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Resource Center 3G Shutdown: Will Your Operations Go Dark?

3G Shutdown: Will Your Operations Go Dark?

January 13, 2022 Lindsay Cagnacci

Have you thought about how the 3G shutdown could affect your business?

Imagine March 1st rolls around and all of your vehicles’ telematics devices shut down, leaving you without access to GPS tracking, driver behavior monitoring, vehicle activity, and more. What a nightmare! Is your business ready? 

The sun is setting on 3G and if your fleet has not made the switch to upgraded telematics devices, you’ll be left in the dark. If your fleet’s current telematics system was purchased before 2018, it is likely that you will lose functionality or have your day-to-day operations disrupted as the shutdowns roll out. 

Don’t wait another minute! Here is how to be proactive in navigating this change and how to avoid disruption to your business. 

What is Happening?

Mobile carriers are retiring their 3G networks as they shift bandwidth resources toward the expansion of more advanced network services, including 5G. In the industry, this is known as refarming. As a result, devices that are currently working on a network’s 3G service will no longer have connection. It is time for you to upgrade.

When is it Happening?

According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the 3G network shutdown will begin as early as January 2022. However, as the plans of the 3G phase-out are varying by network and changing regulations, this makes the exact timing of the shutdown difficult to pin down. Access your mobile provider’s website for the most up-to-date information. 

Here is the current 3G network shutdown timeline- 

  • AT&T announced its 3G network will shut down by February 2022. 
  • Verizon announced that its 3G network will close down by December 31, 2022. 
  • T-Mobile announced that Sprint’s 3G CDMA network will finish shutting down by March 31, 2022.
  • T-Mobile announced that its 3G UMTS network will close by July 1, 2022. There is no set date for its 2G network shutdown. 
  • Sprint’s 4G LTE network will go dark by June 30, 2022.

Benefits of Upgrading from 3G

Here are just a few of the benefits of upgrading to 4G LTE-

Faster Connection: More bandwidth, faster data speeds, and lower latency when initiating connections. Get the information you need in real-time.

Extended Coverage: Wider ranges of coverage and improved network reliability, especially in rural areas. This is great for businesses that operate outside of metropolitan areas.

Compatibility: Stronger compatibility with newer technologies, and in many cases, lower total costs in the long run. Technology is changing rapidly. And it’s time to switch to the most efficient tools available so you can stay ahead of the competition.

3G Shutdown. 4G LTE. 5G.

How to Prevent the 3G Shutdown From Affecting Your Fleet Operation

Firstly, you need to find out if your ELD relies on a 3G network. Start by reaching out to your ELD provider to find out. If your ELD meets all minimum requirements and does not rely on 3G, no further action is required. 

However, if your ELD does rely on 3G, like most, talk to your provider about upgrading to devices that will be supported after 3G networks shut down. If your current provider does not have sufficient inventory or is unable to give you the reassurance you need, that is a clear sign that you should find another telematics provider that supports 4G LTE and 5G networks. Not only does this shutdown affect ELDs, but other telematics functions as well, such as in-cab cameras, vehicle tracking, and much more. Put your mind at ease and turn to FTS for a smooth transition from 3G to 4G LTE. 

Have You Considered Switching Telematics Providers?

Maybe your equipment is outdated and you are looking for an easier-to-use, updated tracking, and management solution for your fleet operations. We understand that telematics is constantly evolving with emerging technology. FTS is at the forefront of innovation and maintains a steady pulse on the industry. Let us keep track of the requirements and regulations so you can concentrate on your business. Now is the time to switch! Use the 3G network shutdown to your advantage and upgrade to a more reliable network today.

Businesses that are currently relying on telematics devices utilizing 3G technology will want to find a provider with available 4G LTE devices before 3G is shut down.

In short, we here at Forward Thinking Systems are prepared to help you avoid the complications of the network shutdowns and can guide you through your options. We will ensure your fleet operations will not be disrupted by providing you with some of the best technology and service for your money. Let the team at Forward Thinking Systems show you a better way to drive your business.

Ready to make fleet management more manageable?