Wireless carriers are planning to sunset portions of their wireless networks that run on 2G and 3G technologies from 2020 to 2022, potentially impacting thousands of mobile devices used in trucking. That was the message during a session at Trimble’s in.sight virtual user conference, with participants logging in from around North America for an array of sessions on Trimble’s various products and services.
John Binder, director of wireless operations at Trimble Transportation, explained that wireless carriers sunset earlier technologies to free up room on their spectrums for new additional networks based on newer technologies that offer better performance and features than earlier technologies.
Currently on the sunset list are 2G and 3G GMS networks, the technology used by AT&T and T-Mobile, and 2G and 3G CDMA networks, used by Verizon and Sprint. AT&T stopped supporting 2G GSM in 2016, with plans to sunset its 3G GSM network by 2022, while T-Mobile plans on sunsetting both GSM version in 2021. On the CDMA side, Verizon will sunset both the 2G and 3G networks at the end of this year, while Sprint has set the end of 2021.
Replacing these networks are the 4G LTE networks that have been up since the early 2010s and which are expected to be supported until after 2030, Binder said. The next jump in wireless technology will be with 5G networks, which are just being rolled out.
Trimble’s current lineup of wireless technologies, including mobile gateways and display units, are 4G LTE-based. The company offers a hardware-as-a-service (HaaS) under which users can get new hardware via a subscription, similar to how many now access software.