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BMW Personal eSIM: Everything you need to know

BMW Personal eSIM is a pioneer in improving the connectivity experience for vehicles and people. We tell you what it is about

Carolina S.

March 23, 2023

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Innovation is one of the most important axes for automobile manufacturers. Surely, proof of this is the advances that have been made lately to increasingly improve the digital connectivity of vehicles and the assisted driving experience for users. Certainly, this is the case with the BMW Personal eSIM, which we will talk about in this post.

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What is the BMW Personal eSIM?

To explain, the Personal eSIM is the digital version of a conventional SIM card. This chip has been integrated into all vehicles in the BMW premium segment since 2016 so that drivers and their companions can enjoy a whole range of connectivity functions through BMW Connected Drive.

Unlike the physical removable SIM card, the eSIM is contained on a chip soldered into the vehicle’s communications system. To point out, it is not tied to a country, or a cellular provider, allowing the vehicle to support multiple countries and mobile operators with the same eSIM.

This is relevant since the eSIM virtual management system allows you to contract exclusive voice or data plans for vehicles, with any compatible service provider (in your country or abroad); and even add it to the current cellphone subscriptions, like any other connected device.

Personal eSIM and the BMW connectivity experience

BMW Connected Drive for clients / Photo:

Indeed, the BMW connectivity experience has many facets. It is enough to look at the BMW Connected Drive system to see that this feature is carefully designed to offer a unique experience.

In fact, here the BMW Personal eSIM gains special attention. Through its functionalities, users can get this package of digital services that facilitate the driving experience and connectivity within the vehicle.

What are the services offered by BMW Connected Drive?

Example of BMW Connected Drive Digital Services / Image:

In general, BMW Connected Drive offers a wide variety of functions that we can summarize in four essential components: 1. Remote services; 2. Personal assistance; 3. Real-time traffic information; and 4. Intelligent emergency calls.

Remote services

Through the BMW Connected Drive App, available on the App Store and Google Play, users can control their vehicle remotely. For example, they can find their vehicle in a large parking area; or check the windows and doors status, to confirm that everything is working correctly.

Personal assistance

The vehicle’s personal assistant has the function of answering common questions on a trip. For example, finding a restaurant, an address, or a parking area. The push of a button is all it takes to communicate with the BMW call center, with staff available 24/7.

Real-time traffic information

With this function, the user will have a traffic explorer that will help them plan a smooth trip. The system will be able to anticipate traffic jams on the road and propose alternative routes, so the user can reach their destination faster and quicker.

Smart emergency calls

Surely, a traffic accident can occur at any time. So, BMW has a range of devices that provide the highest possible security. This includes an automatic system for emergency calls that is responsible for seeking help in the shortest time.

Remote BMW Software Update

Vehicles with BMW 7 and 8 operating systems support remote software updates, so users can download it directly from the My BMW App; the Personal eSIM, or directly from the dashboard of the vehicle.

Important to realize, the BMW connectivity experience doesn’t end here. In fact, this is just one example of the many benefits that will shape the future of connected vehicles.

Advantages of eSIM for BMW

As a matter of fact, car connectivity is a key point in consumer purchasing decisions. Thanks to this feature, it’s possible to enjoy a wide range of functions and applications inside the vehicle, with the advantages offered by a Personal eSIM:

  • The eSIM offers high-speed internet
  • Shared connectivity between vehicles via BMW ID
  • BMW compatibility with the 5G network
  • The BMW becomes a WiFi hotspot
  • It is possible to link the eSIM to a cellphone contract
  • The eSIM connects to the external antennas of the BMW for better reception
  • The BMW becomes a smartphone on wheels. Recent BMW models have dual eSIM. Ease of use and management of the Personal eSIM

Disadvantages of eSIM for BMW

  • The availability of the eSIM depends on the country and the offer of the cellphone provider
  • The Personal eSIM contract is only valid with cellular providers authorized by BMW
  • Compatibility depends on the user’s cellular device, carrier, and vehicle.
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How to activate the BMW Personal eSIM?

For the BMW Personal eSIM to work properly, the user must previously have an active voice and data plan for the eSIM. Subsequently, the user must follow these simple steps:

Steps to activate the BMW Personal eSIM

  • Login to My BMW App or My BMW Web
    Choose one of these platforms to configure the Personal eSIM.
  • Go to the profile and look for the option: Services to third parties
    There you will find the Personal eSIM option and then click on Activate the eSIM.
  • Select the country and cellular network provider
    Enter your phone number (including country code) to activate the eSIM with your cellular network provider. Finally, click on the confirmation button.
  • From the My BMW App or in the vehicle
    Look for the option cellular devices / then Personal eSIM / activate driver recognition options, synchronize BMW ID, and Activate Personal eSIM. You will see a QR code that you must scan from your cellphone and follow the set-up steps.
  • Choose the configuration you want to activate
    For example, BMW Cloud tools and sync your BMW ID and click continue. The select settings will be applied immediately.
  • Finally, configure your cellphone
    You have the option of linking or not your smartphone with the Personal eSIM of the vehicle. If you activate it, your contacts will be synchronized and whenever you want you can deactivate the eSIM. And, that’s it!

How to get the eSIM for BMW?

To emphasize, the eSIM is already integrated into the vehicle’s communications system. However, for its activation, it’s necessary to have a voice and data plan with an internet and cellphone operator. Also, verify that the vehicle and the cellphone provider are compatible with the BMW Personal eSIM.

Therefore, it’s possible to activate the Personal eSIM directly from the My BMW App or on the My BMW Web portal. From there, the company ensures a safe download for the user and monitors the quality of this service with any of the available operators.

To enumerate, below we will share some providers that already have contract plans compatible with the BMW Personal eSIM:

Mobile providers compatible with the BMW Personal eSIM

1. T-Mobile Magenta Drive eSIM

With this postpaid plan, T-Mobile offers unlimited voice, data, and 5G WiFi hotspot service in the US (including Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico). Plus 5 GB for Canada eSIM and Mexico eSIM, for BMW vehicles equipped with Personal eSIM capability.

Models compatible with T-Mobile Magenta Drive eSIM

For now, Magenta Drive for BMW is available for iX and i4 vehicles from 2022 onwards equipped with Personal eSIM capability.

2. Vodafone OneNumber Car

Vodafone is another carrier that presented the smartphone contract compatible with the BMW iX Personal eSIM and the 5G network. Through a multi-SIM subscription, it is possible to add the Personal eSIM to the customer’s cellphone contract.

In detail, the eSIM is linked directly to the customer’s BMW ID and can be used in other compatible vehicles at no additional cost. This contract extension with Vodafone OneNumber Car would cost the user $5 USD per month.

How can we access Vodafone OneNumber Car?

Vodafone’s customers must have the following contract rate: GigaMobil, GigaMobil Young, Red, Smart, or Young (as of 2016).

What requirements must BMW meet to use Vodafone OneNumber Car?

  • Must have BMW iDrive 8
  • Personal eSIM with SA 6PA equipment
  • Teleservice SA 6AE.

3. Telekom Personal eSIM

Down the same road, Telekom has a proposal similar to that of Vodafone. It is available for BMW iX models, with the MobilityConnect option enabled, extending the cellphone contract, for $9.95 per month.

Of course, the 5G network makes premium connectivity possible. This has allowed these companies to create new information and entertainment applications, offering an improved connectivity experience; and superfast speed.

4. AT&T NumberSync for connected car

This plan is for owners of BMW i4, iX, and select 2023 BMW models (equipped with the BMW Personal eSIM). The plan syncs the phone number with your vehicle to use your data or make calls while traveling to the United States.

This plan costs $20 per month, plus taxes and additional fees. This value includes connection to the 5G network and unlimited WiFi in the car, within the US. The charge will appear on the cellphone bill for services contracted with AT&T.

5. Swisscom Multi Device Cars & Mobility for BMW

Keeping a similar proposition from previous providers, Swisscom offers the first 5G option for BMW vehicles in Switzerland.

The customer must have a Blue Mobile or NATEL Go contract and add Multi Device Cars & Mobility, for $10 per month. The service will remain as an extension to the existing contract with Swisscom, through the Personal eSIM.

BMW technological innovations for vehicles with iDrive 7 and 8

Last January, the BMW Group announced that it will remotely update 4.7 million vehicles that support iDrive 7 and 8. This update will bring new features, including:

  • Share the BMW digital key between iPhone and Android phones
  • Remote-controlled parking
  • A new cellular provider for Personal eSIM (AT&T), compatible with iDrive 8

Personal eSIM from BMW, the future of connected vehicles

By and large, eSIM technology represents an opportunity for vehicle manufacturers to stop buying and storing large amounts of plastic chips per country. And instead, use eSIM Cards compatible with multiple countries and providers.

The Personal eSIM contributes to road safety, thanks to its automatic activation to allow emergency calls that help save lives. Especially in countries where the vehicle emergency call system is mandatory.

Finally, for drivers and their companions, eSIM technology represents a key element in their purchasing decisions. All in all, this translates into multiple benefits to having a customized and unique cellular connectivity experience.

FAQs about the BMW Personal eSIM

What is the BMW Personal eSIM?

The BMW Personal eSIM is a chip that has been integrated into all BMW premium vehicles since 2016. It is not tied to a country or a cellular network provider; vehicles support multiple cellular providers and countries with the same eSIM.

How does the BMW eSIM work?

The eSIM is up and running once you set up a voice and data plan for the vehicle. This is done in the My BMW App, or by subscribing to the cellular carrier directly. Then follow the configuration steps on the cellphone and in the vehicle. And that’s it!

Which providers are compatible with the BMW eSIM?

Vodafone, AT&T, Telekom, T-Mobile, and Swisscom are examples of providers worldwide that already have plans compatible with the BMW Personal eSIM. For more information, it is recommended to visit the official websites of each company and country.

Features and benefits of the BMW Personal eSIM

The eSIM connects to the local network of the contracted operator. You have access to the 5G network. BMW becomes a smartphone. The eSIM connects to other vehicles with the BMW ID. And it has automatic and intuitive installation through the App.

What mobiles are compatible with the BMW Personal eSIM?

The eSIM is compatible with the latest generation smartphones. Therefore, you should check this information with your cell phone provider, as this information is continually updated. Also, you should verify the provider since not all of them support eSIM.