- Photo: Travis Rupert from Pexels

Photo: Travis Rupert from Pexels

On February 22, 2022, AT&T plans to sunset its 3G network, meaning that modules and devices that request 3G voice and data-only services from the AT&T network will no longer work. The company is the first of many that plan to shutdown their 3G networks by the end of 2022.

The shutdown, or "sunsetting of 3G," means that many older smartphones and devices will no longer work. Phones must support at least 4G service or users will need to upgrade to a newer device. While phones won't just stop working, there won't be data or voice service for devices without 4G capabilities. Some device features may work, but network access will not occur.  

The "phasing out of our 3G network in February will make room for an event better one that will improve [user] experience," AT&T noted.  

According to global technology intelligence firm ABI Research, this could have a crippling effect on more than 350,000 Class 8 vehicles and many connected cold-chain trailers—vehicles that are essential to the already strained supply chain.

ABI Research also noted that, of the estimated 3.97 million Class 8 trucks in the United States, approximately 3.8 million are employed by smaller fleets. These smaller fleets are more likely to have delayed the transition from 3G to 4G devices, many of which require Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) compliance via Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs).

T-Mobile plans to sunset Sprint's 3G network March 31, 2022 and Sprint's 4G LTE network by June 30, 2022. Verizon has announced plans to shutdown its 3G network by Dec. 31, 2022. 

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