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Deutsche Telekom takes 5G on the road

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Deutsche Telekom has become the latest telco to extend its 5G services to vehicles.

Tasked by BMW, Deutsche Telekom is providing in-vehicle 5G connectivity for the first time, using its Personal eSIM.

To allow customers to link vehicle connectivity with their mobile network Deutsche Telekom has introduced MobilityConnect. Contracts can be extended 5G services to the BMW iX, and later other enabled models, for €9.95 per month, meaning customers no longer have to book an additional separate mobile contract for the vehicle for a hotspot.

The development will also make BMW the first premium manufacturer to bring 5G to a globally available production vehicle.

"Telekom is the leading network provider in Germany - both in mobile communications and in the fixed network," said André Almeida, MD for private customers at Telekom Deutschland.

"With our new MobilityConnect mobile communications option, we are bringing 5G networking to a vehicle as standard for the first time. Our best 5G network makes premium connectivity like in the BMW iX possible in the first place. In this way, we are creating completely new applications for Telekom customers in entertainment and infotainment and enabling the ever-increasing connectivity of the car," Almeida added.

Telekom's 5G network has recorded several milestones recently. The ultra-fast 3.6 gigahertz frequency band is now available in more than 60 cities, with more than 2,400 antennas at a total of around 800 locations.

Overall, 85% of citizens can access the new mobile communications standard, with Telekom on track to reach 90% before the end of the year.

For its work with BMW, Telekom will equip each vehicle with an eSIM as standard with an additional personal eSIM integrated – previously known from smart devices such as tablets or smartwatches. The in-vehicle tech enables both eSIMs to be fully active on 5G at the same time (Dual-SIM-Dual-Active) while antenna technology in the car enables peak 5G speeds for the customer.

"BMW has always been a pioneer in the networking of mobility. We installed the first SIM card in a vehicle back in 1997. Together with Telekom, we are now bringing a completely new level of connectivity to our customers' cars with the 5G Personal eSIM," said Stephan Durach, senior vice president of connected company development and operations at BMW Group.

Last year, KDDI partnered with Orange Business Services, Toyota and Mazda to support the roll out of a connected cars service in Europe. More recently, AT&T partnered with GM to enable 5G connectivity in select models from 2024.