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.