3G sunset update for US and Canadian network carriers
Updated on January 7, 2022
We’ve been hearing it for a while now– 3G is on the way out to make room for faster 4G LTE and 5G service. First introduced in 2001, 3G has allowed our mobile devices to do a lot more than make phone calls. Smartphones and mobile devices have changed the way we communicate thanks to texting, media sharing, emailing, and downloading apps that help us stay organized and informed. But it’s been 20 years, and like most technology, it’s time to move to the new and improved version. 3G no longer delivers enough speed or capacity for today’s consumers. And keep in mind – the 3G sunset isn’t just affecting cellphones. It’s going to impact other devices like tablets, smartwatches, alarm/security systems, e-readers, and vehicle connectivity systems like OnStar. It’s important we check the network our devices rely on before carriers switch off 3G.
Carriers across the United States and Canada have been disclosing their 3G shutdown plans. Here’s the latest:
Expected 3G sunset dates in the US:
United States carriers will be the first to shut down 3G service with AT&T leading the pack.
Expected 3G sunset dates in Canada:
Canadian carriers have issued a delayed approach to the 3G sunset, allowing more time to make the transition. The listed dates are being rumoured in the market, however, Canadian carriers are hinting the shutdown may happen earlier. Keep in mind, if your vehicles travel across the Canadian and US border, you’ll need to follow the US 3G sunset dates to ensure your device/s can communicate.
Telus: December 2025
Bell: December 2025
Rogers: December 2025
The following Geotab devices will be affected by the 3G sunset:
GO8 (some GO8 devices are LTE)
GO RUGGED 7
GO RUGGED 8
How to prepare for the 3G sunset?
As always, it’s important to plan ahead when it comes to swapping out old technology for new. This is a good time to take inventory of the devices and networks your organization uses – be it cell phones, tablets, or telematics. Geotab has stated fleets with 3G tracking devices will need to migrate to GO9 devices to prevent loss of signal. If you have 3G devices or are unsure, contact Northern BI to help identify the next steps. Demand for network-ready devices is on the rise, and the ongoing semiconductor shortage is significantly increasing product lead time. The upcoming Canadian ELD mandate is also increasing the demand for telematics across the country. Don’t leave migrating from 3G to 4G/5G enabled devices until the last minute. Contact Northern BI today to help ensure you have a smooth transition.