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DOT & ELD Guidance Blog

3G Network Sunset: The Impact To Your Operation

Learn what the 3G phase out will mean for your fleet.
J.J. Keller Industry Consultant Tom Bray

Tom Bray - J. J. Keller Industry Consultant

November 08 , 2021

By now you’ve likely heard the news of telecommunication networks shutting down their 3G access in favor of 4G/LTE and 5G wireless networks with greater capacity. But what exactly does this mean for fleets? As the sun sets on 3G, you need to understand the impact to your operation and what it means going forward.

J. J. Keller ELD 4G/LTE Compatibility

J. J. Keller’s electronic logging hardware is 4G/LTE compatible, allowing our devices to operate uninterrupted during the 3G phase out. Learn more about the advantages of using J. J. Keller’s electronic logging solution here.

Deterioration of Network Coverage

For the most part, telematics devices sold in 2018 and later rely on 4G LTE networks to operate. But if your fleet relies on older devices to record critical driver and vehicle status information, you’re likely dependent on 3G network coverage. Verizon and AT&T expect the completion of their 3G shut-off by 2022. This means that deteriorating coverage could cause a significant reduction in overlapping 3G cell sites and could constrict your communications to one channel.

ELD Implications

For motor carriers who installed telematics with integrated 3G cellular capabilities, a physical device replacement will be necessary to ensure compatibility with 4G/LTE. Find out if your vendor will be updating your devices for 4G/LTE compatibility through a firmware or software update, and if so, when. J. J. Keller® ELDs are 4G/LTE compatible. 

Next Steps

If you aren't using J. J. Keller® ELDs,  check with your device provider to ensure compatibility with 4G/LTE communication networks. They should be completely transparent regarding any potential disruptions and provide detailed information regarding their plan for ensuring compatibility now and in the future.

This article was first published in April 2019 and was updated in November 2021.


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