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ZTE Mobley Hotspot Plugs Into Car Data Port

Article Comments  6  

Sep 8, 2015, 11:18 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

AT&T today announced the ZTE Mobley, a mobile hotspot for cars that connects via the OBD-II port. The Mobley is compatible with most cars model year 1996 and later and turns on automatically whenever the car is on. It can support up to five connected devices in the car via WiFi. The Mobley costs $100 with no commitment, and is also available for $0 down with a two-year commitment. AT&T says it can be added to Mobile Share Value plans for a $10 monthly access charge. Data Connect plans are available, too, which cost $20 for 1GB of LTE 4G data or $30 for 3GB. The Mobley is a simple hotspot and doesn't offer advanced support functions, such as roadside assistance, like those available via the Verizon Hum.

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Sep 8, 2015, 12:01 PM


I am very curious as to why any non-diagnostic device would plug into the OBD-II port on any car. It almost seems like there is some kind of data collection going on here that the consumer is not being told about. They could have easily made this device plug into the on-board 12-volt outlets. I would personally never plug anything except a scanner into my car's OBD-II port, that's what it's meant for, and that *should* be it's only function.

I understand the devices released by insurance companies, that monitor your vehicle acceleration, usage, top speed, etc and help you get lower rates, however this is just a very simple hotspot device, with, as you stated, no special features/functions at all. I would never consider a device like...
The only reason I could think for it is if it has some kind of gps tracking capability in case your car is stolen....

It does sound kind of interesting though why they are chosing the OBD port....
The same thing was thought about having a hotspot attached to your phone...the possibility of massive date being used to the cloud. I am thinking of the hardware solution more than the software solution. And the software solution might give an enterpr...

Sep 8, 2015, 12:56 PM

The new mobile hotspots

The OBD-2 port is a good use because it has power and usually isn't used for anything else and has backward compatibility to 1996. Many older cars don't have USB port built in and most only have one 12 volt outlet so using it with a LTE router means that you can't charge your devices or use it for anything else.

There have been other companies that offer similar solutions via the OBD2 port, Verizon sells a device (Delphi Connect) and T-Mobile is highlighting an Indiegogo device (Vinli) and it makes me wonder why it took so long for someone to think this up. It is easily transferred between vehicles which also makes it more useful. Now if they can only make one that handles LTE for all major carriers...
I very much disagree that this is a good use for that port. All of the car's systems can be monitored through this port. This means that 3rd party data collection, which is prevalent in our society today, may be happening here. Nobody is to say tha...
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