Tom Bray - J. J. Keller Industry Consultant
April 04 , 2019
By now you’ve likely heard the news of telecommunication networks shutting down their 2G and 3G access in favor of 4G/LTE and 5G wireless networks with greater capacity. But what exactly does this mean for your fleet? As the sun sets on 3G, you’ll want to understand the immediate impact to your operation and what it means going forward.
For the most part, telematics devices sold in 2018 and beyond 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. With Verizon already announcing plans to shut down 3G services after 2019, and AT&T expecting the completion of their 3G shutoff by 2022, deteriorating coverage could soon cause a significant reduction in overlapping 3G cell sites and may constrict customer communications to one channel.
For motor carriers who installed telematics and/or automatic on-board recording devices (AOBRDs) 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. This is also a great opportunity to confirm if your devices are capable of transitioning to electronic logging device (ELD) functionality before the December 16, 2019 ELD compliance deadline.
For a very small handful of ELD providers operating without distinct AOBRD and ELD hardware, customers are able to conduct business without network coverage interruption. But the exceptions are few, and you should 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.
J. J. Keller’s electronic logging hardware supports both AOBRD and ELD solutions, allowing all of their devices to operate uninterrupted during the 3G phase out. Learn more about the advantages of using J. J. Keller’s electronic logging solution here.
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