The 3G Sunset & Fleets
Managing fleets brings a lot of challenges — from keeping up with efficiency to instilling safety policies. One way you can work to streamline these challenges is through communication software and fleet monitoring tools. These tools usually run through a central network — such as 3G — that allows you to access that data.
Recently, providers like Verizon and AT&T have started making major changes to their networks. As a fleet manager, it's important to stay up to date on those changes so you can keep everything running smoothly.
What is the 3G Sunset?
The 3G sunset is the phasing-out of the 3G network from big providers like Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. Originally, the 3G network carried most of the signals from mobile devices. Since then, providers have introduced 4G and 5G with significantly faster speeds, deeming 3G irrelevant.
The 3G sunset will make room for these new 4G and 5G networks. Since 3G is still taking up a good bit of bandwidth, the sunset will clear space to accommodate the high demand of increased data requirements and faster speeds.
How Does the 3G Sunset Impact Fleets?
Many see the 3G sunset as the natural order of things — old technology is phased out as newer, more reliable technology replaces it. So what does the 3G sunset mean for fleets?
The impact of the 3G sunset on fleets may be irrelevant or may be very significant based on your fleet. If your vehicles are still using 3G to communicate, for example, you'll have to upgrade to 4G before the sunset. If you don't, you may not be able to access data from your vehicles, such as location tracking and telematics.
If you are still running on 3G after the sunset, you may also risk violating compliance regulations. You'll also be paying for software that isn't working.
Aside from avoiding various problems when the sunset happens, switching over to 4G will also make your operations much faster, as these newer networks provide faster speeds to retrieve and send data. These networks also offer a wider coverage range and better compatibility with cellular technologies.
How the 3G sunset affects your fleet will largely depend on how you plan for it. It's essential to take a look at how fleets can prepare for the 3G sunset to avoid any snags in productivity when the switch happens.
Transitioning your Fleet Devices
There are a few different ways you can work to transition your fleet devices to a new network. Although it may seem intimidating trying to get everything settled before the sunset happens, focus on a few actionable steps to help you make the switch.
1. Take Inventory
The first thing you should do is figure out which of your mobile assets still use 3G. Take inventory and determine which assets will be affected by the 3G sunset. Then, you'll have a specific number and identifications available to know exactly what you need to change.
2. Reach Out to Your Provider
Your next step should be to reach out to your provider to figure out the next steps and the timeline you're on. Some providers have already started phasing out 3G, while others, such as Verizon, have their sunset scheduled for the end of 2022.
Contact your provider to discuss a plan to integrate the new networks.
3. Make a Transition Plan
After you've outlined the timeline with your provider, start crafting a transition plan to get your fleet devices to the new network. Calculate the amount of time it will take to make the switch, and be sure to prioritize this over less important matters.
Receiving data and telematics is likely a big part of your fleet strategy, so you want to make sure you're taking care of that transition correctly.
4. Schedule Installation
Plan a time to schedule the installation for your fleet devices. Some installations may be easier than others — if you're looking for a quick solution and an easy install, you may want to work with a fleet provider that offers easy-to-use, innovative technology.
5. Communicate to Your Team
Once the new technology is installed, be sure to communicate with your team about how to use it. It can be challenging to use a new system. Holding classes and seminars will help instill a sense of knowledge about the new technology before it's even installed.
Expect several snags as this new technology is first introduced, and provide resources to help employees handle the transition smoothly.
Rand Compliance and the Vehicle Link ELD
The impact of the 3G sunset on Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) may be significant for your fleet. It's important to find a solution that can make those changing networks less of a burden on your fleet's productivity.
Rand McNally Fleet has the perfect solution for you. Our Rand Compliance provides hours of service reporting with innovative technology at a low cost. Rand Compliance deems sunsetting networks irrelevant with our Vehicle Link, which allows you to connect to an Android phone or connected tablet. It's an easy-to-use platform that you can utilize for years to come — without interruption.
The 3G sunset and your telematics shouldn't have to be intertwined together. Instead, opt for a system that cuts through the hassle with our Vehicle Link. The Vehicle Link is a small electronic logging device — around a half-inch in diameter — that we can install in seconds. You can plug it into the diagnostic port and easily pair it with the Rand McNally Driver App or Android phone.
With this app, you can check out a variety of different data points. Look at average fuel economy, coolant temperature, and more, all from the convenience of your mobile device. Drivers will be able to certify logs right from the app.
The 3G sunset and ELDs don't have to be such a headache — just work with Rand McNally Fleet to find the solution for you.
The impact of the 3G sunset on telematics is something many fleet managers are focused on in 2022. They will have to find ways to work around the sunset, upgrade their networks, or find a new system to connect their ELDS.
Rand McNally Fleet can offer you the technology you need to keep your fleet running effectively — even after the 3G sunset. Our Vehicle Link provides an easy way to connect mobile devices to your vehicles. Our Driver App lets you check diagnostics and various gauges right from your device.
It's an easy, streamlined process that only takes seconds to install. Schedule your installation and start utilizing all the benefits of our Rand McNally Fleet technology. Request pricing today!