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Internet in the cars can be expensive

Last week’s debut of Chrysler’s mobile Internet service set to appear in 2009 vehicles was muted by the harsh reality of just how much this service will cost you.

Since this is ultimately a cellular service, despite its emphasis on WiFi, the pricing will be complex: “The U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the router module is $449,” Chrysler says. “Dealer installation is estimated at approximately $35-50. Autonet Mobile offers wireless Internet account service at $29 a month, available in 12-, 24- and 36-month service plans. There is a one-time $35 service activation fee. Customer support assistance for hardware and service is available.”

While it is argued that some subscribers will use their car as a home router once it’s parked in the garage, good luck selling that one through.

Needless to say, the pricing on this will have to come down – a lot – before it becomes widespread. Even wrapping this up into the purchase price of the car leaves the owner with a hefty monthly fee.

That said, the price will come down – and the availability of in-car Internet access and all the audio and video baubles that come along with it will only proliferate over time.

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