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      10-13-2019, 05:31 AM   #1
jedi-knight83
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Com box vs Telecommunication box... what's the difference.

So I've had my late 2012 F31 330d for a couple of weeks now... LOVE it.

Just trying to get to the bottom of a couple of niggles / miss understandings with the car.

As far as I can tell I've got the NBT head unit. I also have BT audio streaming and can connect 2 phones.

In the boot I have this... which I gather is the Telecommunications Box.



I also have the phone cradle prep in the arm rest.

Build codes for my cars multimedia are as follows:

S609A Navigation System Professional
S612A BMW Assist
S615A Expanded BMW Online Information
S616A BMW Online
S654A DAB Tuner
S676A HiFi Speaker System
S698A AreaCode 2 For DVD
S6AAA BMW TeleServices
S6ABA Control For Teleservices
S6NLA Connection Bluetooth USB Devices Incl
S6WAA Instrument Cluster Expanded Equipment

So a few questions...

1. What is this telecommunications box and how does it differ to the Com Box that most people seem to have?

2. My handsfree call quality is not great. Pretty distorted and cuts in and out. Is the phone signal getting routed through this box rather than just using the phones natural signal? And if so... how can I disable that!

3. I don't seem to have connected drive. I tried setting the iPhone app up and it says it can't connect to my car. "The embedded cellular technology is not supported". Is this normal?


Thank you in advance.
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Last edited by jedi-knight83; 10-14-2019 at 06:54 PM..
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      10-14-2019, 07:39 AM   #2
jedi-knight83
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If no one here knows... where would be better to ask?
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      10-18-2019, 04:27 AM   #3
jedi-knight83
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anyone?
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      10-18-2019, 08:38 AM   #4
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Do you have nav? If so you won't have a combox as the SIM card and bluetooth is built into the headunit itself (so basically all the functionality of a combox built-in). Without nav you'll have one as it is not built in and requires the box under the boot floor.

I don't know much about this stuff so apologies if anything I say isn't true (but of course no one else has helped either so I'll try my best!) but the combox has the SIM card for BMW emergency calling and also for the weather app/other functionality on iDrive as well as bluetooth functionality for calls, music etc.

As for telecommunication box, I'm not sure about that one I've not really heard of it, only the combox. Maybe they're the same thing, not sure.

The call quality problem. From what I gather it won't be routed through this, only the bluetooth is. And I believe the car's microphone is connected to the combox too to handle calls through it. So I cannot see why it would be a little iffy. Could be a fault, could be your phone's bluetooth I couldn't tell you. Maybe try another phone etc.

Again unsure of why you don't have ConnectedDrive. Unless it's a fault it may just need activating via going to see BMW or ringing up a helpline or something.

Sorry I couldn't be more helpful but it may point you in the right direction and/or wake someone else up on here who knows what they're talking about

Last edited by BMTom; 10-18-2019 at 09:14 AM..
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      10-18-2019, 10:16 AM   #5
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I bet combox is a condensed way of saying (tele)com(munications) box. Connections made are made through the phone, all bluetooth does is to show the phone menu on the screen and route the audio through the car speakers and microphone. A 2012 car uses 2G, which is no longer supported by BMW, so BMW teleservices won't work. https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/b...ed-telematics/

iPhone connectivity is always hit or miss. Apple operates in a vacuum, they never worry about how their gear will interface with other technology. Sometimes when bugs are found and enough people complain about it they'll fix them, but not always by a long shot.
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      10-18-2019, 10:22 AM   #6
jedi-knight83
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Thanks for the replies.

So I will never get connected drive to work as the sim in that black box is now out of date?

Makes sense.

And in terms of usability of my Nav / Bluetooth etc, basically there is no difference between what I have, and the silver "Combox"
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      10-18-2019, 10:48 AM   #7
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The combox and TCB are two different things and which one you have depends on which head unit you have. My 2014 car originally had HU_ENTRYNAV (without navigation) and that has a TCB fitted. I may be wrong here but I believe NBT will have a TCB whereas cars with CIC would have a combox.

The combox is responsible for Bluetooth and the USB connection, so the Bluetooth antenna and USB port will be directly connected to the combox. However on cars with a TCB, the Bluetooth antenna and USB port will be directly wired to the head unit itself. The combox is a pain because if you have one and want to retrofit NBT it means either pulling the wires up through the car or just buying new USB wires and a new BT aerial to connect up.

The TCB is what contains the SIM and Internet connectivity. I'm not sure the 2G thing matters here in the UK as we still have 2G networks up and running here so in theory it should still be working. I'm not sure about that side of things though.
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