Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Kore urges M2M players to plan for 2G sunset

Iain Morris
October 9, 2014
Kore Telematics has urged the M2M industry not to be complacent about the “sunsetting” of 2G networks, with various companies appearing to believe there is no real pressure to act now.

In a blog published on its website, the managed services player says there are a number of “miconceptions” about 2G sunsetting, including the view that regulators will step in at the last minute to keep 2G networks alive.

“There has been some speculation that groups … might lobby to keep some portion of 2G dedicated spectrum alive,” it says. “If it was our business on the line, we wouldn’t count on it.”

With both AT&T (Dallas, TX, USA) and Verizon Wireless (New York City, NY, USA) announcing plans to shut down their 2G networks in the next few years, concern has been growing among companies still reliant on 2G infrastructure for M2M services.

Although a number of organizations have already switched to 3G or 4G technology, others are worried about the costs of this transition, and appear to be holding off making the move, according to Kore (Atlanta, GA, USA).

But the M2M player argues this is shortsighted and that a transition to higher-speed technologies does not have to be as costly or painful as many are expecting.

“Most M2M service providers will be required to make an investment, but it is not as high of a fiscal hurdle as one might suspect,” it says. “3G modules are rapidly moving toward parity with 2G modules.”

Kore also points out that 3G airtime is less expensive than 2G airtime because less of it is needed to accomplish the same set of tasks.

Moreover, by switching to 3G, companies will be able to ‘future-proof’ their service and prepare for the emergence of new bandwidth-hungry applications that may one day become “table stakes for M2M services”.

“You might not offer streaming video cameras for fleet trucks today, but who’s to say those will not become a must-have tomorrow,” says the company.

Kore also has a warning for companies that believe they have plenty of time before sunsetting will affect them.

“AT&T has stated it is progressively working to free up spectrum … and may end up sensetting some markets or territories even sooner [than end-2016],” it says. “The specter of ‘no 2G’ could very well impact you sooner rather than later.”
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