Upgrading your Ather 450 to 4G LTE

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Hey folks,

We’ve just shared an update regarding upgrading your Ather 450 to 4G. Creating this thread for any queries and discussions on the upgrade.

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Already ordered Ather 450 can I get an upgrade to 4g or what? In few months Bsnl will also become complete 4g network

The deployment of the 4G modules on existing 450s would take about 4-5 months, so it’s not possible to upgrade now. Your scooter will however, come with a BSNL SIM fitted, which will work for the near future.

Are you looking at swapping the Vodafone sim with BSNL sim? for time being??

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Update: While we’re working quickly on finding the best solution, our team is still exploring if swapping to BSNL SIMs temporarily is feasible and we’ll get back to you on this shortly.

The team did explore this as an option but it did not turn out to be feasible:

  1. Since the dashboard on the Ather 450 is IP rated, and is fully integrated, change the SIM would mean that the change has to be done at our vendor’s location, to avoid issues with warranty. (Opening the dash to change the SIM might negate the water-proof sealing). The cost involved in this process, along with the time taken for the swap, would result in similar costs and timelines compared the 4G upgrade module.

  2. Addition of this module is a significant tech upgrade as well, bumping up the network to 4G LTE. This will enable much faster data transfer speeds and latency, leading to a much smoother experience when using navigation and the dashboard. 3G is anyway on its way out, and even if we do swap SIMs, it’s only a temporary solution, and the 4G module would be a significant upside in itself.

Hence we’ll be offering the 4G upgrade module as a one time upgrade, that’ll serve you 450 for many years.

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I’m surprised how Ather didn’t plan for this eventuality before hand. Anyway, thanks for coming up with an alternative. Few questions -

  • Will the 4G module come with the ability to swap SIMs?
  • Will it have the ability to connect to Wifi ?
  • Would this require swapping out the touchscreen module as well? in that case - keeping my fingers crossed for this - will we get an option to upgrade to the android dashboard like 450x?
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AFAIK it will be an M2M SIM and we will not be able to swap SIMs like we do on phones. This is just like how it is at present. Ather may be able to change to another 4G operator later if needed, but as customers we can’t do it I guess.

Wifi and Cellular are separate modules and this change is only related to Cellular

To change to a 4G sim module, definitely the screen has to be disassembled, but need not be changed altogether. Along with 4G upgrade, f Ather gives us an option to upgrade to the Android dashboard and Bluetooth module, I’d take it happily but I don’t know if the hardware on our current 450 permits that.

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I had a question regarding 450x: If in future, JIO pulls the plug on 4G and upgrades to say 5G or something like 10G, then in that scenario do you need massive hardware changes?

In this scenario, if you provide Wifi access then it will be better. It does not affect any specific operator.

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I am really disappointed by the fact that Ather did not plan of this transition in advance and did not even have a binding agreement with Vodafone to ensure that their customers do not suffer in case this very scenario plays out. Specially even after knowing how dependent their hardware on 450s are on Vodafone’s 3G network (cant swap SIMs).

So what this would mean for Ather 450 customers is that their scooters would just degrade in value, features and experience overnight significantly for at least the next 5 months (more guessing there would be a queue for upgrades).

All this and more unless the customer decides to shell out more and upgrade their 450s to use the 4G hardware, feels pretty much inevitable and forced after reading this piece of news.

And its funny that they still bring up subscription plans and talk about discounts knowing that the dashboard would pretty much lose all smarts without good connectivity. We all know how bad the experience even with 3G can get in cities like Bangalore, imagine using 2G now.

Sad day for Ather 450 customers.

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It is told the 3g coverage will drop down to 2g in Chennai and Bangalore, my ather is in Visakhapatnam, will that too fall back to 2g?

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@abhishek.balaji
Just to add to this, I don’t know if I can speak for everyone but, at least a few of us are on the fence about paying to upgrade to a 4G LTE modem, especially if this is the process that our dashboard will go through, then it could end up costing quite a bit.

I just wanted to suggest, if The 4G LTE upgrade was bundled with a Bluetooth or an upgrade to the dash on the 450X, more people would be interested in paying for the upgrade As opposed to just a 4G modem. Especially for a lot of new Ather owners.

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Right now, we have information only about Chennai and Bangalore. Vodafone should come out with an official announcement soon.

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Our 450 is like a Carrier-locked 3G phone with wheels. Wherever there is 3G signals from the carrier (Vodafone in our case) it’ll latch on to it. In the absence of 3g, It’ll work on whatever the hardware permits. So our scooter will switch to 2G in places where there is no 3G. As long as Vishakhapatnam has Vodafone 3G coverage, it’ll work as usual.

But I do understand your problem…to upgrade you’ve to get it to Bengaluru or Chennai. But I guess you (or other like you) were prepared for such scenarios when you decided to own it in a place Ather’s presence isn’t there. But a consolation for you is that by the time the upgrades are offered, Hyderabad facility should be up and running which is closer compared to Bengaluru or Chennai.

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Update: While we’re working quickly on finding the best solution, our team is still exploring if swapping to BSNL SIMs temporarily is feasible and we’ll get back to you on this shortly.

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@abhishek.balaji Are you expecting the customers to pay for the upgrade ?

I’ve spoken to the customer support. And they said we will have to pay for it. Never knew ather would seriously charge their customers for their lookouts. :expressionless: tomorrow when bsnl shuts down, we might have to upgrade again by paying them. I’m disappointed.

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This is a totally unacceptable proposition. People have paid for the subscriptions and now its Ather’s responsibility to make the data available. SInce it was err on their part which is causing deficiency in service, they should recall the vehicles and upgrade as is the normal process in the auto world.

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Wait what? I think you got it wrong , you have to pay extra to get the 4G modem on your dashboard and not for the BSNL 3G connection.

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Don’t know why they used 3G instead of 4G on premium Scooter ? It’s not like 4G was rolling out when 450 was launched.Never heard of premium product using antique hardware when launched. And more over this is automotive which has life expectancy of nearly 5 to 7 year’s. So it should have been launched with 4G. Now this is simply additional cost for 450 which is already expensive product to begin with.

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In current scenario 4G services itself is in Maturity stage. Most of the operators switches to 5G in 1 or 2 years. Do u think 4g upgrades to dashboard is worth?