In a recent blog post, Australia’s largest network has announced that they will close down its 2G GSM network by the end of 2016, and this announcement to shut down the 2G/GSM network has implications for M2M One customers with 2G 900MHz GSM/GPRS modems.
M2M One customers with 2G devices have the opportunity to utilize 3G 850MHz as the best short immediate alternative. All areas of Australia that are covered by the 2G network are already fully covered by 3G service, which also extends well beyond the 2G coverage footprint. Other than 3G network offering wider coverage than 2G network, 3G technology is more reliable and much faster. The downloading and uploading speeds available in 2G technologies reach up to 236 Kbps compared to 3G technology where the downloading and uploading speeds are up to 42 Mbps and 5.7 Mbps respectively.
While 3G M2M devices may have been perceived as costly in the past, costs have reduced considerably making 3G devices very affordable. Many of the 2G M2M devices currently used for vehicle and asset tracking can be replaced by 3G M2M devices which offer the benefits of 3G resulting in better asset tracking and monitoring.
LTE or 4G networks are already being rolled out and are expected to be fully operational before the 2G shut down. Currently, the choices of 4G M2M devices are limited due to the relatively recent introduction of 4G technologies and networks. Carriers are conducting trials of newly purchased 4G spectrum around the country with a view to expand 4G use into the future.
M2M One customers affected by the shut down 2G/GSM network who are seeking solutions/alternatives for their 2G/GSM devices are advised to contact a 3G/4G LTE device vendor.
Shortly M2M One will start to contact customers who may be affected by the 2G closure to explain the changes, and to discuss transitioning to 3G and/or 4G. M2M One can also be contacted for assistance.