Audi is now equipping the Audi connect SIM in all new models that use the brand’s second-generation modular infotainment platform, including the A4 and Q7.

A factory-installed SIM card means customers can immediately use the wide range of Audi connect online services, with the accompanying data flat rate, for up to three years—even outside Ireland.

The Audi connect SIM is the first result of a collaboration between Audi and Dublin-based tech company Cubic Telecom, a leading supplier of seamless worldwide connectivity solutions. Audi Electronics Venture acquired a stake in Cubic Telecom in mid-2015.

The Audi connect SIM is a permanently installed SIM card, known as an ‘embedded SIM’ or ‘eSIM’, which customers in Europe will receive in combination with the optional Audi connect equipment package. This transforms the car into a mobile communications centre.

The SIM card brings Audi connect services on board via an LTE/UMTS module with a download speed of up to 100 Mbps. Services include navigation with Google Earth and Google Street View, travel, traffic and parking information.

In addition, drivers can access their Twitter and email accounts, and their smartphone’s calendar. The new SIM card contains an unlimited data volume for using these services. In most European countries, the Audi connect SIM automatically accesses the provider for each specific country, as needed.

This eliminates high, country-specific roaming charges and inconvenient roaming confirmations for the customer.

Customers can also purchase additional data packages for the Wi-Fi hotspot, independent of the integrated Audi connect services. This is a component of the optional navigation systems.

It allows all passengers to use the internet at attractive rates with up to eight mobile devices. If a customer selects a European data package, the data transfer also automatically works accordingly when crossing an international border – and thus when changing internet provider – at fixed prices.

Customers can reach the online shop of Audi partner Cubic Telecom through their myAudi account, and there, after a once-off registration, obtain the Wi-Fi hotspot data package.

Once the required access is granted, data packages can be quickly and conveniently purchased directly through the car’s MMI system. Customers may also continue to use their own SIM card in the car and establish Wi-Fi internet access through their own cellular provider.

In this case, the data volume used by Audi connect services will also be charged to the customer’s SIM card and the Audi connect SIM temporarily deactivated.

With the new SIM card, access to the use of Audi connect services is granted when the car is purchased – and in combination, MMI Navigation plus is free for three years.

With MMI Navigation plus, use is included for three months or, for an additional fee, for three years. After this, customers can ask their Audi service partner to extend access for a fee.

The Audi connect SIM is used in all new models that include the second-generation modular infotainment platform. These are the Audi A3, the A4, the new A5, the Audi Q2 and the Q7. Other model series will follow.

The Audi TT, the R8, the A6 and the A7 are currently excluded from this new offer.