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Is Your Fleet Ready for the Upcoming 3G Network Shutdowns?

Why Your Fleet Vehicle Tracking Solution Might Stop Working in 2021

September 18, 2020Ashley Preston

Will your vehicle tracking solution still work on January 1, 2021? Well – that depends.

If your fleet’s current telematics system was purchased before 2018, there is a good chance that your equipment will essentially be completely useless come the start of the new year, or at least be seriously compromised.

“It means you will have equipment that has no way of sharing or receiving any data, information, or communications.”

Here’s what you need to know about the upcoming 3G sunset, the impact they can have on fleet tracking solutions, and what you can do to prevent service disruptions.

Why Would My Fleet Tracking System Stop Working Next Year?

Verizon and T-Mobile have both announced that they will be shutting down their 3G and CDMA networks at the end of 2020 to make way for expanded 4G LTE services and 5G networks.

If you’re still using outdated GPS trackers or any other equipment that only supports 3G connectivity, those devices will no longer have a network to connect once the 3G shutdown takes effect. It means you will have equipment that has no way of sharing or receiving any data, information, or communications.

While AT&T says it won’t be shutting down 3G services until 2022, the carrier may not be able to provide enough 3G coverage to guarantee that your equipment will consistently work. That’s because most carriers have data roaming agreements that allow them to use other carriers’ towers to transmit information. These agreements allow carriers to expand their networks without having to invest in building their own cell phone towers in each region.

However, once T-Mobile and Verizon shut their 3G networks down – 3G devices will have limited access to towers that can still transmit 3G data. Places that once received clear signals might be out of range after the 3G sunset. The service disruptions will likely be very noticeable come January 1, 2021, which is why preparing for these shutdowns now is so important.

How Do I Avoid Service Disruptions Once 3G Networks Shut Down?

A telematics system that can’t connect to a network isn’t much use to a fleet company. When it comes to ELD compliance, that connection is critical, as you could be considered out of compliance without accurate records.

We can help you make sure your business isn’t affected by the upcoming 3G shutdowns if you act now. Here at Forward Thinking Systems, we are seeing an uptick in the number of fleets that need to upgrade their equipment and want to utilize some of the best technology on the market.

Get ahead of the situation now and make sure your business doesn’t miss a beat. Please contact us so we can get a better sense of your needs. From there we will set you up with a free demo and review the services we offer that best pair with your current solutions.

Ashley Preston
After serving as a journalist and communications specialist for over a decade, Ashley Preston focuses on compiling information that helps businesses better understand complicated industry issues, comply with federal regulations, and optimize daily fleet operations.

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