As the sun sets on 3G in the UK we see the dawn of a new era

3G Sunset

The 3G network is being switched off, final dates have been confirmed as:

  • Vodafone by the end of 2023.
  • EE have updated their website from end of 2023 to 2024.
  • O2 have not yet released their dates, but assuming it will be in line with the rest.

Whilst businesses in the telecoms industry are aware the network is being terminated, there are many businesses and consumers who will be still unaware of what impact this will have on their connectivity.

A recap:

When we talk about 3G, 4G, 5G etc we are talking about the different generations of wireless communication. 1G being the first generation and now 5G is being rolled out.

3G was the first generation of wireless communications to allow for web browsing, picture sharing and other Smartphone technology. So while 2G is still used for some IoT solutions, 3G has now been superseded by 4G and more recently, 5G.

Since launch, 3G was the hardware supplier’s technology of choice due to the capabilities it offered but, 4G handles voice and data traffic more efficiently, as well as using less power than 3G. 5G has now picked up the slack with speed and ease for large data applications, it doesn’t make sense for the networks to keep 3G running.

The problem:

A large percentage of your customers may not be aware that their devices will stop working when the network is switched off as a lot of critical IoT applications will only run on 3G.

These devices could be anything, from Vehicle Telematics, Epos and Payment devices, CCTV, Alarm Systems, to certain medical devices (fall detectors and communicators), Fire and Smoke Alarms, older tablets and other sensors and applications, they will be nothing more than a paperweight after the switch off.

The solution:

Be prepared.

After every sunset comes sunrise, take the switch-off as an opportunity. It’s an ideal time to roll out new devices and services, get rid of old unused devices and get your customers to upgrade their old tired IoT network to be much more resilient, lower cost and more efficient.

You need to act now; it takes time to secure kit and roll out IoT deployments. Many of the devices which need to be upgraded would have been connected for years, and sometimes in remote places. It is possible that the devices have been out of scope as a priority project as the cost of change would be prohibitive. However, your customers don’t want to suddenly find out the devices they rely on aren’t working, so keeping ahead of the switch off is essential.

The opportunities:

Your customers should be looking to future-proof their IoT infrastructure, you should be always considering when the next generation is going to be rolled out and the inevitability of having to sunset previous versions, make sure your customers stay protected.

The action:

Start making contact with your database, send emails and put it across your socials, share information (like this blog) and keep notifying about the switch-off – get your customers used to the terminology and try to find out how it will affect them.

If you’re unsure of the impact, get in touch and we will see how we can help.


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