How to Change Your Fleet Trucks to 4G GPS Tracking
As cellular data carriers like AT&T and Verizon prepare to shut down their 2G and 3G networks, if your field service fleet has not made the switch to 4G or 5G, you may be at risk of falling behind. Fleets that are still on 3G networks may find themselves scrambling when the deadlines are reached.
Verizon has announced a shutdown date of December 31, 2022, while AT&T will shut down its networks in February 2022. Finally, T-Mobile announced that it will finish shutting down Sprint’s 3G CDMA network by March 31, 2022.
After these dates, customers who want to continue using their current devices will have to purchase new devices that support 4G LTE.
What happens if you miss the deadline?
If you’re still on a 3G GPS tracking network, your options are limited. You can either wait until the networks are shut down and upgrade to 4G, or you can purchase a new device that supports 4G today.
Fleets that have not yet made the switch to 4G GPS tracking may find themselves scrambling when the deadlines are reached. If your fleet has not yet upgraded to 4G, now is the time to start planning for the transition.
For field service fleets that have already made the switch to 4G, there won’t be any issues as long as they keep their devices up-to-date with software updates and security patches, which are usually automatic. The major carriers are making the transition as smooth as possible for their customers.
After all, 3G is already a slower, less reliable network than 4G, and the transition to 5G is already underway. If you’re currently using 3G, you’ll have slower speeds and less coverage than 4G, and for fleet managers, that can mean a lot of headaches.
What are the benefits of 4G for Fleet Management?
Newer 4G and 5G devices bring an array of benefits to fleet management with new features for data transmission, processing, location accuracy, driver alerts, and maintenance.
The 4G GPS Tracking devices transmit as much as five times as much data per packet compared to a 3G transmitter, which gives more immediate information about a vehicle’s location. Faster processing allows 4G devices to manage more GPS data inputs. Enhanced antenna design and upgraded chipsets enable more accurate location information.
There have been several generations of wireless networking technology before the fourth generation, commonly known as 4G. The first was analog technology followed by 2G digital technology in the early 1990s, which was followed by 3G mobile communication in the mid-2000s, and finally by 4G, a technology that offers incredibly fast data transfer rates.
4G and 5G are the latest wireless technologies that provide faster data speeds and improved coverage than 3G networks. It allows users to connect to the Internet quickly with minimal delays, stream videos without interruption, and download large files more quickly than before.
With 4G LTE, your fleet will have access to faster data speeds, increased coverage in rural areas, and better battery life so you can operate your vehicles longer between charges.
LTE is short for Long Term Evolution (LTE). It’s a step up from previous technologies such as 3G and 2G, and it’s the standard for mobile networks worldwide, at least until 5G rollout ramps up.
What will 5G mean for 4G?
You might be asking yourself: Does this mean I’ll have to upgrade to 5G as well?
Don’t panic. The short answer is no, or at least not in the near future. Most carriers continue to invest in and upgrade their 4G LTE networks as well. 5G is a brand new technological standard, and experts expect it to take a few years before the majority of consumers have access to this technology
In the meantime, carriers are continuing to roll out 4G LTE networks in new markets and upgrade their existing 4G LTE networks. This means that you can continue using your current devices on 4G LTE networks until they’re replaced by 5G-compatible devices.
What can I do to prepare for the transition?
There are a few things you can do to help make the transition easier for both you and your customers.
Keep an eye on the news – Some carrier shutdown dates are still up in the air, but many carriers have already started shutting down their 3G networks. If you want to keep track of when each carrier plans to shut down its 3G network, keep an eye on the news and plan accordingly.
Buy new devices – If your fleet has not yet made the switch to 4G, now is the time to start planning for it. Make sure all of your devices support 4G LTE so that they don’t become obsolete when 4G networks go away.
Upgrade drivers’ phones – Drivers rely heavily on their phones while they’re out in the field, especially if they use them for navigation or other tools that require internet access. Make sure all drivers have smartphones with 4G LTE capabilities so they can stay connected no matter where they are in the world.
Plan ahead – Now is also a great time to start planning for 5G because it will be rolling out soon after 4G goes away. While 5G won’t replace 4G right away, it will allow fleets like yours to be effortlessly tracked anywhere, at any time.
The best way to ensure that you don’t miss any deadlines is by keeping up with what’s happening in the industry at large and making smart decisions about how you operate as a business based on those developments.
How Can GPSTrackit Help?
GPSTrackit is here to help you with your fleet management needs during the transition. If you’re an existing GPS Trackit customer and need to upgrade your systems for the upcoming 5g switch, learn more about a no-cost upgrade for loyal customers.
If your fleet is running legacy 3G hardware, now is the time to make sure you’re ready for this update. This will affect OBD II telematics hardware, ELD devices and asset trackers. If you’d like to learn more about how GPS Trackit can help you update to the best 4G and 5G-compatible hardware with GPS tracking and telematics, contact a Fleet Advisor to learn how to get started.
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