What Does the 3G Network Sunset Mean for My Fleet?

by | Jul 22, 2019 | Telematics | 0 comments

If your fleet uses any 3G telematics devices, the upcoming sunsetting of the 3G network could be devastating.

Though this is a major event, a lack of coverage may have left you in the dark about this fast-approaching development. If you’re unclear about the implications of 3G’s sunsetting, keep reading for more information about what this event means and how it can affect you.

What is the 3G network sunset?

Connected devices such as phones and telematics devices operate through data networks. Currently, most technology operates on the 4G LTE network, giving us faster speeds and greater connectivity than the networks before. And with 5G, the next, better network on the horizon, mobile carriers need the bandwidth and infrastructure currently used by the 3G network to fully transition. Within the next few years, 3G devices will no longer have cell towers to connect to, leaving users cut off from any network until they upgrade their devices.

Verizon Wireless is shutting down their 3G network by the end of 2019, which is barely four months away. AT&T announced that they will complete their 3G shutdown by early 2022. Though other carriers haven’t officially announced their plans to close their 3G networks, it’s safe to assume that they will follow these mobile titans. And, as 3G disappears across the country, it will have significant implications for anyone using devices on this network.

How will the 3G network sunset affect me and my fleet?

Without a network to operate through, your devices will cease to work as they should. Though you may be able to maintain some connectivity during the transition, you’ll lose access to many features and your overall system effectiveness. In fact, during the transition from the 2G network, many fleets eventually unplugged their 2G devices due to their limited use. Once the 3G network is completely terminated, your telematics devices will become more of a drain than an investment.

What should I do now?

If your fleet currently uses 3G-connected devices, it’s important to start planning for your transition now. Contact your telematics vendor to see if they offer any deals. You may be able to get free devices by signing a new contract or receive trade-in credits to put towards your new devices. The 3G network sunset also provides the opportunity to evaluate your current telematics. If you have to replace your devices, this is a great time to find the best option for your fleet.

Do you have questions about the 3G network sunset? Let us know below.

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