By the end of the year, we will see the first major 3G network shut down. We have been preparing for the 3G sunset for a few years, but this is the first major milestone in the process.
If your fleet uses 2G or 3G devices, this network shutdown means you can no longer use your current telematics. To avoid losing your data and connectivity, now is the time to update your tech and find a new solution for your fleet.
Why is 3G shutting down?
The major networks first launched 3G around 2002. For years, this technology powered our connectivity devices, including the very first smartphones. As technology progressed, however, 4G and now 5G have largely replaced this early network.
Shutting down the 3G network frees up data capacity for current and future technologies. Rather than hanging onto a network that few use, major networks are phasing it out to improve upcoming opportunities.
What does the 3G sunset mean for my fleet?
If your telematics devices run on 4G or 5G, the transition won’t affect your fleet at all. If you are using 3G technology, however, you will need to replace your devices with 4G or 5G options.
Verizon and T-Mobile are the first cellular networks to shut down their 3G network, but not the last. The anticipated sunset dates for each network are:
- Verizon – December 31, 2020
- T-Mobile – December 31, 2020
- Rogers 2G & 1900Mhz 3G – March 31, 2021
- AT&T – February 2022
- Rogers 3G – TBD
That doesn’t leave much time to waste, so starting today is your best option. The steps listed below can help you keep your fleet connected and ready through the 3G network sunset.
How to prepare your fleet telematics for the 3G sunset
1. Audit your devices
If you’re not sure about your devices, you’re better safe than sorry. Start by checking all of your vehicle devices and noting their operating networks. If you find any that operate on 3G, note the devices and vehicles. Get in touch with your telematics provider to see if they have options to upgrade. You can also shop around for other providers if you’re not fully satisfied with the solution you have.
2. Make a plan
Updating fleet technology is always a big deal. Make a plan that covers finding, updating, and implementing your new devices. Determine what you want from your new solution and how it needs to support your fleet.
You need to know how you plan to install your new devices, since this will likely put some vehicles out of commission for a short time. You should also find a top GPS installer that can make the process easier. This is a time-sensitive project, so be sure to create a realistic plan and schedule for your transition.
3. Train your drivers and employees
Create and schedule training events for your employees, getting everyone up to speed on their new solutions. Drivers should be comfortable and confident with their devices before they take them on the road. Your administrative staff should also know how to use your technology. You will likely rely on this solution for years, so make sure it meets all of your requirements.
Our Geotab devices are the ideal option for your new telematics solution. Upgrading your device to a ProPlus Plan can simplify any future network shutdowns, keeping your fleet protected and connected. Discover the power of the industry’s best telematics device with our Geotab GO9.