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BMW's Car Hotspot LTE means Bavarian Motor WiFi

James Trew, @itstrew
December 23, 2012
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The dedicated car phone may be a thing of the past, but the in-car hotspot is becoming increasingly common. BMW isn't shy when it comes to in-vehicle tech, so the fact that it's launching its own solution should come as no surprise. We initially heard about the ConnectedDrive LTE integration back in summer, but now it looks like it's almost here. The BMW Car Hotspot LTE is essentially a purpose-built WiFi router that houses an LTE SIM (it also supports 3G and EDGE). It's compatible with any BMW with a telephone docking station and allows connections from up to eight client devices. Authentication can be done via code entry or NFC (or there's WPS too). Rather than just rebranding an LTE dongle, the system is designed to integrate with the vehicle's aerial for better signal, while the dock keeps it charged. As you might surmise, this does indeed mean there is an internal battery, making it useful beyond the confines of the automobile too (for about an hour according to the car maker). No official word on price or release, but it's suggested it'll be landing in Europe as soon as this week.

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