KOREC customers have been asking us when the 3G switch-off will happen, what will happen and what controllers and receivers will be affected. First of all, we’d like to reassure you that this won’t happen overnight, but will be phased in subject to each mobile provider’s personal timetable:
- Vodafone is starting its switch-off in early 2023.
- EE plans to start its switch-off in early 2024.
- Three expects to switch-off by the end of 2024.
- O2 has not yet announced any switch-off plans.
However, these timings may yet change and certainly aren’t set in stone and we are already receiving anecdotal evidence of performance issues from customers who have noticed changes in service availability where they have previously worked without problem.
Which loggers and receivers will be affected?
Those Trimble devices currently streaming data across the 3G network will connect to the 2G network when and where 3G is unavailable. The devices involved are the older generation controllers and those with internal GNSS receiver modems which include:
Mapping Trimble Juno and Geo7x
Survey Trimble TSC3 controller & Trimble R8s, R8 and R6 receivers
It’s also important to remember that all manufacturers of loggers and receivers released before 4G will be affected, this isn’t just something that will affect Trimble equipment.
What will happen if I am using one of these loggers or receivers when 3G is switched off?
What happens will very much depend on where you are working in the UK and Ireland. In areas where good 2G coverage remains, there may be little difference in performance, perhaps a little slower, but not too much. However, overall service availability will be compromised.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that there are no resources available that clearly detail which areas of the country have good, if any 2G coverage.
Finally, it’s important to remember that 2G is also scheduled to be switched off by 2033.
Why is 3G being switched off
Mobile providers are switching off the 3G networks to make room for the more advanced 4G and 5G networks. 4G and 5G give customers better, faster and more reliable services. The 2G and 3G networks are gradually being switched off around the world; all the 3G networks have already been switched off in the USA and each country has a different timetable for switch-off.
For full information on the switch off visit this useful Ofcom site.
What can I do to stop 3G switch off affecting my day-to-day work?
Above all, the 3G switch off is something that cannot be accurately predicted beyond the fact that it will happen. Whilst we don’t want any KOREC customers to panic, we do urge you to be prepared and encourage all users of the loggers and receivers listed above to think ahead so that you are not caught out unexpectedly on site. Nobody wants to disappoint a client, lose revenue, deal with frustrated surveyors in the field or fail to deliver a project on time!
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