The global shutdown of 2G and 3G networks has been on the cards for some time now, although the exact dates of the shutdown vary quite a lot around the world. Many operators have already closed their 2G networks, and 3G will be next, but in the Nordics and Baltics, 3G is being switched off before 2G. As the traffic in these networks steadily diminishes, operators have been speeding up the shutdown and most of the older networks will be closed before the end of 2025.
Why shut down 2G and 3G?
The main reason to shut down the 2G and 3G networks is the evolution of telecommunications technology. 2G and 3G have become outdated, and newer technology, such as 4G and 5G, offers faster speeds, more reliable connections, and better coverage.
Moreover, the demand for mobile data has increased exponentially, and the older networks are unable to handle the high volumes of data traffic. By shutting down the 2G and 3G networks, mobile operators can free up valuable spectrum, which can be used for newer technologies.
Impact on telematics applications
When the 3G network is no longer available, what will happen to the telematics devices that rely on it? The most obvious impact is that these devices will no longer be able to communicate with the network. In practical terms, many of them will be unable to transmit or receive data. In some cases, they might be able to utilise the 2G network, but network speed can be a limiting factor as the transmission speeds in 2G networks are much lower than those in 3G networks. On the other hand, many devices can still use 2G networks without any issues.
Impact on Aplicom devices
Aplicom A-Series devices allow you to choose your radio access technology. This applies to both SDK and Aplicom Telematics SW users. In the Aplicom configurator Parameters section, there is an option for radio access with these options:
- Only 2G
- Dual, prefer 2G
- Dual, prefer 3G
- Only 3G
If you have configured your devices to use only the 3G network and the network is closed, they will lose connection. In dual mode, the connection might slow down if an unavailable technology is preferred. So please check your connectivity options and the availability of networks in your operating area.
The shutdown of 2G and 3G networks is a necessary step in the evolution of technology, and it will pave the way for newer, faster, and more reliable networks. However, it will also have an impact on telematics devices and users need to be proactive in reducing its effects by upgrading to newer networks and ensuring that their devices have the necessary hardware and security features.
The best way to proceed is to check your operator’s shutdown schedule and make a plan that takes the schedule into account.
Please contact Aplicom sales for more information about migrating into 4G networks.