3G cellular network sunsetting raises concerns in trucking

From Transport Topics.

While the timing is expected to vary, many wireless cellular providers plan to phase out or “sunset” their remaining 2G and existing 3G networks early next year, according to the Federal Communications Commission.

Because of that upcoming move, telecommunications experts told Transport Topics trucking fleet owners and operators need to begin planning to replace or upgrade many of their communications and analytic devices, including electronic logging devices. Failing that, they run the risk of their equipment not working or being incompatible with the faster 4G and 5G networks that will replace the older 3G systems.

When the transition is finished, ELDs and other devices that run on 3G no longer will be able to transmit data to the fleet owner’s back office or to law enforcement agencies and will be obsolete. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration already has established what it is calling a “revoked ELD list” of devices that won’t work in a matter of months.

In a 2020 white paper, written by consulting firm James Brehm and Associates for AT&T, the report found an estimated 125 million cellular Internet of Things devices worldwide, with 53% running on 2G or 3G networks. FCC said an estimated 7.5 million devices still are using 3G-based networks in trucks and for other uses across the country.
“I think there are a lot of reasons 3G is going away,” Teletrac Navman Chief Product Officer Andrew Rossington told TT from his office in Melbourne, Australia. “I think the first thing to remember is how long it’s been around, since the mid-2000s. That’s a long time. Fifteen-plus years in a commercial life is pretty good. We’ve grown through 3G, 4G and now we’re looking at where 5G is going to take us in the future.

See the complete article online at Transport Topics.