Lights are out for 2G and 3G! What do you need to know about the change?

Most mobile operators are switching off older generation 2G and 3G networks throughout Europe. But don't worry, ABAX allows you to take full advantage of the benefits from 4G - find out more.

Marie Lislott
Data points and celluar network covering city

The telecommunications landscape is evolving rapidly, and the shift from 2G and 3G to more advanced 4G and 5G networks is a significant part of this transformation. As most mobile operators across Europe phase out older networks, it's crucial to understand how this change impacts the telematics industry.

5G: A New Era for Telematics and Logistics

The advent of 5G technology is not just about faster speeds; it's a game-changer for the Internet of Things (IoT) and autonomous vehicles. With its massive data handling capacity and minimal latency, 5G promises to revolutionise logistics by enabling real-time data interpretation and action, transforming how we manage and track fleet operations.

Why  is  2G and 3G  turning off?  

4G is taking over more and more of the mobile data traffic. Today, there is little data going through the 3G network, and even less through the 2G network. The 4G network has become a dominant technology because it provides better coverage and performance for consumers. And, it`s more cost-efficient for the mobile operators.  

Equipment reliant on 2G and 3G networks, such as certain IoT/M2M devices and telematic systems, will increasingly face connectivity challenges. To avoid operational disruptions, these devices must transition to 4G technology, offering better coverage, speed, and capacity. This upgrade is not just a necessity but an opportunity to enhance operational efficiency and secure communication solutions.  

Sunsetting is not unusual. It is the natural progression of things. To make room for newer, better products and services, older versions are discontinued. The focus now is on sunsetting the 2G and 3G networks in order to re-farm the spectrum MNO’s use for expanding 4G and 5G. Sunset dates and announcements are changing frequently which is why IoT users are being advised to look ahead and consider future-proofing their equipment and deployments now.  

Benefits of the upgrade 

As 4G and 5G is being rolled out, it won’t be long before it begins transforming the tracking industry. When it comes to telematics, the next-generation networks will speed up data transfer and make faster response times possible. The result is lowered costs, boosted connectivity and increased system capacity.

Fleets are increasingly reliant on onboard systems to run their operations efficiently, so anything that accelerates those communications could bring your business huge benefits: 

  • Speed: 5G will be super-fast, even in highly populated areas. This eliminates the potential for delays in communication or downtime—wherever your drivers are. It opens up a whole world of possibilities for improved efficiency: With your ABAX fleet management software, you`ll get a complete top-down view of your assets.  

  • Responsivity: 5G will speed up the telematic data transfer. Safer fleet not only safeguards your company’s employees, assets and the cargo onboard, but also improves vehicle lifespan, fleet uptime, cost control and overall customer experience with instant updates.  

  • Connectivity: Since 5G allows up to 100 times more devices be connected at the same time, it will help you realize the full potential of IoT (Internet of Things). More and more smart connected devices can be online at the same time, and thanks to its low power consumption, some connected objects can operate for months or years without the need for human assistance.   

How  will this transform fleet  management?  

More responsive networks like 4G and 5G mean better fleet-wide communication between drivers, managers and customers in general. Faster speeds and greater connectivity bring a lot of benefits. ABAX allows you to take full advantage of the benefits from 4G - from real-time updates to trailer tracking and route mapping. Our new hardware supports modern cellular technologies, helping to set you on the right path for your IoT deployment.  

Typically, tracking devices have a lifespan of 5+ years. As the lights go out for 2G and 3G in several European countries, telematics providers should make device upgrades to 4G. ABAX has already made these upgrades - in fact, we are prepared for network changes that will happen 15-20 years ahead!

Explore how Smart Mobility lets you do more with less!

What does this mean for ABAX devices? 

Since the launch of our ABAX6 products in 2020, we have been at the forefront of telematics innovation. Our technology does not just meet current standards but anticipates future developments. This foresight has led us to adopt LTE-M technology, a subset of the LTE standard that is compatible with both 4G and 5G networks. 
Why LTE-M? LTE-M is a future-proof technology that offers several advantages over traditional 2G networks, including: 

  • Improved coverage, especially in remote areas. 

  • Enhanced battery life for devices / less power consumption.

  • Better support for IoT applications, which is crucial in the telematics industry. 

By choosing ABAX, you are not just choosing a service for today but an investment for tomorrow.

Our LTE-M enabled devices ensure: 

  • Uninterrupted service during and after the 2G sunset. 

  • A seamless transition to future network technologies. 

  • Consistent, reliable data transmission, crucial for fleet management and other telematics applications. 

For how long will 4G  still  exist? 

When selecting technology for IoT deployments, businesses need to know how long 4G LTE will be available, whether 5G will make 4G obsolete, and how to plan their investment. The answer is that there will be a long period of time when 4G and 5G will co-exist. LTE, which stands for Long Term Evolution, will be around for at least 10 years, so 5G will not make LTE obsolete any time soon.  

To make 5G technology available early and provide a seamless user experience, first 5G networks and devices will work in non-standalone (NSA) mode. This means that a device will always connect to the 4G LTE network first, and if a 5G network becomes available, the device will use 5G for additional bandwidth.

As billions of new IoT devices continue to be deployed in the years to come, those forward-thinking organizations that prepare today now the far-reaching implications of 5G will be well ahead of the competition. In today’s constantly evolving digital marketplace, that difference can be vital to your company’s success. 

Choosing ABAX means investing in a future-proof solution that guarantees uninterrupted service and a seamless transition to emerging network technologies. Our commitment is to provide consistent, reliable data transmission, essential for efficient fleet management.

Our team are on hand to help your business' unique tracking requirements.

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