San Francisco — Autonet mobile is now selling its Wi-Fi hotspot for the car through more than 3,300 Advance Auto Parts stores, further popularizing the device that is now offered in some Chrysler and Cadillac cars and through a limited number of car stereo specialists.
Autonet also said it is testing its hotspot at Best Buy, but offered no further details on that arrangement.
Beginning today the $399 hot spot that allows anyone in the car to access YouTube, Facebook, Google, etc, will be available at both Advance Auto Parts stores and online at www.advanceautoparts.com, marking the first time the device has been offered by a nationwide retailer.
The device also carries a $29 monthly service charge and requires professional installation. To provide installation, consumers will be directed to InstallerNet’s nationwide network of installing retailers, Autonet Mobile said.
The hotspot is a wireless router that creates an EV-DO cellular connection and converts it to Wi-Fi so many passengers in the car can access the Internet service for laptops, gaming machines, net books, iPod touch, etc.
Autonet claims its product manages the EV-DO connection down to the packet layer, so the system holds on to packets and redistributes them to prevent dropped calls.
The device has been available through Chrysler car dealers for Jeep and Dodge vehicles since last August under the name Uconnect Web for $499 plus service fees. Autonet claims “thousands” have been sold.
This month, it also became available at Cadillac dealerships for the Cadillac CTS Sports sedan at $499 plus a $29 monthly service charge.
Autonet Mobile also sells the device through about 300 car stereo retailers. .