Telecom providers are currently contending with two major shifts: the gradual phasing out of 3G networks and the introduction of the highly anticipated 5G infrastructure ⁠— one that promises sweeping advances in automation and supply chain communication. 

While trucking fleets still using 3G devices have, in some cases, until the end of 2022 to transition to 4G/LTE, many are procrastinating ⁠— and understandably so. Outside of the financial cost of upgrading, they will have to park their fleets, chassis and trailers to comprehensively uninstall and reinstall devices. Because most carriers operate on razor-thin margins, purposely grounding assets is counterintuitive. Doing this could result in severe operational loss, causing many carriers to hedge their bets and put the whole thing off.

To unpack the complexity and urgency of this issue, as well as strategize ways to avoid revenue loss, PowerFleet just released a white paper titled “Understand the 3G Sunset.” While the paper empathizes with fleets that must pause operations to make this transition, it also outlines potential costs of this procrastination. 

The white paper details three useful steps for fleets that need to roll out the 4G/LTE-enabled systems, without threatening their operations. These steps help fleets sort out the more precarious issues, such as how to prioritize assets with wired-in 3G devices and assets with devices from multiple providers. Since telecom providers all have different sunset deadlines, those dates must be taken into account as fleets make a plan.

“While some network providers may take down their network all at once, most of them will have a rolling shutdown schedule of select towers,” the white paper said. “This will mean services will be impacted long before the actual shutdown date of 3G connectivity. For companies that run long-haul fleets across the country, it is essential to grasp where these devices are located and their level of accessibility.”

PowerFleet is placing itself at the center of this momentous industry transition as a leading provider of affordable 4G/LTE telemetry solutions that help carriers maximize their return on investment.

Fleets that haven’t shopped for new telemetry devices in the past several years might not know the recent enhancements of battery technology, for example, which the white paper details. Fleets must communicate with their current provider not only to understand these enhancements, but to ensure their current provider has ample experience and longevity in the market. PowerFleet, for instance, helped thousands of customers transition from analog to 2G, 3G and now, 4G/LTE. 

“Healthy transitioning is critical as retrofitting fleets cannot come at the cost of grounding entire fleets. Fleets need to ensure the systems are easy to install and remove, especially in wired solutions tethered to the asset. This is critical as fleets might not have the labor to support installation in-house.”

For fleets that need it, PowerFleet offers a zero-down-payment option for a migration plan. To learn more about the operational benefits of 4G/LTE, PowerFleet’s telemetry solutions and how to navigate a workable transition, download the white paper here.