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I was trying to find what features the sim card enables but couldn't find much. Anyone have any info on what the sim card allows and if its worth adding?
 

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I can tell you that I can no longer use many of my connected features because bmw turned off all support for 3g in their cars. If an esim is available now it may be upgradeable as 6g eventually comes out, etc. If you don't have the hardware for it now, you may not be upgradeable going forward.
 

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I can tell you that I can no longer use many of my connected features because bmw turned off all support for 3g in their cars. If an esim is available now it may be upgradeable as 6g eventually comes out, etc. If you don't have the hardware for it now, you may not be upgradeable going forward.
Many had that problem I remember, when the 3G was starting to close down. What year model do you have?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I can tell you that I can no longer use many of my connected features because bmw turned off all support for 3g in their cars. If an esim is available now it may be upgradeable as 6g eventually comes out, etc. If you don't have the hardware for it now, you may not be upgradeable going forward.
Ah so it may be needed to future proof the car and retain the connected features?
Also are there any details on the monthly/annual price?
 

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eSIM comes with a Hotspot as well. And it uses the large and powered external antennas on the roof of the car to get the signal, so if you are used to travel around in areas with weak cellular signal, then eSIM is a way to boost that reception a lot. And multiple people/devices can use the traffic, so you can share one large data plan across the family.

I am getting a problem lately where I drive up to a pack station and can not bring up the QR code on my phone to receive my package as the cell phone coverage has a hole exactly where that packstation is and it take a few minutes of waving the phone around before it get decent signal. If I had eSIM in my current car I would just open the app while still in/near the car and had instant connection. Same with occasional voice call dropouts while driving - signal strength of your tiny phone antenna inside the big metal box with bunch of electronics nearby is not amazing ;)
 

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I was trying to find what features the sim card enables but couldn't find much. Anyone have any info on what the sim card allows and if its worth adding?
I'm not sure whether the eSim option (it's not a card, it's a software that allows the car to connect to a broadband service provider, AT&T in the US, without a physical SIM card) enables specific features, other than the BMW Wifi Hot Spot. However, the whole suite of BMW Connected Drive (Maps including POI search and cloud-based routing, Intelligent personal assistant a.k.a. Hey BMW, Real time Traffic info, BMW online for weather, gas prices, news, on street parking, OTA maps and software updates) all require internet access, and they can either go through Bluetooth to your phone then through the MyBMW App to your 4G/5G service, or they can have their own "5G highway" through the eSim card and a separate Data Plan you have to purchase from said broadband provider. In my case, I don't have much of a choice, because my phone is paid for by the company, it is a business service so they don't have unlimited data, and they frown on my using excessive data on it - so I'll just subscribe to the 5G through the eSim, it is typically cheaper than an personal unlimited phone data plan; and powering the in-car Wifi with it allows my kids to use their Wifi-only smartphone and tablets without additional data plans, so it runs a lot cheaper for me. But if you already pay for unlimited data plans on several phones, and you are OK with the lower performance for the ConnectedDrive stuff as it goes through Bluetooth and your phone, then you don't need the eSim option. Do note that it is a lot more expensive than the US$300 BMW charges only for the option, because the option is useless without a data plan with the service provider.
 

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Also, @aigarius is correct, the eSim has access to the roof antenna, while your phone has to rely on its own antenna inside the car metal body, and with even possibly the added confinement of the Wireless charging box. So BMW is doing everything to give it's 5G connection big advantages vs. going through your phone and wireless data plan.

And note that in the US, AT&T announce they will stop supporting 3G as of February 2022, so you need to go to 4G as soon as possible - and 5G sooner rather than later.
 

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From what I have seen, Personal eSim option is nothing to do with BMW ConnectedDrive connectivity. Personal eSim is optional and is useful if someone uses it as wi-fi. There is another sim installed in the car for ConnectedDrive, software upgrades etc... BMW Group announcement from September this year talks about it. This announcement talks about IX but I think it applies to i4 also. BMW Group and Vodafone integrate 5G and personal eSIM networking into a vehicle for the first time.
see the paragraph "In addition to the standard integrated vehicle eSIM, an additional Personal eSIM will be integrated, as previously familiar from smart devices such as tablets or smartwatches. The mobile phone technology installed in the vehicle enables both eSIMs to be active with 5G simultaneously with the full range of services (Dual-SIM-Dual-Active). "
 

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From what I have seen, Personal eSim option is nothing to do with BMW ConnectedDrive connectivity. Personal eSim is optional and is useful if someone uses it as wi-fi. There is another sim installed in the car for ConnectedDrive, software upgrades etc... BMW Group announcement from September this year talks about it. This announcement talks about IX but I think it applies to i4 also. BMW Group and Vodafone integrate 5G and personal eSIM networking into a vehicle for the first time.
see the paragraph "In addition to the standard integrated vehicle eSIM, an additional Personal eSIM will be integrated, as previously familiar from smart devices such as tablets or smartwatches. The mobile phone technology installed in the vehicle enables both eSIMs to be active with 5G simultaneously with the full range of services (Dual-SIM-Dual-Active). "
Interesting. The US documentation don't mention anything about 2 eSims in the car. Hopefully you are correct, but it seems a bit too good to be true. I guess the proof will be whether we are asked to pay for 2 data plans, one for the BMW connected drive eSim and one for the personal eSim. I'll re-check with my BMW "genius" next time we talk.
 

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Interesting. The US documentation don't mention anything about 2 eSims in the car. Hopefully you are correct, but it seems a bit too good to be true. I guess the proof will be whether we are asked to pay for 2 data plans, one for the BMW connected drive eSim and one for the personal eSim. I'll re-check with my BMW "genius" next time we talk.
@MinhSATx I will be calling my CA also tomorrow to double check. I think the vehicle eSIM is no charge, bmw pays during the warranty period and when ConnectedDrive subscription is active. In my 2016 3 series ConnectedDrive stopped working after warranty period. But when I resubscribed to ConnectedDrive it started working again. That make me believe BMW pays for that SIM as part of the ConnectedDrive subscription. Personal eSim is optional and customer's choice. I could be wrong :).
 

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From what I have seen, Personal eSim option is nothing to do with BMW ConnectedDrive connectivity. Personal eSim is optional and is useful if someone uses it as wi-fi. There is another sim installed in the car for ConnectedDrive, software upgrades etc... BMW Group announcement from September this year talks about it. This announcement talks about IX but I think it applies to i4 also. BMW Group and Vodafone integrate 5G and personal eSIM networking into a vehicle for the first time.
see the paragraph "In addition to the standard integrated vehicle eSIM, an additional Personal eSIM will be integrated, as previously familiar from smart devices such as tablets or smartwatches. The mobile phone technology installed in the vehicle enables both eSIMs to be active with 5G simultaneously with the full range of services (Dual-SIM-Dual-Active). "
+your activated SIM is linked to your BMW account

if you get a rental with eSIM and you login with your account it will be automatically there

also your wife with her own SIM.
It’s for using with a multicard, same number like your normal phone


 

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Interesting. The US documentation don't mention anything about 2 eSims in the car. Hopefully you are correct, but it seems a bit too good to be true. I guess the proof will be whether we are asked to pay for 2 data plans, one for the BMW connected drive eSim and one for the personal eSim. I'll re-check with my BMW "genius" next time we talk.
The built-in BMW services (the long list you mentioned) are indeed routed through a built-in (e)SIM. You don't have to pay extra for its data usage, that's part of the costs you pay for those services, although you get the first three years for free when you buy an i4. BMW has a contract with a mobile data provider for that costs, which they can predict because they usage is limited to what the services can do.

You need an extra, personal eSIM if you want to connect a WiFi hotspot because you could be pumping GBs of data through it every day. It's pretty hard to do that with the built-in services. ;)

I'm not going to get it because the data packages are ridiculously expensive and stupidly slow. At least in the Netherlands. I'll just use my iPhone as a Personal Hotspot if my son want to watch videos on his iPad. Although I recently learned he gets sick if I drive too enthusiastically in my 435i Gran Coupe, while he is not looking outside. The acceleration of the i4 M50 will probably have an even worse effect. :sick:
 

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I took the Option!

To me that is a game changer and one of the best Options in the I4 and IX.
No other Car has 5G connectivity right now and having a 5G WIFI hotspot that is connected via the Car´s Antenna is going to be fantastic, but what really does it for me is the Phone functionality, where you can make and receive Phone calls from your Car without having your Phone connected.
I really dislike the whole Bluetooth Audio situation.
 

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I'm not going to get it because the data packages are ridiculously expensive and stupidly slow. At least in the Netherlands. I'll just use my iPhone as a Personal Hotspot if my son want to watch videos on his iPad.
That’s the old way

with personal eSIM you can activate a second/third sim of your existing phone contract, like an apple watch, using your existing data package for the hotspot and for using the i4 as a phone with your normal number without your iPhone needed
 

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I took the Option!

To me that is a game changer and one of the best Options in the I4 and IX.
No other Car has 5G connectivity right now and having a 5G WIFI hotspot that is connected via the Car´s Antenna is going to be fantastic, but what really does it for me is the Phone functionality, where you can make and receive Phone calls from your Car without having your Phone connected.
I really dislike the whole Bluetooth Audio situation.
@simons700 , thank you for the reminder. I also hate the Bluetooth Audio situation, and I had forgotten that the 5G e-sim made the CAR a super-duper phone. I actually think it's only a matter of time until we get an OTA that allows us to buy apps for the "Car-as-a-phone" that play on the iDrive screen (probably with a BMW surcharge for "validation/adaptation", but that's OK). Looking forward to it as well. I had ordered the personal eSim, I had my doubts but no more. Thanks again!
 

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I can tell you that I can no longer use many of my connected features because bmw turned off all support for 3g in their cars. If an esim is available now it may be upgradeable as 6g eventually comes out, etc. If you don't have the hardware for it now, you may not be upgradeable going forward.
you have any idea how old 3G cell tech is?? we've seen several advancements since then... can't support all legacy protocols/spectrums forever. Regarding 5G eSIM, my guess is the carrier would need to support it... similar to how the handle wearables (i.e. Apple Watch). AT&T calls it NumberSync.
 

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you have any idea how old 3G cell tech is?? we've seen several advancements since then... can't support all legacy protocols/spectrums forever. Regarding 5G eSIM, my guess is the carrier would need to support it... similar to how the handle wearables (i.e. Apple Watch). AT&T calls it NumberSync.
Google search says the the first 3G network was deployed in 2001 (logical, because it was formally documented in a 2000 spec), so 21 years ago. AT&T has announced it will stop supporting it as of February 2022.
 
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