Try to manually turn on iPhone personal hotspot discoverable. Then on Volvo, select either BT Internet or Wi-Fi. Sorry you cannot enable both. Occasionally, you have to leave and lock the car then re-enter to makes sure internet works automatically.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
WhoaVolvo,

We got new XC40 T5 Inscription two days ago. thanks for your help! Trying to understand all the stuff we have been reading about. I got MY Volvo app installed on my Samsung s9 and got a VOC account running. I can see the car and it constantly tells me it is unlocked in my garage. that is OK! Unable to get it to download to wife's older LG phone. She may need a newer phone. The reviews re MY Volvo app were terrible. Something about the recent upgrades killing most of the functions.

The sales person got Android Auto working and I saw Google maps on the center display with the USB cable. I understand that Android auto only works with the cable??

I synced with my home WIFI router. How will the vehicle use my household WIFI?

I also connected with Vehicle Modem Internet to get low data rate services using the ATT network?? I have not tried that stuff yet. Will it switch between the home WIFI and the mobile network?

I have not called to get my introductory 3 GB, high rate data plan yet. Sales staff told me that 3 GB would not last one day? I might be tempted to subscribe if it was a Verizon SIM that I could add to existing account.

The information that VOC is dependent on 3G is disturbing. I think we still have 3G but they are putting a 5G pole in my front yard soon. 3G will die soon.

Thanks again!
 

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WhoaVolvo,

We got new XC40 T5 Inscription two days ago. thanks for your help! Trying to understand all the stuff we have been reading about. I got MY Volvo app installed on my Samsung s9 and got a VOC account running. I can see the car and it constantly tells me it is unlocked in my garage. that is OK! Unable to get it to download to wife's older LG phone. She may need a newer phone. The reviews re MY Volvo app were terrible. Something about the recent upgrades killing most of the functions.

The sales person got Android Auto working and I saw Google maps on the center display with the USB cable. I understand that Android auto only works with the cable??

I synced with my home WIFI router. How will the vehicle use my household WIFI?

I also connected with Vehicle Modem Internet to get low data rate services using the ATT network?? I have not tried that stuff yet. Will it switch between the home WIFI and the mobile network?

I have not called to get my introductory 3 GB, high rate data plan yet. Sales staff told me that 3 GB would not last one day? I might be tempted to subscribe if it was a Verizon SIM that I could add to existing account.

The information that VOC is dependent on 3G is disturbing. I think we still have 3G but they are putting a 5G pole in my front yard soon. 3G will die soon.

Thanks again!
Hi Dirty_Ken,

Congrats on your new car!

Sounds like you have VOC set up, that's good. The VOC app should work for some older phones, if it's in the app store.

Yes, you can only use Android Auto and Apple CarPlay with the cable connected.

Your home wifi would be valuable for downloading map updates which at times can get rather large. Other than that, nothing really to gain IMHO. Yes, it will switch back and forth on it's own depending on coverage.

The Trial data plan is $20 for unlimited data... seems to be the norm regardless of carrier these days. On average, 3GB should last you 45 days. All depends on what you do with it. Commonly, what happens is that we see people have their iPhones or Android devices connected to the car's wifi hotspot, and the phones download their own software updates. That consumes a lot of data and is something to be aware of.

Your car has 4G/LTE so you are good for a while. 3G's time is indeed finite! VOC doesn't care 3g/4g etc.

Cheers!
 

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What about replacing the SIM? If I swap the SIM in the cargo area (driver side) does that impact VOC? I'd like to replace it with a Google Fi SIM for Pandora, TuneIn etc. With Fi I only pay for usage, but I don't want to do anything that may mess up VOC
 

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What about replacing the SIM? If I swap the SIM in the cargo area (driver side) does that impact VOC? I'd like to replace it with a Google Fi SIM for Pandora, TuneIn etc. With Fi I only pay for usage, but I don't want to do anything that may mess up VOC
Anything other than AT&T isn't "officially" supported, but there are plenty of resources out there. The SIM you (as a user) can replace, has no effect on how VOC works. It's a separate SIM embedded in the vehicle.
 

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Keep in mind, if you want to, you can add your own compatible SIM for the data plan. You don't have to use the AT&T one that comes preinstalled in the car.

It might be worth investigating if there are financial benefits to using a data only SIM provided by your cellphone carrier. There may be good bundle pricing.

I use Google Fi's unlimited plan. All of their plans allow you up to 5 data only SIM cards at no additional fee other than the cost of the data used, which on my unlimited plan is already fully paid for, so it costs me nothing to add data to the car.

I currently have the VOC that came with my car, but honestly unless I get some steep discount, I can't see myself paying for a renewal.

The only features I use are remote start and car locator, and I don't use them often. At $200 per year, I'd be paying something like $20 per use, which is kind of ridiculous. All of the app based remote features really ought to be included for free.
 
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