As the 3G shutdown draws nearer, technology users are being inundated with reminders from service providers to swap their 3G devices with newer models. Look… most fleet managers have enough to worry about without adding the installation of new GPS trackers to their list. But what happens if you don’t

Forget where’s my stuff… where’s my data?

Fleet managers rely on GPS data to tell them where their vehicles and equipment are, how their employees are performing in the field, and the health of their assets. All of that is made possible through devices reading machine and satellite data and relaying it back through cellular networks. But these devices can’t communicate on all networks. Devices that are several years old were likely designed to only work on the 3G or earlier network and can’t communicate on the 4G, LTE, or 5G networks.

If the 3G network isn’t broken, why get rid of it?

Your 3G device is currently working just fine. So the network must be working too. Why shut it down?

Just like fleet managers retire vehicles that are aging and breaking down more often, cellular network providers have to balance ongoing maintenance with investment in the future. 4G and 5G networks are more efficient, faster, and can handle bandwidth from more advanced IoT (Internet of Things) devices. Simply put, it’s too expensive to maintain a separate 3G network as well, and hinders the technological advances possible with newer networks.

So does that mean 4G devices are better too?

You got it. In addition to improved cellular connectivity and speed, 4G GPS devices often have additional features because they are new and improved. For instance, the 4G version of the Linxup OBD Plug-In Vehicle Tracker is able to read diagnostic trouble codes; alerts are sent when a check engine light is triggered, and the device can even provide information on the code. 

DID YOU KNOW: You can set alert notifications to go to any email address, even non-users. Set DTC codes to be sent to your favorite mechanic and get instant feedback on how serious a potential problem is.

Anything else to worry about?

Maybe. Have you ever waited until the last minute to buy a popular item for a holiday gift? The same thing may happen later this year with 4G devices. Several years ago, a federal law required some transportation providers to switch from paper logs to Electronic Logging Devices (ELD). The deadline to complete the switch was December 2017. Many companies waited until the last minute, only to find that most ELD providers had run out of inventory. Experts predict a similar scenario for mid to late 2021 when the first 3G networks begin to shut down.

 

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