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Location: Cincinnati, OH, USA

Re: Optional ConnectedDrive services no longer available in store

Wed Apr 07, 2021 7:25 am

alohart wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 2:44 pm
After I complained about being able to use the 10-year ConnectedDrive services subscriptions that were included in the purchase price of our 2014 i3 for less than 8 years due to BMW not providing a reasonable upgrade path to a 4G telematics module, I received this boiler-plate reply:

"Due to a phasing out of the 3G network by cellular carriers, ConnectedDrive services can no longer be supported starting February 2022 for select vehicles. The decision to phase out 3G network technology was made at the discretion of the respective cellular carriers and lies beyond the control of BMW.

We sincerely apologize that we are unable to continue to offer those services to you in your current BMW. If you have any further questions or feedback, please contact BMW Customer Relations at 1-800-831-1117."

So by February, 2022, I and all other early U.S. 3G i3 owners will lose all Internet connectivity to their i3's so won't be able to use the BMW Connected or My BMW app to monitor charging, send navigation destinations to our i3's, remotely lock or unlock our doors, etc. and won't be able to subscribe to real-time traffic information or other ConnectedDrive services. I realize that I had none of these capabilities in any previous vehicle, but I now value this connectivity. Sad :(
Funny that I also sent them an email yesterday complaining about the same and received the exact same reply, word for word. :D

It seems obvious that they do not have a clear plan for addressing this right now. But I am still hopeful that they will come up with something that would keep the owners happy (or at least not very unhappy), since most BMW models are affected by this problem, not only the i3. I hope they will come up with a similar solution as they did when going from 2G to 3G. We'll see...

Edit: BTW, I looked at my original paperwork when I bought the car, and the only place where I see the 10-year subscription is the Monroney sticker which has:
- BMW Assist eCall with a 10-year subscription
- BMW Remote Services includes Stolen Vehicle Recovery, Remote Door Unlock and My BMW Remote app (includes a 10-year subscription; requires BMW Navigation system)
2014 BMW i3 REx
2014 BMW i3 BEV - retired

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Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:03 pm

Re: Optional ConnectedDrive services no longer available in store

Wed Apr 07, 2021 8:51 pm

On the one hand I get that BMW is not on the hook for AT&T's network decisions, BUT...

On the other hand, BMW already upgraded the "internet-talky-box" on the i3 to work with 4G. Are they really saying they built the entire car in 2014 and can't figure out how to make the 2017 module talk to the 2014 vehicle? No, of course not. They're saying they don't want to. Which, also I can understand to some extent. From a purely business standpoint there's very little chance they'll make up the cost of upgrading every single car from the monthly subscription fees especially on a model year that's already 7 years old now.

But the stupid, short-sighted piece of this is that it could be so cheap for them to avoid this "problem"! What would it cost BMW to offer an upgrade to a 4g module? There aren't that many i3s out there and most owners probably don't care. They could charge something like "half price" on the upgrade to lower the take-rate and it would go a long way for showing goodwill to owners. Instead they're saying, "Nope, you're SOL. There's LITERALLY nothing we can do. AT&T shut off 3G. Our engineers have tried and they simply cannot come up with a way to get 4G into the i3. If a connected car is important to you, have you considered our new i3 with 4G?"

Oh well. I guess anytime I see a claim that BMW makes, I'll take it with a larger grain of salt and wonder what the fine print they've put in to make it untrue.

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Re: Optional ConnectedDrive services no longer available in store

Thu Apr 08, 2021 4:25 am

Are they really saying they built the entire car in 2014 and can't figure out how to make the 2017 module talk to the 2014 vehicle?
I think they are saying they don't want to spend the money. It's not rocket surgery :x

All the 'talk-box' is, is a cell modem like you'd use with a laptop. It has a power connection, an antenna connection. and an i-drive connection Easily replaceable - it lives in an easily accessible case under the rear seat, unplug the old box, plug in a new one. And with a precedence already set by BMW, as they offered customers with 2G modems the option to upgrade to 3G modems for free, or decline the upgrade and get a BMW credit toward purchasing BMW swag.

I'm with you - I want the upgrade available, even if I have to pay a portion of the cost.
Mark H.
2015 i3 Rex, Capparis White, Tera World, Technology & Driving Assistant, Parking Assistant, Harman Kardon Audio System, 19 inch 427 wheels, EVoInnovate EVSE

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