As we have all heard, the sunset of the 3G network is underway. But what does that really mean, and more importantly, what does that mean to your company and your fleet? Many are asking, “do I need to tackle this now, or will it take a year or two for the 3G sunset to truly be finalized?”
The answer is yes, you need to begin preparing now as the process of sunsetting has already begun.
It’s incredibly important for companies to begin considering migrating to an LTE technology or LTE technology with support for 3G fallback. Prior to sunsetting a network, mobile network operators often regionally repurpose spectrum or tune their radio access network. That means trucks and assets flowing through these regions or cities may begin to experience network degradation and communications issues over time as network operators roll out their migration.
But, today’s LTE is part of the 4G LTE ecosystem that will serve as a stepping stone to 5G. As 5G improves to reach its full potential over the coming years, it will rely on these LTE variants. These LTE technologies (of which you may know as 4G LTE) are the current backbone of the wireless market today.
Hear from Industry Leaders About the 3G Sunset and What It Means for You
“Think of [the 3G sunset] like an abandoned road: At first, you might still be able to access it, but over time, the lack of maintenance and repair make it impossible to use. We expect the sunset will happen gradually, with providers cutting back coverage in lower volume areas, resulting in coverage gaps prior to full network shutdown. A gradual sunset process may pose significant challenges to fleets that rely on 3G networks to communicate with drivers and vehicles, as well as to collect important data related to fleet safety, compliance and overall performance.”
“Even before [the 2022 3G shut down] happens, experts are warning that a drop in the number of total 3G cell sites across the United States could constrict their communications to one channel. The sunsetting of 3G means even fleets that are fully compliant with the mandate need to “make sure the equipment they have in place is on a network that will give them adequate coverage going into the next couple of years,” explained Doug Schrier, vice president of product and innovation for Pegasus Transflo.
“Next generation technology such as the PowerFleet LTE LV-100 devices will be crucial to our expansion across the U.S. An overhaul of our entire fleet would normally be a massive undertaking, but PowerFleet’s proven technology is flexible and easily integrates to our transportation management software, taking the headache out of the upgrade process.”
“After using other telematics solutions, we refined our requirements and realized we were in need of a partner with a reliable solution that is prepared for the LTE transition. PowerFleet has not only prepared us but the visibility and control its LV-400 solution provides will help us to reduce load and loss damage as well as help with overall cost reduction.”
– Randy Arceneaux, President & CEO, Panhandle Transportation Group
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