Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Streaming apps and LTE geo-location

richyrich

Member
Apr 13, 2018
772
658
Ottawa
Has anyone else had odd issues with apps and the content selection seeming to be from another location - I'm guessing US? I've now seen it with Netflix - show we have been watching at home is not there at all and DAZN - logged in via the browser and practically none of the sports I get at home like Premier League are there.

It feels to me like the geo-location on the LTE connection is showing me as US or somewhere else, not Canada. I never had this issue in my M3.
 

Tony_YYZ

Tezler Guru
Apr 7, 2016
2,009
2,152
Caledon, ON Canada
It’s possible that the media features are passed through the VPN to the US with the rest of the cars communications.

Just a guess. I know in my Model 3 it’s using an AT&T SIM and roaming here on a Canadian network. I’m not sure if they local carrier SIMs now but when it first came to Canada Tesla support confirmed this to me.
 

richyrich

Member
Apr 13, 2018
772
658
Ottawa
It’s possible that the media features are passed through the VPN to the US with the rest of the cars communications.

Yeah thanks but this never happened with my 3 though. I wonder if it's possible my connection/LTE is mis-coded as US or something. I guess I'll see if I can find a "What's my location" website to hit.
 

Shaz

Member
Jul 24, 2017
146
100
Vaughan, Ontario, Canada
Noticed this as well, when looking through Netflix catalog it is the U.S catalog that's being shown.
I am watching DC's Titans at home Netflix but when I try to watch it in the car it's not available in the car's Netflix.
Not sure why that is.
 

richyrich

Member
Apr 13, 2018
772
658
Ottawa
Noticed this as well, when looking through Netflix catalog it is the U.S catalog that's being shown.
I am watching DC's Titans at home Netflix but when I try to watch it in the car it's not available in the car's Netflix.
Not sure why that is.

Great - glad to know it’s not just me! When I go to this website in the car it says Country USA (based on IP address) so I’m thinking that’s the problem - My Location. At home it’s Canada.

Think I’ll reach out to Tesla and see what’s up.
 

wayner

Active Member
Oct 29, 2014
3,833
1,392
Toronto
In the past when I loaded up Google News on my Model S browser it gave me local news from cities in the US. So it did think I was in the US. That didn't matter so much in the past, but with services like Netflix, etc then it will matter.
 

Oveeus

Member
Jun 4, 2019
216
1,136
Vancouver, BC
I think it has something to do with the SIMs being used on the fleet.

I believe Tesla just worked out an arrangement with only a handful of carriers for data access. IIRC, all CDN Teslas use the same carrier as American-spec'd Teslas. So effectively, our cars are always in roaming mode. That's similar to the case for many other in-car internet like Honda, Land Rover, Jaguar... etc. They are all AT&T based even for Canadians. It might sound strange, but the cost for carriers to roam on others is pennies per gigabyte of data. That's why carriers don't want you to use local SIMs as roaming is highly profitable.

And it matters because the way roaming works is that they piggyback on the local carrier's frequencies/capacities while routing all the data back to the original carrier of the SIM. It's not a VPN per se, it's just the way traffics are routed. And it comes with some effects... for example, if you were to roam on your US/Canadian carrier in China, you aren't limited by the China Firewall because all traffics are routed back to the original carrier before it reaches the wider web of the internet.
 

richyrich

Member
Apr 13, 2018
772
658
Ottawa
Huh, so it looks like they changed how this works between the Model 3 (which gave me Canadian Netflix on LTE) and Model Y.

Curious what other people see for Country at My Location in the in-car browser. It's the first hit if you Google "my location".

EDIT: Just chatted and got this sorta-helpful-but-not reply:
Localized content is determined by the internet source. So if the sim card is North American, you will get North America media language and content.
This is not Tesla, this is how streaming media companies determine their content.
If you are in a region other than their sim card's country and would like to view Tesla theater in that region/country you could use a WiFi connection from that region/country


I think there's an issue here somewhere, for example if all in-car media is "North American" then we should have Hulu. This isn't a hill to die on for me but something is up, and my Model 3 didn't work this way.
 
Last edited:

GtiMart

Member
Nov 13, 2019
999
842
Quebec City, Canada
It's funny, this trick might not work anymore. I show as in Toronto with your test page on wifi (I'm in Quebec city, Bell) and as in Edmonton (Telus) on LTE. I think they fixed this. Last winter when I was using Netflix more I was seen as in USA on lte...

Oh, and that comment about the North America language... Very funny. I'm in North America and we speak French here :)

Edit: my sim card was not changed since last year. There has been a change in the way my us-made car is seen in Canada on lte... The message you got wasn't very useful...
 

richyrich

Member
Apr 13, 2018
772
658
Ottawa
It's funny, this trick might not work anymore. I show as in Toronto with your test page on wifi (I'm in Quebec city, Bell) and as in Edmonton (Telus) on LTE. I think they fixed this. Last winter when I was using Netflix more I was seen as in USA on lte...

Oh, and that comment about the North America language... Very funny. I'm in North America and we speak French here :)

Edit: my sim card was not changed since last year. There has been a change in the way my us-made car is seen in Canada on lte... The message you got wasn't very useful...

Thanks. I think my Model 3 used to show up as Alberta IIRC. Guess I'm stuck with a US geo-location. Mostly sucks because I can't watch soccer. I suppose there must be some pros to it somewhere.

I'd be interested to know what location other Model Y owners see. This seems like a bit of a screwup by Tesla to me. I might still try a service ticket at some point.

And yes, I have no idea what "the North American language" is either!
 

richyrich

Member
Apr 13, 2018
772
658
Ottawa
For anyone else who hits this - after the chat on the website where they basically blamed whatever I was streaming and asked a lot of questions about whether I had bought in the US and imported it to Canada it seems like they did then fix something because a couple of days later I retried and I now show as Canada. I’d say my car/LTE was definitely mis-coded in some way.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: srlawren

techMology

Member
Aug 3, 2013
310
56
Toronto
TL;DR: Your car has an AT&T SIM card and all traffic is routed through the US. Anything that uses IP address based location identification will think you're in the US. If it's trying to use GPS (more accurate), the car will prompt you (via the browser) if you want to allow it.

Here's what's happening.

Telsa uses Cisco Jasper to manage wireless connectivity to the fleet. AT&T is a Cisco Jasper partner. There is huge incentive for Tesla to simplify this via someone like Jasper vs. setting up individual agreements with carriers globally. Jasper handles it, and there are some other ancillary B2B benefits (security, economies of scale, etc...).

What this means is that for the US and Canada (at least) we get AT&T SIM cards. In most of Europe, Telefonica is also a Jasper partner, and I seem to recall some European cars having Telefonica SIMs.

All data is routed via an APN as configured by the Jasper partner, so for Canada and the US, it's AT&T's m2m (machine to machine) APN. Your car is roaming on various Canadian networks (I've seen TELUS, Bell, and Rogers when I had access to my diagnostic screen). AT&T has roaming agreements with all of them.

You may have noticed it takes a while for car to grab an LTE signal once it has been lost. This is because it's searching for its home PLMN first (AT&T). It will scan all available frequencies (hardware dependent) looking for it, and if it doesn't find AT&T, it will try to attach to the strongest wireless network it finds first.

Infrequently, your car will decide it should try to re-attach to your home network (AT&T) and it will drop service and look for it. This is why Canadian cars seem to have connectivity issues when US cars do not. I'm convinced (like a lot of Tesla software) there is an opportunity to optimize this a lot, but it's super low priority for Tesla and not in their wheel house, so they don't.

Speedtest servers will often try to do a geo lookup on the IP address to determine location. It's frequently inaccurate. That's why some folks are seeing TELUS in Edmonton (I've seen that) as a provider. Accurate geo lookups cost money, and the free sources are often stale and wrong.

The comment that "if the sim card is North American, you will get North America media language and content." is a misinterpretation or vast oversimplification of what's happening at best. It doesn't work that way.
 

richyrich

Member
Apr 13, 2018
772
658
Ottawa
TL;DR: Your car has an AT&T SIM card and all traffic is routed through the US. Anything that uses IP address based location identification will think you're in the US. If it's trying to use GPS (more accurate), the car will prompt you (via the browser) if you want to allow it.

Nope, I don't think the problem for me was this simple - all media in my car - Netflix AND websites - were seeing my IP address location as in the US. I had a Model 3 for two years before my Model Y and NEVER had an issue with it thinking in was in the US on any of these - I used Netflix and DAZN many many times and never had it think I wasn't in Canada, ever.

Yes they all have a US SIM card (this is not new and was the same in the M3) but I suspect there is also configuration in the car for which geographical network exit point the car should route traffic through and appear to be "from" in IP address terms. This is now fixed and doing EXACTLY what I was doing before shows my IP address location as Alberta instead of California. It was mis-configured, they fixed it.
 

AdamT24

New Member
Apr 2, 2021
2
1
PNW
One solution as a temporary fix (for DAZN). Connect your car’s WiFi to your phone. Go to the site and game you want to watch. As soon as it’s streaming you can disconnect from your phone. It’ll use the Tesla connection but the website will still play the match. If you click a link on the webpage it will then default to thinking it’s in the US.
 
  • Like
Reactions: corlaandstan

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top