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MKH
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Location: Dallas

Re: BMW Connected drive 3G to 4G?

Thu Nov 05, 2020 12:15 pm

My understanding is that as long as what ever subscription you had at the time used/needed the cell connection to function, it qualified for the free com box update.
Mark H.
2015 i3 Rex, Capparis White, Tera World, Technology & Driving Assistant, Parking Assistant, Harman Kardon Audio System, 19 inch 427 wheels, EVoInnovate EVSE

alohart
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Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: BMW Connected drive 3G to 4G?

Thu Nov 05, 2020 1:28 pm

EvanstonI3 wrote:
Wed Nov 04, 2020 7:00 pm
MKH wrote:
Sun Nov 01, 2020 5:21 am
If you had a current active (paid) subscription, the upgrade, of course was free, or you could opt for the $200 cash gift card, or a $300 gift card for BMW swag. If you had a lapsed subscription, the cost for the combox swap (parts/labor/programming/activation) was being quoted at $1,000.
Do you have any insight into whether that had to be a full-blown full price subscription or could I just be on the $50/year plan and still benefit from this possible upgrade path (assuming they do it again for 3G users)
This is an important distinction. For our 2014 U.S. i3, 10-year subscriptions to Remote Services, Teleservice, Assist eCall, and eDrive Services were included in the car's purchase price, so they won't expire until 11/05/2024, well after AT&T's 3G service in the U.S. is terminated. I have chosen not to renew my subscriptions to Advanced Real-Time Traffic Information and ConnectedDrive Services and don't believe that I was ever subscribed to Concierge Services. The annual subscription cost for these 3 services totals $200 which is way more than their value to me. I hope that my active subscriptions are sufficient to qualify for a no-cost 4G telematics module upgrade.
Aloha,
Art

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

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MKH
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Location: Dallas

Re: BMW Connected drive 3G to 4G?

Thu Nov 05, 2020 2:03 pm

I hope that my active subscriptions are sufficient to qualify for a no-cost 4G telematics module upgrade.
As do a lot of us - let's hope with the 'new' upgrade BMW follows the same rules they did with the old one.
Mark H.
2015 i3 Rex, Capparis White, Tera World, Technology & Driving Assistant, Parking Assistant, Harman Kardon Audio System, 19 inch 427 wheels, EVoInnovate EVSE

EMRintheBimmer
Posts: 1
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Re: BMW Connected drive 3G to 4G?

Sat Dec 05, 2020 9:15 pm

I thought I would share my recent experience getting the TeleMatics Control Module replaced on my 2015 i3 Rex.
I purchased the car used from Carvana a few weeks ago and after days and days of trying to get the connected drive app working I filed a warranty claim. They approved and I went to the dealer to have it looked it.
BMW Dealership said the module was dead and they were going to replace it but had to order one and it would take a few days.
A day before my appointment the connected drive magically started working so at least I was able to see what it could do. I noticed the 3G logo in the corner of the screen and it would take at least 1-2 minutes to unlock the door from the app.
The dealership replaced the module and the radio for some reason.
I looked under the seat and the new TeleMatics module was made on Nov 27 2020.
I still have the 3G logo in the corner of the screen but the car seems to only take 20-30 seconds to unlock the door from the phone app now.
I asked if it was a 4G module but the sales rep had no idea and neither did the tech.
My old module part # was 84. 10 9 371 791-01 it was made Jan 28 2015
My new module part # is 84 - 10 - 6 - 836 - 777
The new module part number is compatible with some newer BMWs according to the parts page so maybe it is 4G?

The new Radio Cost was $480
The new module cost was $700
The backup battery in the module was $35
Labor was another $480
They had to replace and reprogram the TCB and do a Connected Drive refresh according to the labor breakdown.

I hope this helps.
Thanks
Erin

richs
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Re: BMW Connected drive 3G to 4G?

Sat Dec 05, 2020 11:38 pm

EMRintheBimmer wrote:
Sat Dec 05, 2020 9:15 pm
I still have the 3G logo in the corner of the screen but the car seems to only take 20-30 seconds to unlock the door from the phone app now.
I asked if it was a 4G module but the sales rep had no idea and neither did the tech.
Erin, thanks for sharing your experience. I have a 2017 i3, the last year which came with the older iDrive system, like your 2015. My iDrive screen also says "3G" in the corner, but remote lock/unlock/climatize from my phone app consistently takes about 20 seconds. I've read endless complaints here and elsewhere about how unreliable/slow/buggy ConnectedDrive is, but it's always just worked fine for me since I got the car 9 months ago. Maybe 2017 i3's came with 4G telematics from the factory? Who knows?

Your experience with asking BMW dealership service for technical details about the car is the same as mine--they know nothing about the i3 beyond how to run diagnostics software and swap out parts.

eNate
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Re: BMW Connected drive 3G to 4G?

Sun Dec 06, 2020 1:28 am

Just to put 3G vs. 4G in context, this is simply the frequency band / encoding technology used for the car (in this case) to communicate with the nearest cell phone tower.

Everything else -- cell phone to cell tower or wifi router, internet connection to some BMW server somewhere -- all that stuff is the same, and that's where the delay is occurring.

The tiny stream of data that commands the doors to unlock or climitazation to begin get to the car just as quickly regardless of what radio technology the car has installed.

There's even an argument to be made that a 3G signal may be more reliable than 4G in an area of sketchy coverage, far from a cell tower -- though it's also true a cell tower can support a greater number of simultaneous 4G users.

But realistically, in actual use in most instances, there should be no difference.
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alohart
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Re: BMW Connected drive 3G to 4G?

Sun Dec 06, 2020 11:47 am

EMRintheBimmer wrote:
Sat Dec 05, 2020 9:15 pm
I purchased the car used from Carvana a few weeks ago and after days and days of trying to get the connected drive app working I filed a warranty claim.
Many i3 owners have reported problems accessing various ConnectedDrive functions. Frequently, the software running on the telematics module has apparently hung. Rebooting the module by removing and replacing its fuse has resolved these problems, at least temporarily, for many. This might explain the problems you were experiencing, especially because your telematics module seems to have begun working correctly.
EMRintheBimmer wrote:
Sat Dec 05, 2020 9:15 pm
I still have the 3G logo in the corner of the screen but the car seems to only take 20-30 seconds to unlock the door from the phone app now.
Our 2014 i3 has the original 3G telematics module, so I'm not familiar with the logo displayed by the 4G module. It could be that the connection could be either 3G or 4G, maybe depending on the relative signal strengths. Or maybe the module defaults to 3G unless only 4G is available. As eNate wrote, the amount of data typically transmitted isn't high, so 4G might not be noticeably faster than 3G and might cost BMW more than 3G.
EMRintheBimmer wrote:
Sat Dec 05, 2020 9:15 pm
My new module part # is 84 - 10 - 6 - 836 - 777
The new module part number is compatible with some newer BMWs according to the parts page so maybe it is 4G?
RealOEM lists this telematics module as 4G.

84106836777
Telematics control unit
TCB US 4G

You might have gotten lucky to have a functional telematics module replaced unnecessarily. You won't need to be concerned about the end of AT&T's 3G service in a little over a year.
Aloha,
Art

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

richs
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Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2020 5:09 am

Re: BMW Connected drive 3G to 4G?

Mon Dec 07, 2020 1:59 pm

alohart wrote:
Sun Dec 06, 2020 11:47 am
84106836777
Telematics control unit
TCB US 4G
Ah, now we're getting somewhere. If a given i3 has the above part installed, it almost certainly already has 4G connectivity, regardless of what the iDrive screen says.

What is the easiest way for me to check if my 2017 i3 has the above part installed?

alohart
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Re: BMW Connected drive 3G to 4G?

Mon Dec 07, 2020 3:17 pm

richs wrote:
Mon Dec 07, 2020 1:59 pm
What is the easiest way for me to check if my 2017 i3 has the above part installed?
This seems to suggest that all U.S. i3's built after 7/2016 have a 4G telematics module. You could lift the rear seat cushions, get part number for your telematics module, and look on RealOEM to determine whether that part is 3G or 4G.
Aloha,
Art

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

symonray
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Re: BMW Connected drive 3G to 4G?

Mon Dec 07, 2020 5:08 pm

I am hoping Art is correct about this. I purchased a CPO 2017 i3 Rex (manufactured in November 2016) to replace my 2016 i3 Rex about a year ago, and the ConnectedDrive connection for my 2017 is much more stable and quick when I use the App to communicate with the vehicle. I had many ConnectedDrive communication problems with my 2016 and had to resort to pulling the fuse for the module several times over the years to get it to work again. I have had no such problems with my 2017.
Timothy Simonds
2017 BMW i3 Rex

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