The sun is setting on 3G networks before our very eyes. Ready?

The sun is setting of 3G networks before our very eyes. Are you sure you are ready?

In a recent article we addressed the sunsetting of 3G networks and the implications for businesses using the technology. One of the issues is understanding where they exist in your business or equipment. Moreover, how its loss will impact the business.

3G networks close this year

The problem is that we don’t know what we don’t know. Clearly if we know we have plant using 3G networks, then we can address the issue. But do we really know what is on each piece of installed machinery? According to Vodafone, G2, which covers more than 99% of the UK population will remain for calls and texts, but G3 stops this year. 

As a recent example, a friend of mine wanted to renew some of the over the air services on his Mercedes car. These are the ones where you can monitor its location, check, and remotely lock the doors and so on. Although there is a cost for this service, he appreciated the value and reassurance they provided for his vehicle and wanted to renew them.  

However, after signing into the maker’s online portal he was unable to renew his services. It simply said not available. After some online searching of the Internet, he came across a user forum.

According to another disappointed owner, until 2020 production, Mercedes was using Vodafone 3G hardware in their vehicles. As Vodafone is ending their 3G service, Mercedes was no longer able to support these services on any pre-2020 model. Moreover, Mercedes says there is no hardware solutions available. And that is it.

Now, you might ask why Mercedes, knowing that the G3 networks end of life was approaching, did not consider it viable to replace it until 2020 production. Furthermore, why was there no upgrade path for vehicle owners? That said, other car makers and 3G providers probably in the same boat.

We operate in markets where backwards compatibility is commonplace, and where given time, we can address most issues. Yet, for some users the ending of 3G is a car crash waiting to happen.  

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