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      03-11-2016, 07:25 PM   #1
littleE92
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BMW Assist CIC no longer supported by BMW?

I just tried to renew my BMW assist for my 2011 vehicle (expired in January) and was told by the rep that all vehicles 2013 and older are no longer supported because BMW has made some updates to the service.

The rep said that BMW is currently working on a headunit update to make older vehicles compatible with the new BMW Assist service, but couldn't provide me with a time frame on when it will happen.

Anyone have any information regarding this? Anyone with BMW Assist subscription tried their functionality recently? Is it still working?

I mostly use BMW Assist for sending Google searches to my navigation via BMW Remote app. It is really inconvenient when I need to search multiple locations with iDrive.

I'm in Canada btw.
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      03-12-2016, 04:54 AM   #2
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See here:

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1230815
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      03-12-2016, 03:15 PM   #3
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I wrote about this awhile back. The primary reason is because AT&T is shutting down their CDMA network which all BMWs in the US except for NBT vehicles and above use for communication.

BMW Discontinuing BMW Assist Renewals

http://www.bimmerpost.com/forums/sho....php?t=1215687
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      03-12-2016, 07:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dracon View Post
I wrote about this awhile back. The primary reason is because AT&T is shutting down their CDMA network which all BMWs in the US except for NBT vehicles and above use for communication.

BMW Discontinuing BMW Assist Renewals

http://www.bimmerpost.com/forums/sho....php?t=1215687
AT&T doesn't run CDMA. So it's either Verizon or Sprint, but they have not reported that they will be shutting down the legacy 2G/CDMA service anytime soon. In fact they still heavily rely on the CDMA layer (especially Sprint) for voice service as they have barely implemented VoLTE.

Perhaps the pre-NBT TCUs relied on 3G/EV-DO service and not purely CDMA, which would make more sense. Or it could be a contract issue where they went with a different carrier for the new LTE service and they were forced to end the contract with the previous carrier.
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      03-12-2016, 08:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VTECaddict View Post
AT&T doesn't run CDMA. So it's either Verizon or Sprint, but they have not reported that they will be shutting down the legacy 2G/CDMA service anytime soon. In fact they still heavily rely on the CDMA layer (especially Sprint) for voice service as they have barely implemented VoLTE.

Perhaps the pre-NBT TCUs relied on 3G/EV-DO service and not purely CDMA, which would make more sense. Or it could be a contract issue where they went with a different carrier for the new LTE service and they were forced to end the contract with the previous carrier.
Actually, AT&T still maintained their legacy CDMA/AMPS/TDMA network for MVNO's like Cricket wireless up until last year (you can easily Google the announcement from AT&T about it). They officially shut it down in September 2015 for MVNO's.

The older TCU modules in the 2006 through 2008-2009 TCU units were CDMA/TDMA based on AT&T legacy network

2009/2010+ TCU units and all Combox units are 2G GSM based on AT&T's legacy 2G GSM network and AT&T is shutting down that network 2017 (which coincides with the BMW announcement). You can reference AT&T's FAQ on the issue here. It's actually been known since 2014 this was coming.

AT&T is finally killing it all off for good, hence the BMW Assist shutdown on all older vehicles.

The NBT systems are 3G GSM based and the NBT-Evo platform is LTE GSM based with AT&T as the carrier.

However, even according to BMW's announcement the 2013 5-series with the NBT (and 3G GSM telematics unit) is affected by this as well. BMW ConnectedDrive on 2014+ models is very different then previous offerings, it's more of a per-service subscription instead of the megalithic "Safety" and "Convenience" packages which are made up of smaller services.

Under ConnectedDrive on 2014 models, you can choose to subscribe to individual pieces (i.e. you can sign up for Real Time Traffic just by itself) instead of just two big packages with stuff you may or may not use.
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      03-13-2016, 12:10 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dracon View Post
Actually, AT&T still maintained their legacy CDMA/AMPS/TDMA network for MVNO's like Cricket wireless up until last year (you can easily Google the announcement from AT&T about it). They officially shut it down in September 2015 for MVNO's.

The older TCU modules in the 2006 through 2008-2009 TCU units were CDMA/TDMA based on AT&T legacy network

2009/2010+ TCU units and all Combox units are 2G GSM based on AT&T's legacy 2G GSM network and AT&T is shutting down that network 2017 (which coincides with the BMW announcement). You can reference AT&T's FAQ on the issue here. It's actually been known since 2014 this was coming.

AT&T is finally killing it all off for good, hence the BMW Assist shutdown on all older vehicles.

The NBT systems are 3G GSM based and the NBT-Evo platform is LTE GSM based with AT&T as the carrier.

However, even according to BMW's announcement the 2013 5-series with the NBT (and 3G GSM telematics unit) is affected by this as well. BMW ConnectedDrive on 2014+ models is very different then previous offerings, it's more of a per-service subscription instead of the megalithic "Safety" and "Convenience" packages which are made up of smaller services.

Under ConnectedDrive on 2014 models, you can choose to subscribe to individual pieces (i.e. you can sign up for Real Time Traffic just by itself) instead of just two big packages with stuff you may or may not use.
That's curious, because AT&T has never operated a CDMA network until they bought out Leap Wireless (Cricket) in 2013, so BMW couldn't have used AT&T's CDMA network prior to that because it was non-existent. AT&T (née Cingular, PacBell) has always been strictly TDMA/GSM as their main network (acquisitions excluded), and TDMA has been shut down since ~2008. If BMW did use CDMA for Assist previously, it had to be with another carrier.

Either way, it's not really BMWs fault. Technology and especially wireless technology has evolved so quickly in the recent years.

Something must be different about the 2013 F10 TCU for it to be included in the shutdown. Perhaps it was an oddball configuration with NBT head unit but 2G GSM TCU?
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      03-13-2016, 12:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VTECaddict
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dracon View Post
Actually, AT&T still maintained their legacy CDMA/AMPS/TDMA network for MVNO's like Cricket wireless up until last year (you can easily Google the announcement from AT&T about it). They officially shut it down in September 2015 for MVNO's.

The older TCU modules in the 2006 through 2008-2009 TCU units were CDMA/TDMA based on AT&T legacy network

2009/2010+ TCU units and all Combox units are 2G GSM based on AT&T's legacy 2G GSM network and AT&T is shutting down that network 2017 (which coincides with the BMW announcement). You can reference AT&T's FAQ on the issue here. It's actually been known since 2014 this was coming.

AT&T is finally killing it all off for good, hence the BMW Assist shutdown on all older vehicles.

The NBT systems are 3G GSM based and the NBT-Evo platform is LTE GSM based with AT&T as the carrier.

However, even according to BMW's announcement the 2013 5-series with the NBT (and 3G GSM telematics unit) is affected by this as well. BMW ConnectedDrive on 2014+ models is very different then previous offerings, it's more of a per-service subscription instead of the megalithic "Safety" and "Convenience" packages which are made up of smaller services.

Under ConnectedDrive on 2014 models, you can choose to subscribe to individual pieces (i.e. you can sign up for Real Time Traffic just by itself) instead of just two big packages with stuff you may or may not use.
That's curious, because AT&T has never operated a CDMA network until they bought out Leap Wireless (Cricket) in 2013, so BMW couldn't have used AT&T's CDMA network prior to that because it was non-existent.

AT&T (née Cingular, PacBell) has always been strictly TDMA/GSM as their main network (acquisitions excluded), and TDMA has been shut down since ~2008. If BMW did use CDMA for Assist previously, it had to be with another carrier.

Something must be different about the 2013 F10 TCU for it to be included in the shutdown. Perhaps it was an oddball configuration with NBT head unit but 2G GSM TCU?
It's definitely not a 2G in the 2013 NBT. It shows 3G when connected to ConnectedDrive on my 2013 M5.

Pretty sure it's a software thing on the 2013 NBT's, maybe a slight hardware variant as 2014 models have Sirius station art and some other little enhancements.
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      03-21-2016, 10:48 PM   #8
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The CDMA thing makes sense guys thanks for the info. Not sure who BMW uses for carrier in Canada but I know Telus started encouraging their clients to get off their CDMA services in Spring 2015. Guess the final cut-off finally happened in 2016.

Just disappointed that BMW could not find a way to notify Assist members that the service was discontinuing until they called in to renew.


I hope they can find an easy way to re-enable Assist services with 3G/LTE. Maybe they will go for a simple solution like creating drivers for a USB 3G/LTE dongle...wishful thinking I know...
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Last edited by littleE92; 03-21-2016 at 10:54 PM.
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      03-22-2016, 07:05 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littleE92 View Post
The CDMA thing makes sense guys thanks for the info. Not sure who BMW uses for carrier in Canada but I know Telus started encouraging their clients to get off their CDMA services in Spring 2015. Guess the final cut-off finally happened in 2016.

Just disappointed that BMW could not find a way to notify Assist members that the service was discontinuing until they called in to renew.


I hope they can find an easy way to re-enable Assist services with 3G/LTE. Maybe they will go for a simple solution like creating drivers for a USB 3G/LTE dongle...wishful thinking I know...
The dealerships didn't even know until right after the first of the year (when the notification went out over the dealership network).

BMW is supposed to have more information on a "technical upgrade" for it towards the middle of the year. Just have to wait and see what it entails.
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      03-24-2016, 04:53 PM   #10
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Is Google maps send part of this? I can still send destinations to my car via Google maps on my computer. Says I have service until May 2016? Strange...

(2011 model year 335is)
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      03-24-2016, 07:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iatacs19 View Post
Is Google maps send part of this? I can still send destinations to my car via Google maps on my computer. Says I have service until May 2016? Strange...

(2011 model year 335is)
Yes, Google Send to Car is part of the BMW Assist Safety package, I believe.

It'll still work up until your expiration date, but you won't be permitted to renew to extend the term, so basically, you'll lose that feature in May.
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      05-27-2016, 02:26 PM   #12
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Yesterday, I sat in a coworkers E89 Z4, it's a 2015 and to my surprise it has CIC iDrive with the non-touchpad controller, its the same exact system that's in my 2011 328i.. now according to BMW, anything 2014 and above will not have a 2G TCU.. This 2015 with CIC must have a 3G or 4G tcu? If this is the case, then BMW has our answer already, and there is a POSSIBLE TCU upgrade retrofit for CIC, and it would be a matter of them not stiffing us who are still in warranty, or recently out of warranty.
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      07-19-2016, 05:28 PM   #13
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Traffic info?

Will we also lose traffic info when the system is finally turned off?

I have a 2009 E90 with iDrive. My BMW Assist was denied renewal a few months back, so Google send-to-car no longer works nor does BMW Assist. But I am still getting traffic info.

So, will the traffic info coming into my iDrive navigation system also disappear in a few months?
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      07-20-2016, 02:59 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsd107 View Post
Will we also lose traffic info when the system is finally turned off?

I have a 2009 E90 with iDrive. My BMW Assist was denied renewal a few months back, so Google send-to-car no longer works nor does BMW Assist. But I am still getting traffic info.

So, will the traffic info coming into my iDrive navigation system also disappear in a few months?
I'd refrain from cross-posting, but I answered your question in the other thread you posted in so I'll paste it here for the benefit of others.

There's two types of traffic info services for vehicles.

RTTI which is traffic information broadcast over the local FM radio stations (commonly called Traffic Message Channel in the US). This is free and available automatically on any vehicle equipped with option 6UH (which is most vehicles with navigation produced 03/2007 and up).

ARTTI is Advanced Real Time Traffic Information and is a data service provided by BMW Assist services for a subscription fee (actual data is provided by INRIX, which does some pretty cool things to provide real-time traffic information). It's more accurate than RTTI (as it fuses TMC data along with real-time data crowdsourced from other connected vehicles and devices) and is updated every 3 minutes by the vehicle. This is available only for 2013+ model years with NBT navigation systems.

You use RTTI in your vehicle which is transmitted via the FM channels and not via BMW Assist so it'll continue to function forever as long as your local FM radio stations continue to broadcast the data.
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      08-19-2016, 09:05 AM   #15
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Looks like BMW has finally posted what they are going to do for BMW Assist on older vehicles for customers still under contract/agreement.

Quote:
BMW has developed several solutions in order to provide continued BMW Assist service or provide alternative compensation to customers with active BMW Assist contracts expiring after December 31, 2016 on vehicles equipped with a 2G GSM telematics device (e.g., COMBOX).

Background

For GSM vehicles equipped with a 2nd generation (2G) GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) telematics device from the factory, the 2G GSM service will no longer be supported after December 31, 2016. Most of these vehicles were offered with BMW Assist Safety Plan and Convenience Plan, however, some 2014 Model Year and newer vehicles (e.g., E84 X1, E89 Z4, and E71 X6) were also offered with the new ConnectedDrive offering structure. Please refer to the table at the end of this message for a summary of which vehicles are equipped with 2G GSM telematics.

Compensation or retrofit offerings

Compensation:
For those customers that would rather not have BMW Assist services in their vehicle, BMW will be offering the following compensation options
  • $300 BMW Lifestyle and Accessories voucher for in*Center purchases + Deactivation of existing technology
  • $200 Visa Pre*Paid Debit Card + Deactivation of existing technology

Hardware Retrofit:
For customers who have an active contract that expires after December 31, 2016 and who would like to maintain service after December 31, 2016, a hardware retrofit of a new telematics module will be available

Please note: BMW will not be offering any retrofit or compensation for customers whose contract has already expired or whose contract will expire on or before December 31, 2016.

As soon as details of the final offerings are available, updated communications will be released, including direct customer communications. This message will also be updated with important information for dealers.

Code:
2G GSM application by vehicle model.

Vehicle Model                       2G GSM Equipped
1 Series                            March 2008 - EOP*
2 Series                            N/A
3 Series                            March 2008 through MY2013
4 Series                            N/A
5 Series                            March 2008 through MY2012
6 Series                            March 2008 through MY2013
7 Series                            F01 Only: SOP through MY2012
X1                                  E84 Only: SOP* through MY2015 
                                    F84: N/A
X3                                  F25 (SOP*) through MY2013
X4                                  N/A
X5                                  April 2008 through MY2013
X6                                  April 2008 through MY2014
Z4                                  E89: MY2010 through EOP*

*EOP = End of Production; SOP = Start of Production
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