The 3G sunset is approaching, and it will be here quicker than you think. For some motor carriers, that means updating the in-cab technology in their fleets – things like electronic logging devices, dash cams and asset trackers – to avoid service interruptions and remain in compliance with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations.
“If you don’t update your devices in time, you could potentially be leaving your fleet and your business non-complaint and at-risk,” Yasi Alemzadeh, EROAD’s Vice President of Operations, said during a recent webinar on the topic hosted by the Arizona Trucking Association.
Here’s a rundown on why wireless carriers are phasing out 3G, when it will happen and what EROAD is doing to help customers prepare.
What is the 3G Sunset?
Wireless carriers are phasing out their 3G networks (the “G” stands for “generation”) to make way for 4G and 5G networks that accommodate higher data usage.
“Shutting down the 3G network allows for the carriers like AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint to repurpose the networks so that they can get ready for faster speeds to be able to provide more reliable data and more video services, taking up the speed and efficiency,” Alemzadeh said.
When Will it Happen?
Major wireless carriers have announced plans to shut down their 3G networks in 2022, according to Alemzadeh, with T-Mobile/Sprint phasing out 3G in January, AT&T in February and Verizon in December.
But, despite the official 3G sunset dates being at least several months away, some users may already be noticing connectivity issues with their 3G in-cab technology because cellular carriers have already scaled back on maintenance of 3G networks, she added.
How To Prepare for the 3G Sunset?
“The biggest thing that you need to do as a business is to look to see if you have any old versions of technology that are running in your fleet that won’t work once 3G is actually shut down, Alemzadeh said. “And if you’re unsure of that, reach out to your technology provider or providers and make sure you are compatible with the 4G LTE network or beyond.”
She offered these tips for preparing for the 3G sunset:
- Don’t wait: Depending on the wireless provider, you may have only about six months to update your 3G devices: “It’s really, really important that you plan ahead,” Alemzadeh said, adding that there is a global supply chain shortage affecting technology providers, which could limit the availability of telematics devices.
- Review your options: “It’s a perfect time to review your options with your technology provider to see what new features they may have, what kind of technology they’re working on and even asking them what they’re doing to prepare for that next network shutdown,” she said.
What is EROAD Doing?
With the 3G sunset on the horizon, EROAD began proactively contacting and working with customers more than a year ago to swap out older devices. EROAD customers with questions or concerns about the 3G shut down and how it may affect their ELDs should contact us at 855-503-7623 ext. 1 or firstname.lastname@example.org to review their account and ensure that their in-cab technology is compatible with the 4G LTE network.
“The moral of the story is: don’t wait. Get on top of this,” Alemzadeh said. “This is not something that is going away. It’s going to start happening in 2022, and so it’s really important that you reach out to your technology provider, if you haven’t, and evaluate all of your options as it relates to all of your technology solutions in your vehicles.”
With fleet management solutions like our dependable, durable and accurate ELD, Clarity Dashcam and Asset Tracker, EROAD is committed to helping our customers run safe, efficient and successful operations while staying in compliance with FMCSA regulations. Contact us today to learn more.