Verizon has announced that it will be moving away from its traditional CDMA 1X network coverage which composes of the 2G, and 3G networks. This move follows an industry trend in efforts to move forward in providing its customers with the latest in LTE, 4G, and higher network services. This is big news and will likely affect a large number of fleet operating businesses and managers currently using AVL systems, and machine to machine (M2M) technologies. The changes are only set to take place in 2019 giving customers a 2.5 year time span to plan the transition, which is a little earlier than previous predictions by top Verizon executives who in 2012 predicted this change to occur by 2021.
The goal is to shut down, and re-farm the CDMA 1X spectrum to accommodate its LTE network which has far better data sending and receiving capabilities. To put it in perspective, compare the speed and data capabilities of your 2003 Motorola flip phone to your iPhone 7 or Samsung S8 today. Verizon is not alone in this movement as many other service companies are currently, or already have begun the same process.
Before the feeling of doom and gloom sets in with the thought of having to make yet another technological transition, there are some things I should clarify to set you at ease. The cost’s of replacing 1G, 2G, and 3G devices has decreased dramatically in the last couple years. Switching to higher bandwidth services like LTE earlier might actually save cost’s in the long run by preventing interruptions from loss of connectivity that could occur by continuing to run the CDMA 1X services that are gradually being shutdown. The transition does not have to be difficult and may in fact be an opportunity for an evaluation of overall needs, and a chance to add additional on-board services. All in all, it would be wise to begin the transition since the shift towards LTE has already begun. We will work closely with our customers to facilitate this transition as much as possible and continue to provide the best service available.