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ClaveMan

[Can't] Dial 911 with Ford 4G LTE modem and the AT&T network

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So.. Some newer Ford’s have
4G LTE modem and the AT&T network

This appears to be a remote one-way “to the vehicle” communication tool and Wifi Hot spot?

I have had two test drives in the last week of a 2017 Escape and Fusion. Both salesmen at both dealers bragged about how Ford ("unlike OnStar") doesn’t charge a monthly fee for you to call 911. “Sync can do it for you”. I ask “will it work without pairing my phone?”. Salesman “No”. (I walk off laughing to myself about how I can just dial 911 on my own without pairing.)

So I have this perfectly capable AT&T LTE modem in my new Fusion and it can’t make an emergency call? I know for a fact with GM I can stop paying for the OnStar and they will still answer a 911 call (from anywhere in the US at least).

So what is up with that?

From Forbes.com

For the past eight years, Ford has been notable in the vehicle connectivity space for its emphasis on so-called "brought-in" solutions using its SYNC platform. Until now, SYNC has always relied on drivers connecting their phones via either Bluetooth or USB to provide services like 911 Assist and vehicle health reports. Starting in spring 2016, Ford is rolling out a new built-in cellular-connected telematics system dubbed SYNC Connect starting with the 2017 Escape.

Nov 17, 2015
FORBES: Ford Steps Into The Vehicle Telematics Space With SYNC Connect
http://www.forbes.com/sites/samabuelsamid/2015/11/17/ford-steps-into-the-vehicle-telematics-space-with-sync-connect/#2875b2186fac

Edited by ClaveMan

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Simple - Ford uses your phone to call 911 in an accident even if you're disabled. This works with or without a built-in modem and there is no extra charge like Onstar. There is no wi-fi hot spot available.

 

The reason there are no data charges for the built-in modem is that it's only used for 2-way communication with the mobile app to send remote start, lock and unlock commands or to get the current position. The vehicle will report current status, fuel level, etc. as well as send alerts for low tire pressure or low battery. I think this is essentially done using text messages but either way the data usage is so small that it doesn't require a separate plan. A wi-fi hot spot that allowed user data would require an additional data plan.

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Thanks akirby.

 

To summarize. A $40,000 Fusion Platinum parked in Portland WA can be remote started from Portland Maine form my smart phone (with FordPass). I can probably check the gas tank level and tire pressure in addition to knowing if the car is running. But CANT make a 911 emergency call without my mobile phone being in the car.

 

Yes you pay OnStar, but it works without a smart phone. More importantly it is a satellite phone. Every year I take my kids camping in the Ozarks. No bars signal on the smartphone. If my air bags deploy OnStar will know my precise position and call their emergency center. OnStar 911 will work whether you pay or not BTW

 

It's not a deal breaker for me, but good grief.

Edited by ClaveMan

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More importantly it is a satellite phone. Every year I take my kids camping in the Ozarks. No bars signal on the smartphone. If my air bags deploy OnStar will know my precise position and call their emergency center. OnStar 911 will work whether you pay or not BTW

 

Not true. Onstar uses cellular networks just like sync. It may know that your airbags deployed and your location but without cell service it can't call 911.

 

Given that almost everyone has a cell phone that they're already paying for, Ford's solution works exactly the same but with no additional costs. I don't see the problem.

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Tell it to the 500,000 Onstar customers who lost service in 2008 when analog cellular service was shut down and their cars with analog equipment could not be updated for digital service, thus rendering their Onstar equipment useless. There was a class action lawsuit

 

 

OnStar Service works using cellular or other wireless phone networks in the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii and Canada, as well as with analaog the Global Positioning System ('GPS') satellite network. OnStar services are not available everywhere, particularly in enclosed or remote areas.

Edited by drolds1

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