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What does the 2G Network Shutdown mean for your fleet management solution?

August 03, 2016 by Arpana Nair

2G Network

Currently, many of the world’s telecommunications providers are in the process of shutting down their 2G networks. This move is being driven by greater smartphone usage worldwide, and a growing demand for more mobile data and faster speeds. Use of the 2G network has been declining steadily for a long time, and uptake of new 2G handsets is very low1.

One of the USA’s major providers has, for instance, announced plans to shut down its 2G network in January 2017, an Singapore will be the first country in the world to shut its major 2G networks simultaneously, on 1 April 20172.

Here in Australia, Telstra’s 2G network will be shut down on 1 December 20163, and Optus will follow on 1 April 20174.

What does this mean for your fleet management software?

If your current fleet management solution relies on the 2G network for GPS tracking, the shutdown of the 2G network could have a fairly significant impact on your business. 

It means you will need to replace any telematics or tracking devices that currently operate on the 2G network with new, upgraded hardware.

Removing any 2G-reliant technology across your business can, potentially, be a very costly exercise. Unfortunately, many telematics solution providers are offsetting the upgrade cost by forcing businesses to pay to upgrade. This can mean businesses are forced to pay thousands of dollars in upfront fees to upgrade their entire fleet of company vehicles.

What can you do about it?

1.    Check with your vehicle tracking provider

Give your telematics solutions provider a call to find out if your fleet management software is currently operating on the 2G network, and if so, to what extent. Find out if there are any costs to upgrade, and what your provider’s plan is for helping you upgrade your hardware and get back up and running.

2.    Shop around

If your provider suggests that you will have to pay upfront costs to upgrade your hardware, make sure you shop around. You don't want to be paying money out of your own pocket, if you don’t have to.

With Fleetmatics REVEAL, for instance, there are no upfront costs to make the switch and upgrade your hardware. In fact, Fleetmatics REVEAL’s GPS solution means you’ll get free updates for life! 

Fleetmatics REVEAL is also one of the world’s leading fleet management solutions and offers you benefits that other providers may not, such as helping eliminate fuel card abuse and automate time sheets. 

Click here to find out how you can avoid needless upfront costs when upgrading from the 2G network and get a demo with Fleetmatics REVEAL.

1. Leigh D Stark, Optus to kill 2G-GSM network, Vodafone to keep it going, accessed 7 July 2016, <http://www.gadgetguy.com.au/optus-to-kill-2g-gsm-network-vodafone-to-keep-it-going/>

2, 4. Chris Wolski, How the Demise of AT&amp;T's 2G Impacts Fleets, accessed 7 July 2016, <http://www.m2mone.com.au/preparing-your-business-for-the-2g-gsm-network-shut-down-in-australia/>

3. Mike Wright, It's time to say goodbye old friend, accessed 7 July 2016, <http://exchange.telstra.com.au/2014/07/23/its-time-to-say-goodbye-old-friend/>