Big news for those using 3G networks for their electronic logging devices (ELDs) — as telecom providers start phasing out their 3G network, many ELDs will need to be replaced. Not to worry though, this article has everything you need to know about the 3G sunset, the dates you can expect the sunset to happen, as well as how to make sure you stay compliant if your current device relies on a 3G network.

What does the 3G sunset mean for ELD users on 3G networks?

Starting in early 2022, mobile providers will no longer be supporting 3G networks. All 3G network providers are making this change to create more room for advanced network services. This means that older cell phones and electronic devices that rely on 3G will no longer be able to access and use data services.

This is important for those who use electronic logging devices (ELD) on 3G networks. Once the sunset takes effect, those ELDs will no longer be supported, meaning any driver using these devices will no longer be in compliance with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations. The FMCSA Technical Specifications state that ELDs must continually record all required data elements and transfer the ELD output files. After the sunset, ELDs that rely on 3G networks won’t meet the minimum requirements included in the FMCSA’s technical specifications.

Note: ELDs that require 3G cellular data to support them will register a malfunction when the network is sunset, and will no longer be compliant with the ELD mandate’s technical specifications. 

In accordance with the FMCSA ELD mandate, drivers have eight days (barring an extension being granted) to resolve the malfunction from the time it’s registered. For the upcoming 3G sunset, the resolution will be a replacement of the ELD with a device that’s compatible with 4G and above. There is no way to upgrade the old devices to support the contemporary cellular networks.

Fleets and drivers need to be advised of the dates for the upcoming 3G sunset so they can be prepared once the changes go into effect by their mobile providers. Below are the dates for the sunset by network.

Please note that the dates are for completion of the sunset, and networks will be starting the sunset sooner than these dates in most cases. The sunset dates are subject to change. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, it’s recommended to contact your mobile carrier.

  • AT&T 3G: February 22, 2022
  • Sprint 3G (T-Mobile): March 31, 2022
  • Spring LTE (T-Mobile): June 30, 2022
  • T-Mobile 3G: July 1, 2022
  • Verizon 3G: December 31, 2022

Note: Other 3G providers, such as Cricket, Boost, Straight Talk, and several Lifeline mobile service providers, utilize the AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile 3G networks.

What do you need to do before the 3G sunset?

First, fleets and drivers need to make sure they’re aware of the termination dates by network, the earliest being February 22, 2022.

The FMCSA is encouraging all fleets subject to the ELD mandate to take action before the sunset begins to ensure there’s no gap in compliance.

Here are steps you can take to get ahead of the upcoming 3G sunset:

  • Confirm if your ELD is supported by a 3G network or not: If you don’t know what network supports your ELD, contact your ELD provider immediately. If your ELD doesn’t rely on 3G, no further action is required.
  • Ask your provider about their upgrade or replacement plan: If your ELD does rely on a 3G network, evaluate whether your present ELD provides the functionality you need. Most legacy vendors do not offer the level of functionality you will find in Motive’s end-to-end suite.Take any required actions as soon as possible to upgrade or replace your device. Note: There may be a cost for upgrading to a device that supports a 4G or 5G network.

Take the worry away and stay compliant with Motive’s #1 ELD

It’s extremely important for fleets to get ahead of the curve prior to the 3G sunset deadline dates and adopt 4G and above technology early. Being proactive will help avoid any operational interruptions or violations. Ordering early will also help you get ahead of any ongoing supply chain delays or device shortages, which could impact your delivery date and jeopardize your compliance.

Motive’s #1 ELD has reliable 4G LTE connectivity to help you stay compliant anytime, anywhere. Over 100,000 businesses rely on Motive’s technology for our ease of use, reliable connectivity, and award-winning 24/7 support.

Find out more about why so many businesses use our solutions to work faster and more efficiently. Schedule a demo today.