Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom are also igniting the 5G turbo in the car. In the future, BMW will be the first well-known partner to equip its vehicles with suitable 5G technology. In addition to a vehicle eSIM, a personal eSIM is also used.
It is not a particularly big secret that cars are increasingly being driven on the streets in a highly networked manner. SIM cards have been used in cars since the late 1990s. For the emergency call system eCall alone , new vehicles of the present have to be equipped with a cellular connection. However, extras such as live traffic data for the navigation systems installed in the cars or multimedia content are increasingly being brought into the car via mobile communications. And BMW is now heralding the next quantum leap together with Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone. Because for the first time, 5G is also coming into a car – and an additional, second eSIM at the same time.
VODAFONE BRINGS 5G TO THE BMW IX
BMW is the first premium manufacturer to equip its new BMW iX electric car with eSIM networking including 5G support from Vodafone. An existing multi-SIM contract can be expanded to include the Vodafone One Number Car option from the market launch of the new electric SUV for 5 euros per month. At Telekom, the MobilityConnect option costs 9.95 euros per month. This enables a so-called personal eSIM to be activated in the vehicle. Similar to a smartwatch, the iX becomes another networked device for customers. A one-time payment of 10 euros is required to activate the Personal eSIM.
In detail, this means: The BMW iX is not only equipped with four external antennas but also with a 5G WLAN hotspot ; available from the end of 2021. The small router receives the 5G cellular signal and converts it into a WLAN signal. Up to ten devices in the car can be connected to the 5G WiFi hotspot. This is ideal, for example, to be able to play videos in the second row of seats on smartphones or tablets while driving. Of course, it is also clear that the 5G experience can only actually be used where 5G is already available. Otherwise, there is a fallback to Vodafone’s already well-developed LTE network.
PREMIERE: IX WAS INITIALLY THE ONLY BMW WITH 5G
Of course, not only the personal e-SIM can benefit from the connection to the 5G network from Telekom or Vodafone, but also the vehicle e-SIM. A multiple antenna system specially developed for 5G forwards the radio signal directly to the vehicle’s infotainment system via an Ethernet connection. Initially, the new 5G car options from Telekom and Vodafone are only available for the BMW iX. An expansion to other BMW models such as the BMW i4 is firmly planned.
The booking of the new option can be started directly in the vehicle and completed using the My BMW app or the Telekom and Vodafone apps. The tariff options are available without a long term, so they can be canceled on a monthly basis. Practical: The Personal eSIM from Vodafone is linked to your personal BMW ID and can be transferred to compatible BMW models at any time. So if you are traveling in a 5G-capable BMW rental car, for example, you can use your BMW ID to temporarily use the 5G connection in the rented vehicle.