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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With the shutdown of AT&T's 3G service eminent, I've been thinking about options to keep out old MMI 3G+ systems connected to the interwebz, mostly for the Google Earth map style (which still works in our '14 A4) and the occasional on-line destination search.

In the U.S. market, the embedded phone module that provisions the 3G connection is the Cinterion AH6A-US (inside VAG PN 8T0051431):



Current Cinterion LTE devices appear to have a similar form factor, but different electrical connectivity (PDF HERE). I haven't actually opened a U.S. PPIS UMTS phone module (post T-Mobile) to see what the Cinterion device looks like.

Then there would be the problem of getting the old QNX system to work with the device, if the device connectivity problem can be solved within the MMI main unit footprint.

External data connection solutions have been around for a long time; I summarized some of these last year HERE. One of these may be project this summer (assuming we hold onto our A4q for a while longer).

Anyone else out there thinking about MMI3G+ mobile data post 3G ? --g
 

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@DrGER Did you find this thread?


This thread shows pictures of the internal phone module. It looks like the modem (in this case a Telit unit) is built on an LGA form factor.

a selection of modules can be found here:

This is good news as the units are designed to be interchangeable and offer an upgrade path.

The alternative would be to use an external 4/5G modem connected via the AMI port.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
@JohnS4 : I did see that old Audizine thread at some point in the past. Alas, the images referenced in this post New telephone module don't show up in my browser (do they exist at all?).

In your case, a Telit 4G/LTE module that behaves like the existing Telit 3G module might just swap out. In our North American case, the goal here is to locate an LTE equivalent to the Cinterion AH6A-US phone module (if such a thing actually exists). I'm surprised that my bit of Googling hasn't discovered any examples of people trying this 3G to LTE phone module swap (even to report negative results). --g
 

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@DrGER interesting that the photos are not visible for you. I’ll repost here.

Inside there the telephone module is Harman Becker PPIS UMTS, Type BE 9449, #9449GZ0C5115435:
White Motor vehicle Font Gas Automotive exterior


Inside there the mobile chip is a Telit UC864. In Europe you will have Telit UC864-E Module-AUTO GSM, and in the USA you will have a Telit UC864-AWS-AUTO:
Circuit component Passive circuit component Hardware programmer Computer hardware Electronic engineering

Circuit component Passive circuit component Computer hardware Electronic component Electronic engineering
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for that @JohnS4 . Not exactly plug-and-play, it would seem: the board appears to be from HB, so you'd need to be able to remove the affixed 3G module without damaging the circuit board first. Hmmm, not something I have the equipment for on my workbench at home. But surely someone has the tools & expertise to prepare this experiment. --g
 

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Long ago i have made some research...
There are two modem types - Cinterion(now gemalto) and Telit.
Unfortunately I was not able to find a compatible 3G/4G modem that can be used as plug-and-play replacement.
If there is one that at least matches the pinout then there is a big chance that there will be no driver for it.
Raspberry Pi is an option or work in direction of using hostless USB modems.
Again there will be need for driver which can be challenging ...

Regards,
Nik
 

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@DrGER I dont have those tools and or expertise for that matter. Probably worth searching MotorTalk. (Unless you have already!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
@congo & @JohnS4 : What do you all think about "LTE Router" devices like the Alcatel LinkHub HH41NH to provide ethernet to the AMI port through a proper OE AMI-USB cable and USB ethernet device ?

User Manual

Something like the LinkHub could easily live behind the trim panel in the luggage compartment; running switched power and ethernet cables to it under door sills should be easy enough. --g
 

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I actually bought the kit to do this some time ago. I was planning on using a TP Link mini router to connect to a hot spot from my phone. Never got around to setting it up. If I recall the MMI is picky on the chip set in the USB to ethernet adapter. I’ll edit this post when I can find what I actually bought!

The unit you linked looks fine, except the power draw, one answer on the Amazon page stated it pulled 2A which seems rather high. You may even be able to use a Fakra to BNC cable and connect your roof antenna.
 

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MMI accepts only USB to Ethernet hardware with the following chipset: AX88772 AX88772A AX88172

From post 916:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
I'm not too worried about the USB/Ethernet device as the recommended DLink & TRENDnet devices seem to plentiful from eBay sellers. Nor am I too worried about the current draw from the Alcatel LinkHub, as 12VDC/5VDC micro USB power adapters can handle this (I have one connected to our Samsung wireless charging dock that is hardwired to a switched fuse circuit in Fuse Panel C; adding another for this is easy). And I like the idea of accessing the existing GSM antenna in the roof aerial (since the MMI won't need it after the 3G shutdown): Fakra D male to SMA male pigtail: 2.79US $ |FAKRA cable Fakra D male Plug to SMA male Plug connector for GPS Antenna Extension Cable Pigtail Cable RG316 free shipping|plug connector|sm plugplug f - AliExpress

This will definitely be a project this spring. --g
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
And with the proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT), we're finding interesting devices like the Digi TransPort Router WR11 XT (LTE Ethernet router): https://usatcorp.com/pdf/datasheets/Digi-Transport-WR11-XT-Datasheet.pdf

I'm seeing these from several eBay vendors: this looks like an ideal solution for an automotive application due to its size and specification. Another interesting project direction. --g
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
@JohnS4 : No, I haven't had a compelling need to poke at any of that yet. What (software) tools would be involved in such a project ? And how would one use this information, apart from inspection ? I don't see how we can import our own custom POIs into legacy 3G+ systems (see, e.g., Audi). --g
 

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@DrGER i imagine some db tools. I’m keen to discover the format used to reverse engineer the POIs. I’ve had a poke around with very little success.
 

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I am in America and have a MY2015 RS5 Cabriolet. Given that this is the last year the cabriolet option is offered, it will need to be pried out of my cold, dead hands. Yes, I'm absolutely concerned about this and would love to find a solution. I can't believe that Audi would just leave all customers prior to introduction of 4GLTE out in the cold. I am quite good friends with my service manager so I will check with him next week to see if he has heard anything. the 3G is basically unusable at this point with the rate caps T-Mobile has introduced.
 
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