Your 3G Devices Just Got an Expiration Date

Posted by Advanced Mobile Group on Jun 28, 2018 8:00:00 AM

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Before You Buy – A Must Read Before June 30th

Earlier this year, Verizon Wireless announced the following:

“beginning July 1, 2018 (this year) dealers will no longer be able to activate any CDMA data only devices, and any non HD/Volte phone devices, including swaps.”

This means exactly what is says – any 3G device you have purchased but not yet activated will not be able to activated after this weekend. This is part of a larger CDMA phase-out being executed by all carriers over the next two years.

The Coming End to 3G Devices and Support

While we will be providing more extensive information on this topic over the next months, here are the most important things to be aware of regarding the future of 3G devices:

Verizon:

  • June 30th, 2018 (Sat) - No new devices activated after this date.
    • Only HD Voice Smartphones and 4G LTE data only IMEI uploads will be accepted
    • No downgrades/swaps of existing devices to 3G rate plans
  • Summer 2019 – Repairs affecting cell radio chips to be discontinued
  • December 31st, 2019 – Complete shutdown of 3G network

AT&T:

  • June 30th, 2017 – Discontinued certification of new 3G device certification
  • 2021 (TBD) – expected phase-out of 3G network, possible later

(AT&T already phased out its 2G network in January 2017)

T-Mobile:

  • Late 2020 (TBD) – will likely phase-out all 2G and 3G devices

Laying the Groundwork for the Future of IoT

All of this transition is about moving everything and everyone into a 3.5G or 4G LTE environment where the assumption is that a globally-harmonized environment can be created to support the growing “Internet of Things” (see our previous articles here)

Aside from the phones and tablets deployed on site, this will affect many other devices used in certain facilities, including but not limited to:

  • Unattended credit card readers
  • Remote monitoring devices in vending machines, kiosks, etc.
  • Cellular routers like Cradlepoints providing Internet to kiosks or remote facilities
  • Cellular modems providing connectivity to remote camera systems, security alarms, etc.
  • Internet failover devices providing cellular backup for hard wired connections
  • Fleet monitoring devices

Combined with the sunsetting of Microsoft Windows device support (see specifics here), there is a lot going in that needs attention before mission-critical systems become inoperable.

Confusing, But Help is Available

The relative lack of clarity for some of the providers along with the diversity of devices involved make navigating these changes somewhat confusing. With CDMA, Microsoft support for devices and 3G all being phased out in the next 1-3 years, “Modernization” is no longer a recommendation, but a necessity.

Please contact us if you need help understanding the impacts this will have for your business, or require assistance in mitigating the impacts or budgeting and planning for upgrading your devices to avoid downtime.

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Topics: Internet of Things, News

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