8 Common Questions 2G Sunset

8 Common Questions (and Answers) About the 2G Sunset

With the 2G Sunset approaching, and Spireon wants to keep you in the loop with the latest information. Here’s what you need to know from a top-level:

  • Tier 1 carriers announced plans to turn off all 2G towers by January 2017
  • Many 2G carriers have already started taking down their 2G towers
  • 2G coverage in your area may soon begin to degrade (if it hasn’t already)

To provide you with the best possible service, we highly recommend upgrading to our CDMA Talon with the best coverage available from Sprint and Verizon. You’ll be 2G-Sunset-ready and able to tap into improvements such as wider reach, more reliable connections and faster network access!

Now let’s get to the questions we hear most often from our customers:

  1. What is 2G GSM?

2G is a cellular technology behind the GPS vehicle-tracking devices used to reduce the risks and costs associated with subprime auto financing. 2G was commercially launched on the GSM standard with major carriers in the US including AT&T and T-Mobile.

  1. What is the 2G Sunset and why does it matter?

Tier 1 carriers have announced plans to turn off all 2G towers by end of 2016, and many carriers are already taking down their 2G towers. AT&T was the first to publicly declare plans to phase out all of its 2G GSM wireless service by January 1, 2017. Several other carriers have also announced plans to eventually sunset 2G.

  1. Why are carriers taking down 2G towers?

Their reasoning is simple: wireless carriers are looking to repurpose the towers in their network for 3G and 4G service that delivers much faster speeds and larger bandwidth capable of handling things like video conferences, streaming and other large data packets.

  1. What is CDMA? And what’s the difference between 2G GSM and CDMA?

There are two key cellular technologies to connect you to your assets: GSM and CDMA. Five out of the top seven cell phone carriers in the U.S. adopted CDMA. Compared to GSM, CDMA provides greater coverage in the U.S. and Canada especially in rural areas. Additionally, CDMA offers higher security, more reliable signal strength and better overall quality of services.

Spireon formed strong relationships with the two largest CDMA providers in the US, Sprint and Verizon, to give you the best coverage possible. Just check out the coverage map below.

usa map
  1. Should I worry about the 2G Sunset?

Before panic sets in, let’s take a closer look at what the 2G sunset really means for the automotive finance industry. Major carriers like AT&T have already started converting some 2G towers so your connectivity may begin to degrade soon – if it hasn’t already.

Other carriers’ 2G towers may still be online to provide connectivity, but Spireon cannot guarantee coverage in rural areas. We’re simply trying to provide additional lead-time for our customers to begin their upgrade transition and ensure they remain connected to their assets. Our recommendations is to upgrade to CDMA to ensure connectivity for all auto loans going past 2016.

Although 2G will be around until the end of 2016, now is the time to start planning a migration strategy that will minimize the impact on your business operations and bottom line. And Spireon has you covered with the industry’s best-selling CDMA device, our 11th Generation Talon.

  1. Will CDMA also face a sunset?

Eventually it may face a sunset. However, Sprint and Verizon are both very committed to this wireless technology because of the M2M space and remain dedicated to supporting the network until at least 2020 if not longer.

  1. Do I need 3.5G or 4G LTE?

Short answer: No. CDMA offers the best available coverage and is much more widespread than other cellular networks such as “3.5G” UMTS, HSPA or 4G LTE.

It’s not necessary because “locate” commands send very small data packets (the size of text messages) back and forth to devices to communicate with your assets.

Right now, 4G would be unnecessarily expensive and overkill for most M2M devices. 4G speeds are good for things like watching Netflix on your smartphone. But the lack of coverage in the nationwide makes it less ideal for vehicle tracking.

CDMA technology does support 3G cellular connections. Spireon will, of course, be ready to embrace high-speed networks like 4G LTE networks when they become more widely available and affordable.

  1. How do I protect my dealership?

Spireon partners closely with our customers as well as major wireless carriers to minimize the impact of the 2G sunset on your business operations and bottom line. To help you embrace and leverage newer wireless technologies that offer competitive advantages, we’ve developed the 11th generation of our GoldStar GPS collateral management system with CDMA technology. Our CDMA-enabled GoldStar GPS comes with faster data speeds and network access, wider coverage, and more reliable connections even in rural areas to ensure you’re continually connected to your vehicles.

With GoldStar GPS featuring CDMA, you’ll be ready for the 2G sunset. You’ll also be ready for the future of wireless technologies and networks as well as your growing business needs. Whether its real-time vehicle location and tracking or comprehensive reporting features, today’s collateral management systems are capable of doing so many things that past systems could not.

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