Timjohn
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 9:37 am

BMW Connnect Question

Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:44 am

OK I am waiting for delivery of my i3S and have a couple of simple questions regarding the BMW Connect app and a cell phone. I assume that to fully utilize this app out on the road, you need a data plan with your phone plan. That makes sense to me because the car has a built in SIM chip.

But what if you are connected to your WIFI at home? I assume that you can communicate with the car by this means. You see I don't have a data plan with my iPhone. Also lets say you park close to a public WIFI like Starbucks, can you communicate to the car this way.

Does it use bluetooth?

So if you don't have BMW connect, can you still use the blue tooth connection in the car to answer and make phone calls?

Just wondering....

robthebold
Posts: 110
Joined: Sat May 11, 2019 5:09 pm

Re: BMW Connnect Question

Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:54 am

The connecteddrive works over whatever kind of internet connection you want: mobile data, home wifi, public wifi. Connecteddrive is a subscription service, but you should get a starter subscription with a new (and maybe cpo) car. I find it considerably more useful with mobile data, making sure I locked the car, preconditioning it before leaving a building, etc.

Can you use the car audio system to make and receive calls on your phone with the two devices connected via Bluetooth? Yes, you don't need additional subscription for that.

alohart
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Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: BMW Connnect Question

Mon Dec 16, 2019 12:08 pm

I have a pay-as-I-go phone plan with very expensive cellular data which I rarely use. I have never found a need to use cellular data with the BMW Connected app because it just doesn't offer much functionality that requires constant use, IMHO. My home Internet plan includes many local WiFi hotspots, so my iPhone is frequently connected to the Internet while I'm out and about should I need to use BMW Connected.
Aloha,
Art

2014 BMW i3 Arravani Grey, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Parking Assist, DC Fast Charging, JuiceBox EVSE

Timjohn
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 9:37 am

Re: BMW Connnect Question

Mon Dec 16, 2019 12:38 pm

Thanks for the replies ... it answered my questions!

Timothy

eNate
Posts: 663
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:33 pm

Re: BMW Connnect Question

Mon Dec 16, 2019 1:39 pm

I think you're asking three separate questions:
Timjohn wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:44 am
I assume that to fully utilize this app out on the road, you need a data plan with your phone plan. That makes sense to me because the car has a built in SIM chip.
Like the above posters answered, whatever way your phone connects to the internet is fine (wifi, prepaid, pay-as-you-go, or monthly plan). Of course it'll need the BMW Connected app installed.

Your phone's internet connectoN is unrelated to your i3's internet connection (how the i3 communicates with BMW servers). That connection happens using the i3 SIM that you referenced, and the car's internal cellular modem.

So in other words, the phone and the i3 are each independent mobile devices with discrete data plans, that don't directly communicate nor share data. All communications happen through BMW servers as a middleman.

The i3 has a BMW data plan that initially is rolled into the purchase price. Later, it becomes a subscription service. My CPO came with two years of coverage included, after which it appears I'm on the hook for payment.
lets say you park close to a public WIFI like Starbucks, can you communicate to the car this way.
Your i3 can't use public wifi to connect to the internet.

You can of course connect your phone to Starbucks wifi to communicate with your car as described above.
can you still use the blue tooth connection in the car to answer and make phone calls?
Your i3 will connect with most Bluetooth phones -- even "dumb" flip-phones -- to make and receive calls. This is a function entirely separate from Connected Drive subscriptions,
wifi, or apps, and is an actual car to phone connecting that doesn't rely on any external services.
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alohart
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Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: BMW Connnect Question

Mon Dec 16, 2019 2:49 pm

eNate wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 1:39 pm
The i3 has a BMW data plan that initially is rolled into the purchase price. Later, it becomes a subscription service.
After AT&T sunsets its 3G cellular data service in just over 2 years, U.S. i3's will no longer be connected devices unless a 4G LTE cellular radio can be installed and its cost is reasonable enough (unlikely). i3's in other countries will face the same problem but on different dates.
Last edited by alohart on Mon Dec 16, 2019 8:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Aloha,
Art

2014 BMW i3 Arravani Grey, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Parking Assist, DC Fast Charging, JuiceBox EVSE

eNate
Posts: 663
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:33 pm

Re: BMW Connnect Question

Mon Dec 16, 2019 4:27 pm

My 2013 Audi still had a 2G (GAH!) modem as other models were being switched to 3G. That car pulled a lot of data because it had Google Earth imagery built in to the navigation layer, but it took a L O N G time to pull down the initial data files before it would work. Having real time Google Earth data served to point out the absurdity of map upgrades: I would get constantly updated imagery, but the overlaying map data was out of date from day one, showing freeway offramps where they no longer exited and missing roads where new ones had been built.

But I digress.

The benefit to being on the old 2G equipment was I was able to get a SIM from US Mobile and, for about $7 a month, keep my allroad connected outside of Audi's overpriced subscription service. That was a nice concession.

I wonder if BMW will have a similar workaround. Is the i3's SIM "baked in" to the modem, or is it a removable card as found on phones or my allroad?
Last edited by eNate on Mon Dec 16, 2019 4:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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vreihen
Posts: 303
Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:55 pm
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Re: BMW Connnect Question

Mon Dec 16, 2019 5:37 pm

alohart wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 2:49 pm
After AT&T sunsets its 3G cellular data service in just over 2 years, U.S. i3's will no longer be connected devices unless a 4G LTE cellular radio can be installed and its cost is reasonable enough (unlikely). I3's in other countries will face the same problem but on different dates.
Great...NOT! :roll: In case nobody here has ever looked at BMW's history with telematics obsolescence, North American customers were apparently given a couple hundred bucks on a gift card and told to enjoy their crippled iDrives when the 2G system was sunset.

Does the NBT EVO use 4G? I wouldn't mind dropping the coin for CarPlay and continued connectivity, but not if the NBT EVO also uses 3G.....
2015 BMW i3 BEV, Giga World, Tech and Driving Assistant packages, 15K miles

jadnashuanh
Posts: 5196
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: BMW Connnect Question

Mon Dec 16, 2019 5:39 pm

The i3's cellular modem is embedded...i.e., it's not a removable chip.
Jim DeBruycker
2014 i3 BEV, 2021 X5 45e
(The i3 will be sold soon, <17K-miles, interested?)

alohart
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Re: BMW Connnect Question

Mon Dec 16, 2019 9:06 pm

eNate wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 4:27 pm
Is the i3's SIM "baked in" to the modem, or is it a removable card as found on phones or my allroad?
Even if changing the SIM were possible, it wouldn’t matter; new 4G LTE hardware is required.
Aloha,
Art

2014 BMW i3 Arravani Grey, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Parking Assist, DC Fast Charging, JuiceBox EVSE

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