3G Sunset Dates

Learn why 3G is going away and your options to minimize the impact on your organization

Several wireless carriers have announced the sunset of their 3G wireless networks during 2022. This would effectively disable any device that you own that uses a wireless connection to communicate with a 3G cellular network.

Why is this happening?

The cellular providers purchase wireless spectrum from the government and their radio transmissions can only operate within certain wireless frequency bands. This ensures that each provider has exclusive rights to use certain wireless frequencies and will not interfere with communications between other devices on other networks. That is how they ensure that your calls are not dropped and you can’t overhear another caller’s communications.

Over the past few years, the FCC has auctioned wireless spectrum for what is referred to as 5G technology. The major cellular carriers have purchased this spectrum and must “reallocate” their older 3G spectrum and towers to support the new 5G technology. The carriers prefer the newer 5G technology because it is more cost effective and can provide more bandwidth for higher data usage applications. This is driven by the public’s use of streaming services such as Netflix, YouTube, and others. In fact, many people will be able to replace their wired home internet service with 5G service at a comparable cost and performance. Overall, the transition to 5G will ultimately benefit the customer, but unfortunately, the transition will be somewhat painful for many users who will be forced to replace their 3G devices within a short timeframe.

Impacted Technologies

These are some of the technologies that will be negatively impacted by the sunset

  • GPS fleet tracking systems
  • Home health care monitoring systems
  • Security alarm systems
  • Parolee monitoring systems
  • In vehicle entertainment systems
  • Vehicle concierge services
  • And others…
  • Planned Shutdown Dates

    As of January 5, 2022, these are the planned shutdown dates by carrier:

    AT&T (NYSE:T) 3G shutdown date: February 28, 2022
    Verizon (Nasdaq:VZ) 3G shutdown date: December 31, 2022
    T-Mobile (NasdaqGS:TMUS) / Sprint 3G shutdown date: March 31, 2022

    Note, that these are the official final shutdown dates. The carriers have been known to shut down various markets prior to the official shutdown date. Also, any local roaming partner that these carriers depend on may shut down their local networks prior to the carrier’s shutdown date. For example, your devices could “officially” operate on Verizon’s 3G network, but when it operates in a certain market, it could be on the local provider’s network instead. If the local provider shuts down their network down prior to December 31, 2022, then the Verizon service won’t work in that market.

    How to determine if you are impacted

    In most cases, impacted providers are proactive and will reach out to their users to notify them of the issue and offer upgrade options. However, not all providers prioritize this issue equally. If you haven’t been notified, it would be best to reach out to the provider to ask which of your devices will be impacted by the sunset and if they offer any upgrade options.

    You can also look at the labels of your device(s) and if they display any of the following acronyms, then you will likely be impacted:

  • UMTS
  • HSPA
  • HSPA+
  • CDMA
  • CDMA 1xRTT
  • CDMA2000
  • WCDMA
  • EDGE
  • GSM (2G)
  • GPRS (2G)
  • Your options

    Unfortunately, in most cases, you will have to replace the device that you currently use with one that utilizes more modern technology. For most non-smartphone applications, using 5G devices is cost prohibitive and is overkill. For these types of applications, 4G/LTE technology is the most appropriate and is expected to be supported by the wireless carriers until 2030.

    If you are in need of replacing your GPS fleet tracking units, we offer a very advanced and compelling solution.

    Our GPS Fleet Management Capabilities

     

    OBDII GPS Tracker

    Plug & Play GPS Trackers

    To ensure a quick and easy installation, we offer OBD-II Plug & Play trackers that simply plug into your vehicle’s diagnostic port. These devices can be installed without the need for a professional installer in less than 5 minutes. We also offer “Y” harnesses that give you the ability to hide the device behind the dashboard. We even offer traditional hard-wired devices.

    3G sunset - FieldLogix gps tracking

    Driver Safety Monitoring

    Cut your liabilities by improving driving habits and compare the safety of each driver to industry benchmarks! We have the most powerful safety management features due to our use of Machine Learning that predicts the likelihood that your drivers will be involved in a crash. You can monitor crucial safety KPI’s such as aggressive driving, speed limit violations, driver’s safety scorecard, industry standards, and much more!

    fleet diagnostics

    Vehicle Health

    We monitor more aspects of your vehicles to keep them on the road and out of the shop. We will give you your fleet’s MPG’s, diagnostic trouble codes, check engine light alerts, battery voltage, fuel level, and more.

    user-friendly gps fleet tracking

    User-friendly

    Our customers tell us that our solution is among the most user-friendly in the market. This minimizes the learning ramp up time required of your users and keeps your IT administrators sane.

    3G sunset upgrade cost

    No Upfront Costs

    In order to smooth out your transition, we are offering a special $0 down offer to eliminate your upfront equipment costs.  If you are interested, complete the form below for a quote.

     

    Complete the form below to learn more about how we can make your transition away from 3G pain-free!


    Sources:
    AT&T 3G Sunset support page
    Verizon 3G Sunset news announcement
    T-Mobile 3G Sunset news announcement
    Wikipedia 3G Technologies

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