3G sunset update for US and Canadian network carriers

Updated on August 16, 2021

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 making phone calls. Smartphones have changed the way we communicate thanks to texting, media sharing, sending emails, 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. 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.

AT&T: February 2022

Verizon: December 2022

Sprint: January 2022

T-Mobile: April 2022

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

 

Affected Geotab devices:Geotab GO9 vehicle tracking device photo

The following Geotab devices will be affected by the 3G sunset:

GO6

GO7

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.

 

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Julie Darnbrough

Marketing Manager
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