BMW Group and Vodafone integrate 5G and personal eSIM networking into a vehicle for the first time.

Munich / Düsseldorf. With the BMW iX, the BMW Group
is the first premium manufacturer to integrate the 5G mobile radio
standard into a globally available production vehicle and Vodafone is
offering the first 5G mobile radio contract for such a vehicle.

An existing multi-SIM contract can be extended with the Vodafone
One Number Car option to activate the Personal eSIM in the vehicle.
This makes the vehicle another interconnected device for customers,
like a smartwatch. In addition to the high bandwidth and low latency
of 5G, they also benefit from significantly improved telephone
quality* by the use of four external aerials and a 5G WiFi hotspot*
for up to ten devices in the vehicle. The activated Personal eSIM is
linked directly to the customer’s BMW ID and can be smoothly
transferred to other eSIM-capable vehicles, including the
corresponding functions.

Mobility is entering the 5G era for the first
The new 5G mobile radio standard will
significantly increase the data transmission options compared to the
previous standard. This will create new, data-based applications and
increase the quality of existing applications many times over. For
mobility, this means a comprehensive extension of data-based services
in the fields of entertainment and infotainment, automated and
assisted driving and, above all, road safety. The 5G standard is a
decisive accelerator for future innovations in mobility and other
fields of application.

Vodafone and the BMW Group use Personal eSIM and Vodafone One Number
Car to connect the vehicle and the customer with mobile radio based on
5G for the first time. The vehicle becomes an integrated part of the
networked ecosystem of the customer.

Personal eSIM, real ‘Dual-SIM-Dual-Active’ and WLAN
The BMW iX is the technology flagship of the BMW
Group and represents a real world first in networking. 5G and eSIM are
being used in a production vehicle here for the first time.
addition to the standard integrated vehicle eSIM, an additional
Personal eSIM will be integrated, as previously familiar from smart
devices such as tablets or smartwatches. The mobile phone technology
installed in the vehicle enables both eSIMs to be active with 5G
simultaneously with the full range of services (Dual-SIM-Dual-Active).
The BMW iX multi-aerial system, specially developed for 5G, routes the
radio signal from the performance-optimised multi-band aerials
directly to the vehicle’s infotainment system via a Gigabit Ethernet
connection. In future, all passengers will benefit from the improved
connection quality and increased data throughput, because a WLAN
hotspot* can be activated in the vehicle via the Personal eSIM,
allowing up to ten end devices to surf or stream at 5G speed. At the
same time, it is no longer necessary to book an additional service or
a separate mobile phone rate for the vehicle for a hotspot.

“BMW has always been a pioneer in the networking of mobility. We
already installed the first SIM card in a vehicle back in 1997. With
the 5G Personal eSIM, we are now integrating a completely new level of
connectivity for our customers in the car in cooperation with
Vodafone.” says Stephan Durach, Senior Vice President of Connected
Company Development and Operations BMW Group

Vodafone introduces the first 5G mobile radio contract for
Vodafone is introducing the first smartphone rate
for the car. To be able to use all benefits such as a 5G-optimised
connection, improved connection quality and the use of digital
services with a high-speed connection in the car, no additional
contract needs to be concluded. When the BMW iX is available on the
market, Vodafone customers can extend their mobile phone contract with
the Vodafone One Number Car option to include the BMW iX and later
other enabled BMW models for only 5 euros per month.

“Together with BMW, we are bringing the first 5G car on the road. The
multi-aerial system integrates fast network and digital services even
better into the vehicle. For the customer in the car, this means even
higher mobile phone quality, fewer annoying phone call interruptions
and more digital variety to make even better use of the driving
time,” says Michael Reinartz, Head of Innovations at Vodafone Germany.

The booking can be easily started in the vehicle and the customer is
guided step-by-step by the My BMW App or the My Vodafone App to the
conclusion of the contract. When you book the rate option, the eSIM is
activated for the vehicle for a one-time fee of 10 euros. After that,
Vodafone One Number Car costs € 5 a month. There is no permanent
commitment for the customer. The rate option can be cancelled on a
monthly basis. Families can thus e.g. book the digital services at
short notice for the next holiday trip by car. The mobile phone rate
for cars will also be available in other BMW models next year. In
addition to the BMW iX, the BMW i4 will also be 5G capable and have
the Personal eSIM functions.

Personal eSIM can be transferred to other enabled
Once the Personal eSIM has been activated via
Vodafone with the Vodafone One Number Car rate, the data is not only
stored in the vehicle, but also with the BMW ID. Customers can thus
transfer the settings of the Personal eSIM to other enabled vehicles
by activating the BMW ID. Activation of the Personal eSIM is carried
out automatically with login with the BMW ID and is immediately
available. Customers thus turn every 5G-capable BMW (rental or loan
vehicle) into their connected device.

* The telephone and WiFi hotspot function will presumably be
available by the end of 2021