As new innovations are introduced, it’s normal for older technology to be left behind and eventually phased out. 3G networks are facing that stage of life. With the advent of 4G and 5G networks, it’s only a matter of time before 3G technology and all the devices that use it for communicating are shut down.
From Calgary, Alberta, to San Antonio, Texas, industrial facilities rely on 3G for SCADA communications and will need to start considering a succession plan for this dated communication network. Continuing to rely on 3G networks for voice and data communication channels will result in connectivity issues, and the change is inevitable. Companies will need to move on if they want to maintain reliable connections.
What’s Happening with 3G Networks and Why?
Mobile network operators have begun to phase out their use of 3G networks in favor of 4G or 5G. 3G can no longer keep up with today’s standards and demands. Networks using 3G can’t provide enough speed or capacity for the ever-growing requirements of customers.
4G, which has been around for more than a decade, is a much faster alternative. Newer to the scene, 5G is faster yet. Both 4G and 5G networks offer increased overall bandwidth and provide more opportunities for connectivity and reliability. Additionally, 4G and 5G incorporate the latest security features while being easier to maintain and a safer option to transmit data.
As a result, devices equipped with 4G and 5G modems will stay relevant for many years to come, and it would be wise to consider this when selecting communication devices. Many devices can be upgraded from 3G to 4G/5G simply by swapping out old modems.
When Will 3G Networks Be Phased Out?
It has been reported that AT&T shut down its 3G network in early 2022, which was followed shortly after that by T-Mobile. Verizon has announced that it will follow suit by the end of 2022.
Meanwhile, Telus, Bell, and Rogers have stated that they plan to stop supporting 3G by the end of 2025.
How Will The 3G Phase Out Affect Your Operations?
Industrial facilities relying on 3G networks to support SCADA will encounter major communication issues if they continue to use 3G. Communication issues with RTU products will start interfering with reporting and supervisory controls as networks begin to shut down.
How Can Crossroad Energy Solutions Inc. Help You?
The good news is that facilities can take steps now to avoid this problem by swapping out modems in their communication devices now. It’s cheap and fast and will help you avoid major headaches in the future.
A modem package for your SCADA device runs at around $500.00 (USD) and takes about 30-60 mins for one of our technicians at Crossroad Energy Solutions Inc. to swap out and commission.
We are currently seeing an increase in demand for these 3G modem swaps from many of our customers who are getting ahead of the problem and taking steps to prevent future communication issues.