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      05-13-2019, 01:31 AM   #1
f30vince
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Question F30 3G to 4G ComBox Upgrade Question

So I have a 2014 F30 328i xDrive with a build date of 3/2014. It's equipped with the following options:

* S609A- Navigation System Professional
* S655A- Satellite Tuner
* S6ACA- Intelligent Emergency Call
* S6AKA- Connected Drive Services
* S6AMA- RealTime Traffic Information
* S6APA- Remote Services
* S6NRA- Apps
* S6NSA- Convenience Phone Expanded Smartphone


I've heard that my car has the 3G GSM combox, but I've heard that AT&T (who provides the service for the combox) is discontinuing, or has already discontinued, 3G GSM service. I've also heard that you can have the 3G GSM combox "upgraded" to the 4G LTE combox so that you can continue using BMW Connected Drive Services. I'd like to continue being able to use these services. I was wondering if anyone has had the upgrade done, and if my car (with the options listed above and built in 3/2014) is eligible for the 4G LTE combox upgrade. I had some questions:

1.) What is involved in the combox upgrade and what is the cost of doing so?
2.) I've heard that there are occasional Bluetooth issues after the upgrade. Has anyone had any such issues?
3.) Will the 4-year, 50k-mile extended service plan from BMW cover the upgrade? I bought the car BMW CPO and bought the extended service plan in addition to the 4-year, 50k plan that came with the car. So far, every time I've taken the car for anything, I haven't had to pay for anything to be done to it.
4.) Is it also possible to have the dealer add Apple CarPlay when they upgrade the combox, or is it more involved than just coding it? My mom, who drives the car the most, has an iPhone 7, and I'm sure she'd love if she had it.

Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks!

-Vince
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      05-13-2019, 06:23 AM   #2
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Are you planning on keeping the car past February 2022, as that's when ATT will shut off 3G? If not, then there's no reason to install a new combox.
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      05-14-2019, 01:42 AM   #3
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Definite interested! Didn’t know this could be done. Please keep the thread updated if you try.
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      05-14-2019, 10:22 AM   #4
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BMW offered the OEM Combox 4G upgrade years ago -your dealer has all the details.
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      05-15-2019, 08:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f30vince View Post
So I have a 2014 F30 328i xDrive with a build date of 3/2014. It's equipped with the following options:

* S609A- Navigation System Professional
* S655A- Satellite Tuner
* S6ACA- Intelligent Emergency Call
* S6AKA- Connected Drive Services
* S6AMA- RealTime Traffic Information
* S6APA- Remote Services
* S6NRA- Apps
* S6NSA- Convenience Phone Expanded Smartphone


I've heard that my car has the 3G GSM combox, but I've heard that AT&T (who provides the service for the combox) is discontinuing, or has already discontinued, 3G GSM service. I've also heard that you can have the 3G GSM combox "upgraded" to the 4G LTE combox so that you can continue using BMW Connected Drive Services. I'd like to continue being able to use these services. I was wondering if anyone has had the upgrade done, and if my car (with the options listed above and built in 3/2014) is eligible for the 4G LTE combox upgrade. I had some questions:

1.) What is involved in the combox upgrade and what is the cost of doing so?
2.) I've heard that there are occasional Bluetooth issues after the upgrade. Has anyone had any such issues?
3.) Will the 4-year, 50k-mile extended service plan from BMW cover the upgrade? I bought the car BMW CPO and bought the extended service plan in addition to the 4-year, 50k plan that came with the car. So far, every time I've taken the car for anything, I haven't had to pay for anything to be done to it.
4.) Is it also possible to have the dealer add Apple CarPlay when they upgrade the combox, or is it more involved than just coding it? My mom, who drives the car the most, has an iPhone 7, and I'm sure she'd love if she had it.

Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks!

-Vince
1) Talk to your Dealer

2) There are plenty of reports of occasional Bluetooth failures. How can you attribute them to the upgrade?

3) No

4) No - at minimum an NBT EVO unit is needed. You only have an NBT.
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      05-19-2019, 02:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IK6SPEED View Post
1) Talk to your Dealer

2) There are plenty of reports of occasional Bluetooth failures. How can you attribute them to the upgrade?

3) No

4) No - at minimum an NBT EVO unit is needed. You only have an NBT.
I've read about the failures after the upgrade... in Canada they've apparently already shut down 3G and offered the ComBox upgrade. And I know some 2012-13 models that used 2G (believe it or not) could be upgraded to 4G LTE. I guess we won't be adding CarPlay. It doesn't matter *too* much to my mom, as she just uses Bluetooth for phone calls. On that subject, how exactly do you use Siri EyesFree? I know you can do it, but when pressing and holding the voice button, it doesn't activate Siri. I'm sure my mom would love to be able to ask Siri questions and dictate texts safely and legally while on the road.

Do you know how much the upgrade would cost for the 4G LTE ComBox?
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      05-19-2019, 02:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f30vince View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by IK6SPEED View Post
1) Talk to your Dealer

2) There are plenty of reports of occasional Bluetooth failures. How can you attribute them to the upgrade?

3) No

4) No - at minimum an NBT EVO unit is needed. You only have an NBT.
Do you know how much the upgrade would cost for the 4G LTE ComBox?
#1

Quote:
Originally Posted by f30vince View Post

I've read about the failures after the upgrade
I've read many more. threads about failure without the upgrade

Again, how do you attribute failures to the upgrade or not.
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      05-19-2019, 02:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ooshnoo View Post
Are you planning on keeping the car past February 2022, as that's when ATT will shut off 3G? If not, then there's no reason to install a new combox.
We'll probably be keeping the car for awhile. I know Verizon is shutting down 3G at the end of the year, and isn't allowing 3G or non-VoLTE (Voice Over LTE) device activations any longer. Not sure about T-Mobile or AT&T.

We also have a (Jeep) Grand Cherokee, and it has 3G connectivity in the "U-Connect" system, although it uses Sprint's network, and they're ALSO shutting down 3G at the end of the year. Oddly enough, they offered me a subscription that popped up on the screen the other day (I don't currently pay for the services in my Jeep, only my F30). I know I won't be able to do my Grand Cherokee, but if they ever had the update, I'd probably do it since I get a lot of use out of it.

On both cars, the 3G is used for OTA (Over-The-Air) firmware updates, and if 3G is shut down, there will be no more OTA updates.
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      05-19-2019, 02:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Encanto View Post
BMW offered the OEM Combox 4G upgrade years ago -your dealer has all the details.
Thanks, it's due for a brake service soon, I'll talk to them when I take it in.
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      05-19-2019, 02:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LongRuf View Post
Definite interested! Didnít know this could be done. Please keep the thread updated if you try.
I assume it would HAVE to be offered because people actually do pay for the services (such as us) because they find them useful.
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      05-19-2019, 02:14 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f30vince View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by ooshnoo View Post
Are you planning on keeping the car past February 2022, as that's when ATT will shut off 3G? If not, then there's no reason to install a new combox.
We'll probably be keeping the car for awhile. I know Verizon is shutting down 3G at the end of the year, and isn't allowing 3G or non-VoLTE (Voice Over LTE) device activations any longer. Not sure about T-Mobile or AT&T.

We also have a (Jeep) Grand Cherokee, and it has 3G connectivity in the "U-Connect" system, although it uses Sprint's network, and they're ALSO shutting down 3G at the end of the year. Oddly enough, they offered me a subscription that popped up on the screen the other day (I don't currently pay for the services in my Jeep, only my F30). I know I won't be able to do my Grand Cherokee, but if they ever had the update, I'd probably do it since I get a lot of use out of it.

On both cars, the 3G is used for OTA (Over-The-Air) firmware updates, and if 3G is shut down, there will be no more OTA updates.
BMW does not use Verizon, Sprint or TMobile so what they do has zero effect on BMW Connected Drive and its features.
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      02-11-2020, 01:48 PM   #12
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Thread resurrection

I know this thread has been answered, but I have a 2015 F36 with NBT and the 3G combox. I asked my SA on my last oil change about the 4G upgrade, he gave me the number to the dealership's in-house BMW Genius, who then gave me a national number (844-443-6487) to try. None of them knew anything about the 4G combox upgrade. Could anyone who has actually upgraded the NBT combox from 3G to 4G using official channels in the US chime in with more information? (Or if anyone knows a source of US VIN matched NBT-EVO and 4G comboxes with ConnectedDrive services active I may have to go that route). Thanks.

Edit: after reading more, it looks like the combox upgrades were offered for 2G comboxes after notice was given. I will wait to see what happens once notice is given that 3G will be shut-down. Going to keep the subscription active in the meantime in case they make a similar retrofit available.

Last edited by fcx56; 02-11-2020 at 02:21 PM..
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      02-12-2020, 10:38 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fcx56 View Post
I know this thread has been answered, but I have a 2015 F36 with NBT and the 3G combox. I asked my SA on my last oil change about the 4G upgrade, he gave me the number to the dealership's in-house BMW Genius, who then gave me a national number (844-443-6487) to try. None of them knew anything about the 4G combox upgrade. Could anyone who has actually upgraded the NBT combox from 3G to 4G using official channels in the US chime in with more information? (Or if anyone knows a source of US VIN matched NBT-EVO and 4G comboxes with ConnectedDrive services active I may have to go that route). Thanks.

Edit: after reading more, it looks like the combox upgrades were offered for 2G comboxes after notice was given. I will wait to see what happens once notice is given that 3G will be shut-down. Going to keep the subscription active in the meantime in case they make a similar retrofit available.
BMW would never change a combox or TCB for an ATM.

We've had a few customers who purchased brand new ATMs and somehow convinced BMW to move the subscription over but expect a lot of runaround.
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      02-13-2020, 07:07 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fcx56 View Post
I know this thread has been answered, but I have a 2015 F36 with NBT and the 3G combox. I asked my SA on my last oil change about the 4G upgrade, he gave me the number to the dealership's in-house BMW Genius, who then gave me a national number (844-443-6487) to try. None of them knew anything about the 4G combox upgrade. Could anyone who has actually upgraded the NBT combox from 3G to 4G using official channels in the US chime in with more information? (Or if anyone knows a source of US VIN matched NBT-EVO and 4G comboxes with ConnectedDrive services active I may have to go that route). Thanks.

Edit: after reading more, it looks like the combox upgrades were offered for 2G comboxes after notice was given. I will wait to see what happens once notice is given that 3G will be shut-down. Going to keep the subscription active in the meantime in case they make a similar retrofit available.
An ATM Unit for a NBT EVO Retrofit is available in the Classifieds.

psyki Did one the exact same way last month. It's all detailed in several threads.
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      02-18-2020, 03:51 PM   #15
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So, interesting thing to add...

If you'll recall I mentioned that my build date is 3/15, and that my screen always shows 3G when connected to Connected Drive/Services.

My wagon is at BMW Seattle for a headlight change (thanks warranty!) and EGR fix - I asked them to look at the combox to get a quote to swap to a 4G.

Surprise, surprise - They say I have a 4G combox. How does that work? I live/work in the Seattle area, so it's not for a lack of 4G antennas around town.
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      02-18-2020, 07:07 PM   #16
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Quote:
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So, interesting thing to add...

If you'll recall I mentioned that my build date is 3/15, and that my screen always shows 3G when connected to Connected Drive/Services.

My wagon is at BMW Seattle for a headlight change (thanks warranty!) and EGR fix - I asked them to look at the combox to get a quote to swap to a 4G.

Surprise, surprise - They say I have a 4G combox. How does that work? I live/work in the Seattle area, so it's not for a lack of 4G antennas around town.
I venture a guess that the NBT units in early 2015 only had 3G to display a connection.

Would be interesting to know if any later vehicles with NBT (NOT NBT EVO) says 4G or LTE.

Realoem used to show the older 3G TCB Communication Boxes as well as the 4G TCB Boxes with the dates, which would help determine the change date, but as the 3G units are no longer sold (and the 4G are used for all) those dates have been adjusted as well so no one will purchase a 3G Box at this time.

Also, has you istep ever been updated?
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