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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So,

I saw in the manual of my CPO 2017 S90 that there is a place in the trunk I can insert a SIM car in in order to use the wireless modem in the car.

Nice - I thought - my carrier does not charge for extra data-only sim cards, so I'll order an extra and pop it in the Volvo.

The SIM card hasn't arrived yet, but in preparation I was poking through the settings in the car and found the car modem menu, and to my surprise there was already an AT&T SIM card in there...

Did the previous owner just forget theirs in there, or does Volvo include some sort of SIM, and if so, how does that work? Is it complimentary? Bandwidth limited? What is the deal?

Appreciate any thoughts on the subject.
 

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In the USA, Volvo put in an AT&T SIM card good for a 3 month trial I believe. You can renew with AT&T at the end of the trial or put in your own GSM compatible SIM from T-Mobile or whomever.

Note that if you take out the SIM the car still has it's own separate communication (presumably an inaccessible SIM card?) that the Volvo On Call app uses (whether the car ignition is on or off) as I've tested that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
In the USA, Volvo put in an AT&T SIM card good for a 3 month trial I believe. You can renew with AT&T at the end of the trial or put in your own GSM compatible SIM from T-Mobile or whomever.

Note that if you take out the SIM the car still has it's own separate communication (presumably an inaccessible SIM card?) that the Volvo On Call app uses (whether the car ignition is on or off) as I've tested that.

All the better for them to spy on you with :/
 

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I wouldn't be surprised if VOC fine print terms (that everyone takes the time to read with their lawyer seated next to them) required spying as it's the epoch of "big data".

Does Volvo renew the 3 month trial with CPOs? I know the 3 month trial (or whatever the trial terms were) was for our new Volvo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I wouldn't be surprised if VOC fine print terms (that everyone takes the time to read with their lawyer seated next to them) required spying as it's the epoch of "big data".

Does Volvo renew the 3 month trial with CPOs? I know the 3 month trial (or whatever the trial terms were) was for our new Volvo.

No idea. No one mentioned it when I bought the car. I just stumbled across it in the Sensus menu and tit connected when I enabled it.

As far as spying goes, I have this sneaky theory that they use real world drivers to train Lane Assist.

You know how you have to have your hand on the wheel at all times? I wouldn't be surprised if it records all sensor input during the times the driver input differs from what the Lane Assist would have done on its own and then adds that to some sort of Machine Learning algorithm.
 

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I have this sneaky theory that they use real world drivers to train Lane Assist. ... to some sort of Machine Learning algorithm.
Yep
I just realized I was posting in the XC90 subforum, not the S90 subforum. ... I guess for this topic it doesn't matter though :p
No worries, with SPA we are all BORG, I mean, one Volvo . . .
 

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No idea. No one mentioned it when I bought the car. I just stumbled across it in the Sensus menu and tit connected when I enabled it.

As far as spying goes, I have this sneaky theory that they use real world drivers to train Lane Assist.

You know how you have to have your hand on the wheel at all times? I wouldn't be surprised if it records all sensor input during the times the driver input differs from what the Lane Assist would have done on its own and then adds that to some sort of Machine Learning algorithm.
I would love them to train the software this way. But no, the curve handling is still as basic as before. No change after software updates. :)
 

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my carrier does not charge for extra data-only sim cards, so I'll order an extra and pop it in the Volvo.
What carrier do you have that does this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
What carrier do you have that does this?
It's Google Fi. They are technically an MVNO but they are better than most MVNO's.

On your phone it dynamically switches between Tmobile, Sprint and US Cellular's networks depending on which one has the strongest signal. It requires a phone which is compatible with this switching feature though. These devices are reportedly supported:

LG G7 ThinQ
LG V35 ThinQ
LG V30
Moto X4 (Android One version)
Moto G6
Moto G7
Nexus 6
Nexus 5X
Nexus 6P
Pixel and Pixel XL
Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL
Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL
Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL
IPhone 5S and later (beta)

For any other device it just sticks permanently in Tmobile mode.

They will also do calls and SMS over Wi-Fi if available.

There are two plans, the regular plan in which you pay $20 per month for unlimited calls and SMS messages, and then pay $10 per gigabyte (prorated) for data. There is also cap above which you won't have to pay more. For individual plans it is 6GB, after that the remaining data is free for the month, but if you go way above it you may be throttled. This one is great if you are a modest data user.

They also just introduced an unlimited data plan for a flat monthly rate of $70. These costs go down per line as you add more lines. If you have 4 lines on the unlimited plan it costs only $45 per month per line.

I think you can request up to 5 data only SIM cards for tablets, cars, or whatever you want to stick them in, and pay only for the data you use with the regular plan, or nothing at all with the unlimited plan.

One cool feature is that you don't have to pay for data roaming internationally either. When you travel the data costs you the same amount as it does domestically.

You can check it out at fi.google.com.

I've had it for just over four years now, and I've been very happy with it. I know TMobile and Sprint don't have the best reputation for coverage (US Cellular doesn't operate any towers in my neck of the woods) but in my four years only once have I not had signal, and that was in the middle of nowhere, Coventry, CT. So I guess th e"picking the best of the carriers" strategy works pretty well.

Highly recommended.
 

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In the USA, Volvo put in an AT&T SIM card good for a 3 month trial I believe. You can renew with AT&T at the end of the trial or put in your own GSM compatible SIM from T-Mobile or whomever.

Note that if you take out the SIM the car still has it's own separate communication (presumably an inaccessible SIM card?) that the Volvo On Call app uses (whether the car ignition is on or off) as I've tested that.
Here’re the Volvo AT&T plans,


https://myvehicle.att.com/#/volvo/learn?country=US&language=en




Volvo for Life
 

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Thx!
One note is that the internet access provided by the user-accessible SIM card (as opposed to the VOC internet access that is not user-accessible) turns off at some point after the ignition is off. So if you need internet access for something like 24/7 remote camera monitoring or web uploading, then a separate hotspot is needed.
 

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What apps are not working for you now, with the inactive SIM card, that you wished worked? Spotify and weather and tune in all seem to work for me without any att plan and any other apps that I can think of off hand that I need are on my phone....I think a lot of people are paying att for apps that they can get for free (spotify and weather for example)


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What apps are not working for you now, with the inactive SIM card, that you wished worked? Spotify and weather and tune in all seem to work for me without any att plan and any other apps that I can think of off hand that I need are on my phone....I think a lot of people are paying att for apps that they can get for free (spotify and weather for example)


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I guess you are one of the lucky ones
I’ve tried your theory and nothing worked except the weather App from travel link


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I guess you are one of the lucky ones
I’ve tried your theory and nothing worked except the weather App from travel link


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Are you sure Spotify doesn’t work for you? A lot of Volvo owners on swedespeed have reported what I reported here.


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Are you sure Spotify doesn’t work for you? A lot of Volvo owners on swedespeed have reported what I reported here.


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100% sure

“Connection error“
Otherwise why would I want to pay $15 a month.


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Yep

No worries, with SPA we are all BORG, I mean, one Volvo . . .
Tesla does exactly that, Volvo does (currently anyway) not.

They did sneak in a new telemetry reporting system in the latest full update though. There's fine print and legalese if you go check the update notes. 😉
 

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100% sure

“Connection error“
Otherwise why would I want to pay $15 a month.


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Do you still have the original att card in the reader in the back?


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In the USA, Volvo put in an AT&T SIM card good for a 3 month trial I believe. You can renew with AT&T at the end of the trial or put in your own GSM compatible SIM from T-Mobile or whomever.

Note that if you take out the SIM the car still has it's own separate communication (presumably an inaccessible SIM card?) that the Volvo On Call app uses (whether the car ignition is on or off) as I've tested that.
There are two "SIM cards". A "P-SIM" which is the one in the slot, and a "T-SIM" (may be using the wrong letter there... I forget).

The non P-SIM is actually not a physical SIM card, at least in recent SPA models, it's a digital SIM bound to the VCM (Volvo communications module) to ensure On Call is always available.

The P-SIM is not locked to AT&T (although it is tuned for their preferred LTE bands), but any GSM SIM should work. You may need to adjust the APN settings in the center console after swapping SIMs, depending on what your new carrier requires.

Despite being a slightly slower/older LTE modem, it's actually quite good, and I generally prefer to use the hot-spot rather than my phone for data while in the car, especially if like me, they're pulling from the same data pool/plan. Especially in areas with poor coverage, remember the car's LTE antenna is larger and mounted outside the metal cage you're riding in. Generally leads to more stable performance IMHO. No doubt your phone will speed test faster in a modern high-coverage city, but as you go off the beaten path, I've had plenty of times where the car does better than my Galaxy S9+ or my girlfriend's iPhone 8.

Bonus facts: The VCM has its own independent battery, such that it can call emergency services after an accident, even if the main batteries/12V bus is disabled. The VCM also has its own independent speaker and microphone, hard-wired to the VCM, tucked just behind the digital dash. Again, to ensure communication in the event of an accident.

Bonus bonus fact: In newer SPA cars, the VCM is promoted to just below the CEM as the "electronic master" of the car. In 2018+ models, that OBD2 port to the left/under the steering wheel? It's connected to the VCM which acts as a buffer/firewall between that port and other car systems. It also ensures the encryption between VIDA and all the other car's systems. All updates pass through the VCM, even when done via VIDA. Also of note, I don't know why, but Volvo seems to update the VCM more than any other module. Finally, it's actually quite a competent little device, with both an industrial-grade LTE modem, and a full Arm-based Linux system driving things like Wi-Fi connectivity, and providing ethernet connectivity to the IHU (infotainment head end unit) for things like apps, traffic, map updates, etc.

That's all the VCM trivia for this week!! Tune in next week for another installment of "things I didn't really need to know about electrical sub-components of my car". 😁
 
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