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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today, I spoke with Cary Dale, BMW North America's Cellular Specialist. He informed me that the long sought after Voice Recognition Module for the CPT 7000 will be available in early September (the Part No. will be released sometime in August).

This Voice Recognition Module will be produced by Timik (the spelling might not be correct), the same firm that is the OEM Voice Recognition provider to Mercedes-Benz.

Like the current generation Mercedes Voice Recognition system (and unlike the previous generation BMW system), it does not require "training" (i.e. it will respond to any voice, not just the owner's), and it will be able to dial phone numbers that are verbally inputed "on the fly" (i.e. not just limited to the names and associated phone numbers that are stored in the directory, as is the case with the previous generation BMW Voice Recognition System).

Additionally, Mr. Dale told me that BMW will do Mercedes "one better" by outfitting their Voice Recognition System with the ability to interface with the actual Navigation System!

Finally, I was told that the 2001 BMW phone will be the newer Motorola "Timeport" StarTac (the CPT 8000) that will be dual band (i.e. operate at both 800mhz and 1900mhz). Apparently, not only the TDMA AT&T platform operates at both of these frequencies -- Verizon (which was AirTouch + Bell Atlantic + GTE + PrimeCo) also plans to operate on 800mhz and 1900mhz (typically on the CDMA side). Apparently 1900mhz is in vogue due to the fact that this frequency allows for Mobile Messaging and Browser capabilities.

If one wants to outfit their model year 2000 BMW with the latest and greatest CPT 8000, one will unfortunately have to purchase a brand new Motorola instrument with no credit offered for the CPT 7000, and possibly a new installation kit (hoefully an installation upgrade will be available).
 

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Silly question...but is there any reason why a '00 M5 (which I expect in early September)cannot be outfitted with this new phone? In other words, the car needn't be an '01 model year to use this new phone... right?

Robert
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It seems logical to assume that once the CPT 8000 phone and installation kit become available, they should be installable on both a 2000 and 2001 BMW.
 

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soooo if I dont have the phone yet installed in my 2000 m5, I would be better off waiting a few months for this new "8000" system? (I know this might seem obvious, but I just want to be sure)

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I'm taking delivery of my M5 this week (carbon black/black/aluminum). My dealer plans to install the phone for $1500. Are you sure that the new phone will be the timesport (which has E-mail and internet capabilities)? If so, whaen do you think I will be able to get the kit and phone from BMW? Would you wait if you were me?
 

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Originally posted by HadE55NowM5:
<snip> Apparently, not only the TDMA AT&T platform operates at both of these frequencies -- Verizon (which was AirTouch + Bell Atlantic + GTE + PrimeCo) also plans to operate on 800mhz and 1900mhz (typically on the CDMA side). Apparently 1900mhz is in vogue due to the fact that this frequency allows for Mobile Messaging and Browser capabilities. <snip>
Here I can contribute my non-M5 expertise. This is about phones and frequency bands, not about M5's or even the phone in the M5- so read on only if interested.

Back in the days of analog cellular phones, there were two carriers per market (in the U.S.) allowed by the FCC. Both shared an 800Mhz band. This system was (and is) called AMPS. Newer digital technologies promised to make more efficient use of the same frequency spectrum, allowing more calls in the same cell (and larger profits for carriers.)

There are multiple digital protocols in use today - they are TDMA (AT&T Wireless, primarily), CDMA (Sprint, GTE/BellAtlantic/Verizon, Airtouch, U.S. West, others), GSM - Pacific Bell, Southwestern Bell, OmniPoint) and iDEN (Nextel, SouthernLinc.)

GSM is not very popular in the U.S. but is the ONLY standard in most of Europe. Asia has a few of their own, but uses both CDMA and GSM predominantly. Latin America is mostly TDMA.

Now then - these digital standards are nothing more than software protocols - they can run at any legal frequency. In Europe, the legal frequencies are 900Mhz and 1800Mhz. In the U.S. they are 800Mhz and 1900Mhz.

There are a few "world phones" on the market now that use the GSM protcol, and operate on both U.S. and European frequencies - either 3 out of 4 or all 4 bands. These are referred to as "tri-band" phones.

Several years ago, the 1900 Mhz band was made available by the FCC and auctioned to carriers as the "PCS" band. At the same time the FCC decided to allow more competition - so more than two carriers could serve a market - but the new carriers had to use the PCS frequencies.

The incumbent carriers (in my area, GTE and AT&T) could ALSO compete in the auctions for the PCS frequencies, and succeeded in many cases. So they have systems that operate on both frequencies. In most cases, "dual band" implies digital operation at a PCS frequency, with a fall back to analog operation at 800Mhz. New "pcs" carrers like Sprint that didn't have their own 800Mhz stuff can still offer dual-band phones but when you use the analog side, you're actually using a different carrier's network and paying high roaming charges.

However, it isn't that simple. Some carriers (like AT&T and GTE) have digital systems operating both at 800 and 1900Mhz, AND analog systems at 800Mhz. A phone that works on all of these would technically be referred to as a dual-band, tri-mode phone.

As for the browser stuff enabling email and internet access - my company, Phone.com, invented the technology in use by every major carrier in the U.S. (and most around the world). The Motorola phones with browser caabilities have Phone.com software in them. Thanks to Phone.com I am the proud owner of an M5!!!

It is not the case, however, that this capability requires 1900Mhz. Once again, this is all software and protocols and is actually frequency independent. GTE, for example, converted a lot of their AMPS systems to CDMA at 800Mhz. That system supports wireless data. Sprint's network uses exactly the same CDMA protocol to support voice and data at 1900Mhz.

Wireless data capability is a new layer on these networks, and the implementations and subtleties are many. If you get a Motorola phone on the TDMA network, it will NOT have browser capability. AT&T doesn't support wireless data over TDMA. It will only have 1-way short message service, AKA "SMS". This is because AT&T's current data solution uses their old, but good "CDPD" packet data network for data - this runs on top of the AMPS system. AT&T sells today only two phones - the Mitsubishi MA250 and an Ericsson model - that are dual-band, "quad mode" phones- 1: 1900 mhz TDMA voice; 2: 800Mhz TDMA voice; 3: 800Mhz AMPS voice; 4: 800Mhz CDPD data.

The same Motorola phone for CDMA markets (7000 and 8000 models) on the other hand, has the browser because those networks support wireless data natively.

Bottom line is if you want the wireless internet on your M5 phone, get a CDMA-based service. I haven't talked to the dealer, so I don't even know if they give you the choice.

Confused yet?

/Greg
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
greg,

Thanks for that articulate, and intricately-detailed explanation that only a true "industry person" such as yourself could share with us!

When I purchased by E55, Motorola informed me that they build approximately 21 versions of the StarTac (the Mercedes-Benz proprietary model) depending on which market the BMW owner lives. As I remember, they build both a CDMA and TDMA version; however, they don't build a AT&T-compatible version (i.e. TDMA Dual-Band, Tri/Quad Mode).

I believe that the same explanation applies to the case of Motorola as a OE vendor to BMW (i.e. they make the same number of versions for BMW as they do for Mercedes-Benz, etc.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Pardon my mistake, I made a couple of typos. I met to say "my" (not "by") previous E55, and when I was making my other point, it should have read "it depends in what market the Mercedes-Benz owner (not BMW owner) lives). In either case, the point is applicable.

Sorry for the confusion!
 
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