The 3G network shutdown is fast approaching. The time for planning is now.

While sunset dates may differ depending on carrier and location, many North American carriers have already begun sunsetting 3G networks. The 3G sunset paves the way for the shift to 4G and beyond, to provide consumers with enhanced speed and connectivity.

With the process already in motion, how prepared is your fleet for the inevitable transition?

How does the 3G shutdown affect my service?

Many devices and their associated service plans are only 3G-capable. This means, they simply won’t work once the 3G sunset is complete and carriers shift to 4G LTE service. Fleets must take action to avoid surprises when the transition to 4G LTE is complete. Here is what you can do right now:

  • Confirm with your telematics provider whether the devices installed in your fleet vehicles are 4G LTE-capable.
  • If your provider’s devices are on 3G networks, ask what plans are in place to avoid disruptions to your telematics services once the shutdown is complete.
  • Further sunsets are inevitable as technology evolves. Find out what warranties or expandable technology solutions your telematics provider can offer to avoid future disruptions.

How to transition to 4G LTE in 5 easy steps

  1. Determine how long it takes to remove an existing telematics device and reinstall a new 4G-capable device in one of your vehicles.
  2. Calculate the time an installer would need in order to swap out all of the devices in your fleet. To do so, simply multiply the installation time per vehicle by the total number of vehicles in your fleet.
  3. Choose a verified installer. Will it be an external installer, an in-house mechanic or will drivers install the devices themselves?
  4. Schedule the installations. Take a close look at your fleet’s operations to identify the best times. Ask yourself:
  • How often do your vehicles return to the home terminal?
  • What dates and times are large portions of your fleet at the terminal?
  • How many devices will need to be sent to each terminal?
  1. Communicate. Review steps 1 to 4 with everyone on your team. Everyone should understand their roles and responsibilities in the process to facilitate a smooth transition.

Your telematics provider should be supporting you through this transition and help you with any questions.

This is a great time to reevaluate your telematics provider

While the 3G shutdown is front and center, technology and work practices are also changing, making it even more vital to have the right telematics solution in place. It’s important to understand whether your current provider is capable of not only meeting today’s needs but can also adapt to future changes.

When it comes to evaluating telematics providers, it’s wise to plan ahead by establishing the criteria for evaluation. Whether you stay with your current telematics provider or search for another that’s better suited to take your agency forward over the next 5-10 years, having a list of criteria will help you make an informed decision that’s right for your fleet.

You’ll want to select a telematics provider with industry experience to provide you with cost-saving strategies and first-class customer support for your government agency over the long term.

What to look for when choosing a provider

A reliable telematics provider should provide fleet operators with the peace of mind to know they’re getting the support they need now, and in the future.

A trusted telematics solution should:

Use up-to-date technology

  • Keep up with constant advancements in technology
  • Evolve their products to meet customer needs
  • Remain compliant with all laws

Offer full customer support

  • Provide timely responses to your questions
  • Support your fleet every step of the way
  • Address your concerns no matter how big or small

Allow for customization and flexibility

  • Support your fleet’s unique needs through customization
  • Offer the specific insights you need to stay productive and efficient
  • Highlight the data most relevant to your fleet

Offer competitive pricing

  • Proves its value to help justify the cost
  • Helps you become more efficient and save money
  • Fits your budget while addressing your needs

Don’t wait. Start planning now.

Planning ahead will help you rest assured that your fleet can continue operating normally by avoiding services disruptions once the shutdown happens. Don’t assume your tracking devices won’t be affected. One major-city public transit fleet in the U.S. experienced several weeks of service interruptions following the 2G shutdown because their schedule information system relied on 2G for data transmission.

Overall, the best strategy to help your fleet stay on top of changes in technology is to choose flexible technology that can adapt to whatever changes lie ahead. To learn more about how to make a smooth transition to 3G, read our eBook.