DRK002
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2018 6:05 pm

Using a separate data sim card to enable connected drive and i3 app.

Sun Apr 29, 2018 7:35 pm

HI everyone. I m a prospective buyer of an i3 and where I live CPO vehicles are not available as the authorized BMW dealer only brings down the REX version whereas a number of 2014 and 2015 BEVs used in UK are imported and used alongside the REX version in local roads. As a matter of fact, the BMW connected drive is not available for BEVs not sourced from third parties AFAIK.

I understand that the Telematic communication box located under the rear seat of the car contains the HSPA modem and SIM card that enables the BMW i3 to communicate with rest of the world.

My question is whether it is possible to use a data sim of my own (I pay the subscription) with this to use the BMW I remote app.

I’m not really interested in the navigation as google maps with phone/tab can be used always if needed. But I’d like to use the functions like preconditioning and other features available via ‘i remote app’ which are not accessible for me due to the lack of service infrastructure here. Also that would enable accessing the online software updates that would otherwise require dealer visits.

I wish at least there were wifi connectivity and Bluetooth which would enable me to use the "i remote" from by home and office because my home garage and office parking lot both gets wifi signal.

Thank you !

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

Re: Using a separate data sim card to enable connected drive and i3 app.

Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:31 pm

The parts list does not show a sim card...I think that it is built into the box, so I don't think you can add your own but I'm not sure. To perform some of the remote control functions, I don't think you'd be able to talk to the car unless you were able to decode the messaging systems nor be able to try to integrate a WiFi connection to it. Maybe if you had a lot more info, but I don't think it would be easy!

FWIW, when using the app, you don't talk directly to the car...you send info to the BMW server, then it talks to the car over the cellular network, which would require them to know the contact number...IOW, you don't talk directly to the car, so trying to break them out of the loop would be tough without a lot more knowledge of the protocols.

The system is designed to be able to talk with a smartphone via BT, but not over WiFi, which limits your range considerably.
Jim DeBruycker
2014 i3 BEV, 2021 X5 45e
(The i3 will be sold soon, <17K-miles, interested?)

DRK002
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2018 6:05 pm

Re: Using a separate data sim card to enable connected drive and i3 app.

Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:12 am

jadnashuanh wrote:The parts list does not show a sim card...I think that it is built into the box, so I don't think you can add your own but I'm not sure. To perform some of the remote control functions, I don't think you'd be able to talk to the car unless you were able to decode the messaging systems nor be able to try to integrate a WiFi connection to it. Maybe if you had a lot more info, but I don't think it would be easy!

FWIW, when using the app, you don't talk directly to the car...you send info to the BMW server, then it talks to the car over the cellular network, which would require them to know the contact number...IOW, you don't talk directly to the car, so trying to break them out of the loop would be tough without a lot more knowledge of the protocols.

The system is designed to be able to talk with a smartphone via BT, but not over WiFi, which limits your range considerably.

I know. Was just wandering maybe if someone in this forum might know of a hack around or perhaps can think of a hack around it. But since the Telematic communication box is going to be idling in the absence of connected drive support, I don’t mind hacking into it as it looks like there’s nothing much that can go wrong there. If it has separate HSPA modem and whether wifi module can be integrated seems worth looking into. This can be plausible If the CAN data bus that connects the Telematic communication box to rest of the car doesn’t care about ‘how’ it connects to BMW server. But that is a very big IF and like you said, even if that connectivity issue works out, in the software side I’m not sure how it can be done unless you change something major by reprogramming the car.

Anyway my thinking was 'what if someone in this forum has figured a way around'. :)

Polet
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2021 5:04 pm

Re: Using a separate data sim card to enable connected drive and i3 app.

Tue Oct 12, 2021 5:07 pm

So how is it? have you managed to swap the sim or found out any other ways to use the app?

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