The BMW iX is becoming the first premium car to integrate the 5G mobile radio standard on board, thanks to a collaboration with two network operators: Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone. According to two press releases issued today, the BMW iX will be available with 5G via personal eSIM networking. This way, customers can simply add a SIM number to their contract with either Deutsche Telekom or Vodafone and have access to on-board internet in their upcoming electric premium SUV.

By doing so, the vehicle becomes just another interconnected device for customers, like a smartwatch. The customers can then benefit from the high bandwidth and low latency of 5G. The vehicle provides significantly improved telephone quality and enables a 5G WLAN hotspot for up to ten devices in the vehicle. The activated Personal eSIM is linked directly to the BMW ID of the customer. It can be used in any enabled vehicle including the corresponding functions.

With this new option, customers can extend their existing mobile phone contract to their car for the first time, thanks to this innovative approach. Using 5G in production cars has long been touted as a necessity if we ever want to achieve real autonomous driving, so this is definitely a step in the right direction. 5G and eSIM are being used in a production vehicle here for the first time. 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-optimized 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.

Once the Personal eSIM has been activated using the options offered either by Vodafone or Deutsche Telekom, the personal driver settings are not only stored in the car, 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 in the car is carried out automatically with login with the BMW ID and is immediately available. Customers thus turn every 5G-capable BMW (also for rental or loan vehicle) into their interconnected device.