The introduction of 5G — alongside widespread adoption of 4G LTE-enabled devices — has prompted major players to shut down older networks. Companies relying on older cellular networks, including 3G, CDMA and 2G, to run their remote monitoring and telematics applications will soon start to experience performance issues and reliability drops ahead of widespread network shutdowns. 

As 3G support is phased out, companies operating devices that utilize 2G or 3G and are not compatible with 4G LTE networks will no longer be able to use the devices. 

“Fleets need to be prepared for the 3G sunset. Organizations that have existing devices on the 3G network — if they don’t have those units replaced and newer technology enabled on their trailers — they’re going to lose visibility into their assets,” said Lisa Flynn, SkyBitz director of delivery services. “It is critical to get ahead of it before the 3G sunset takes place.”

Devices compatible with 4G LTE networks are not difficult to find, and upgrading now will help companies avoid inevitable quality slumps before the final shutdown. Upgrading sooner rather than later also ensures companies will not encounter a shortage closer to the shutdown date and end up sidelined until supplies can be replenished. 

The SkyBitz delivery services team is assisting carriers in preparation for the switch by helping them make plans that take their individual budgets and unique tracking needs into account, according to Flynn. The team helps carriers get their new equipment installed and provides resources to help them navigate it effectively. 

While it is important for carriers using older networks to upgrade, it is not necessary for all companies to jump straight from 3G to 5G. Existing 4G LTE networks are sufficient for many companies, especially those just now making the switch from 3G.

“For us, it is less about 4G or 5G; it is more about making sure fleets have access to their units. Whatever technology is available, that’s where we’re going to go,” Flynn said. “We want to make sure customers are not left in the dark and are not losing productivity.”

Carriers and drivers are getting the most out of their assets when they are rolling down the highway. Because of this, carriers often delay hardware upgrades. Parking equipment long enough to install and activate new hardware can result in headaches and lost income. These consequences will be inevitable, however, if carriers wait too long to upgrade and end up without working applications. By upgrading now, carriers have more control over the process and timeline.

Upgrading to 4G LTE-compatible devices will also ensure carriers can play well with their partners already using 5G networks. Carriers should consider upgrading to scalable devices. These devices will allow them to transition to 5G and beyond when necessary without parking their assets to upgrade their hardware again.

SkyBitz is offering promotional pricing on its 4G LTE units to incentivize carriers to make the switch to newer networks sooner rather than later. Contact the company for more information about promotional offers or to learn more about the upcoming 3G sunset.