T-Mobile hits US roads with BMW in first 5G-connected car
Written by: Richard Hook | Published:

German automobile manufacturer BMW has teamed up with T-Mobile to launch the first 5G-connected cars available in the United States.

As part of the collaboration, all future BMW iX and i4 models will feature unlimited voice calling and unlimited 5G data on T-Mobile’s network, in a move which the companies claim will make all BMW’s “a moving Wi-Fi hotspot”.

The T-Mobile Magenta Drive for BMW features an eSIM, similar to an LTE-connected smartwatch, as part of a long-term agreement to bring unlimited voice calling and unlimited 5G data to BMW vehicles.

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According to T-Mobile, users will be able to connect up to 10 devices at a time to a car at a time with higher throughput for 5G in-car data and Wi-Fi via advanced antenna systems.

Callie Field, president of T-Mobile’s Business Group, said: “In 2019 we lit up the first nationwide 5G network, and today we mark another milestone that builds on our 5G leadership.

“In another 5G first, we’ve delivered America’s first 5G connected cars, and we’re honoured to do it together with BMW, who entrust their vehicles’ connectivity to T-Mobile. Nearly half the traffic on T-Mobile’s network is 5G, powering everything from cloud-based services and work from anywhere — to console-quality gaming and HD movie downloads. Truth… T-Mobile 5G has awakened fresh possibilities! That growing list of 5G possibilities extends to the car as it becomes a more critical extension of home and work.”

T-Mobile and BMW claim the launch is the first “realised step” towards creating a Vehicle as a Service (VaaS) model. Competitors Audi and General Motors have previously announced collaborations with Verizon and AT&T respectively with a view to creating VaaS models.

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