T-Mobile and BMW Partner to Create USA’s First 5G Cars

These autos are (literal) mobile hotspots

Got $55,000 to spare and a hankering for unlimited wireless data as you drive? BMW and T-Mobile have got you covered. 

The two companies have just teamed up to create 5G-connected cars, under the name Magenta Drive, as reported by a T-Mobile press release. The new 2022 BMW iX and i4 models now work with T-Mobile’s 5G network, allowing drivers to use their cars as free-roaming, and large, Wi-Fi hotspots. 

A BMW at night with blue light streaks around it.

Miguel Gonzalez / Unsplash

What does this mean exactly? BMW iX and i4 owners have the option to purchase vehicle-specific T-Mobile plans for unlimited data and voice calls, even if you don't have a phone on you. You'll also get 200MB of roaming data if you leave the network and 5GB of 4G data monthly for use in Canada and Mexico. 

Of course, these plans aren't free. You'll pay $20 per month for the T-Mobile subscription and, oh yeah, $55,700 (starting) for a BMW i4 and $87,000 (starting) for the more robust BMW iX. 

There's no physical SIM card needed here, as the cars use eSIM technology similar to LTE-connected smartwatches. This also means you'll have access to the service if you rent a compatible BMW. Just bring along the T-Mobile subscription. 

BMW and T-Mobile won't be the only game in town for long when it comes to 5G-connected automobiles. Audi is partnering up with Verizon to add 5G functionality in 2024, and the same goes for General Motors and AT&T. 

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