Change is inevitable. Mobile Network Operators face the constant need of upgrading the network to support the rise in global mobile data usage and increasing traffic enabled by emerging IoT applications.
Many operators across the globe have already announced shutdowns of 2G and 3G networks and some of them have stopped supporting 2G networks. The entire landscape of cellular connectivity is changing with the sunset of cellular networks and the continuous growth of 5G networks.
Enterprises worldwide still use 2G and 3G for various IoT use cases and applications. For these businesses, the questions today are around the life expectancy of those networks, how long 4G LTE networks will be viable, and if 5G will mature soon enough for their needs.
Impact of 2G and 3G sunsetting on existing IoT deployments
More than 50% of cellular connected IoT deployments today are 2G or 3G. Changing the communication module of IoT devices due to network sunset is challenging, and requires investment in people, cost and time as it may force hardware modifications or revisions.
If an organization’s existing IoT deployment is based on communication modules that is designed to use 2G or 3G, then sunsetting can cause many device compatibility problems. The IoT deployment has to be reconfigured to support newer cellular based technologies.
Transitioning to new networks
Before making tough decisions, enterprises must do a detailed and thorough review of the inventory of their connected device offerings. They need to consider these factors for transitioning the existing IoT deployment based on 2G/3G network:
After evaluating these factors, enterprises must prepare a comprehensive plan for phased migration of devices in the existing IoT deployment to new network. The approach has to be based on minimizing the cost of migration with minimal disruption to existing operations and long-term implications as cellular networks continue to evolve.
Making the change with the right migration strategy
No matter what approach is considered in transitioning to the new network, it is important to consider deploying eSIM technology based SIM. This will ensure your solution has connectivity for the entire lifecycle and will also provide you the capability to change connectivity provider without needing to physically swap SIM cards for always-on connectivity through a carrier-independent over-the-air platform.
It is also important to consider implementing a solution that supports remote configuration and firmware updates of devices. The aim is to minimize the need for costly site visit, truck rolls and professional services that can have a huge implication on cost of migration and maintenance activities.
Are you prepared for the 2G/3G sunset in order to avoid blackout and business disruption? Wipro will help make your transition seamless. For more details, connect with us on email@example.com
Senior Architect - Cloud & Infrastructure Services, Wipro
Aravind has industry experience in the areas of Consulting, Business Development, Pre-sales, Solution Design and Software Development. As an experienced IoT and Smart Cities professional, Aravind has worked extensively with companies around the globe in providing innovative and cutting-edge solutions. Aravind has special interest in cellular communication technology trends and IoT. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org