Updated: Breaking Down the ‘G’s’

You’ve probably seen 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G pop up on your phone. But what do they really mean, why should you care, and what makes them relevant to GPS tracking?

Let’s break it down in simple terms.

Understanding the ‘G’s’

When you see “G,” think “generation.” Each new generation—2G, 3G, 4G, and now 5G—brings faster and more reliable connections. It’s like upgrading from an old car to a newer, faster one.

Changes on the Horizon

Just like old cars eventually get replaced, older network generations are being phased out. For example, 3G networks are in the process of being shut down. Major providers around the world, including ones in New Zealand, are shutting down their 3G services.

In preparation for the 3G shut down Fleetpin hasn’t sold 3G devices for over 2 years, the ones we did sell, we ensured they fell back to 2G to take advantage of the longer life of this network, as we prioritise selling sustainable hardware to our customers.

What’s Happening in New Zealand?

  • 2Degrees: 3G will be shut down by the end of 2025.
  • One NZ: Saying farewell to 3G by August 31, 2024.
  • Spark: 3G will be shut down by the end of 2025.

Despite 2G being older than 3G, it will be sticking around for a while. This is because some devices such as photocopiers, smart power meters, and GPS devices still rely on 2G. One NZ won’t be reviewing 2G until the end of 2025. They will then determine whether it is financially viable to continue using this network. We think, even if they do decide to switch this network off, it probably won’t be until 2026.

What It Means for Your Fleet Tracking

If you’re using 3G devices for fleet tracking, your devices still have life left before 3G is switched off.

  • Fleetpin’s 3G devices fall back to 2G when there’s no 3G.
  • Selecting roaming SIMs for our devices, so our customers can roam across all three networks, One NZ, 2Degrees & Spark. This means that even after One NZ switches off their 3G network, devices will still connect to 2Degrees & Spark.

Why 4G Matters

While everyone talks about 5G, 4G is still super important. Investing in 4G devices ensures your fleet stays connected as technology advances. 4G might not be as fast as 5G on your mobile phone, but the technical aspects of 4G are officially recognised as 5G technology, therefore your 4G GPS devices will continue to be supported all the same.

Getting Ready for the Future

We’ve been getting ready for the 3G shutdown for a while. That’s why we offer lots of 4G options, like the Cross Country 4G and Rugged 4G devices. As your fleet tracking partner, we promise to give you the best tracking solution without any hidden ‘gotchas’.

Understanding mobile network generations and their development is important if you rely on GPS fleet tracking. By knowing what each “G” means and planning for the future, you can keep your business running smoothly and avoid purchasing short-lived hardware.

Got questions? Feel free to reach out to our team. Check out our device options and let’s make sure your fleet stays on track!

2Degrees Network Coverage Map

Spark Network Coverage Map

One NZ Network Coverage Map

(Left – One NZ 3G Network Coverage, shutting down in August 2024)