BMW has been at the forefront of in-car connectivity for years and that comes with a cost sometimes. Older cars use older technology and since they are still being used today, a drastic change in connectivity support will be affecting them. According to multiple forum posts found online, BMW is currently notifying owners of older models that their 3G-connected cars will no longer have support or connectivity starting with 2022.
That means that if you have an older BMW model that uses ConnectedDrive for things like traffic info or any other sort of access to the internet through various apps, you will no longer be able to use those features from February 2022 onward. It is important to note that this is not BMW’s decision whatsoever. This is happening because mobile network carriers are starting to phase out 3G antennas and support for these frequencies.
As we’re getting closer to 5G and 4G is widely spread, mobile network carriers are dropping 3G all around the country in a process also known as ‘3G sunset’. According to e-mails from BMW “The decision to phase out 3G network technology was made at the discretion of the respective cellular carriers and lies beyond the control of BMW.” The company also highlights the services that will no longer work which include BMW Assist eCall, Advanced Real‑Time Traffic Information, Remote Services and BMW Online.
BMW isn’t the only car maker facing this issue either. Since this is a problem related to the carrier, other cars and models will be affected too, from a wide range of manufacturers. BMW says that it is exploring all possibilities right now to fix the issue but no additional information has been provided as to what they are looking into exactly. One potential solution could be to upgrade the cars with 4G sim-cards but in that case the on-board hardware might not be up to par. We’ll keep you posted if we get any update on the situation.