3G network prepares to go offline, FMCSA grants extension for certain ELDs

March 18, 2022

Ryan Witkowski

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The end is near for another 3G wireless network. T-Mobile will complete the shutdown of Sprint’s 3G CDMA network by March 31.

T-Mobile is also responsible for Sprint’s 3G LTE network. The company plans to cease operations of that network at the end of June.

As 3G networks go offline, drivers need to ensure that the electronic logging devices they use are operating on a 4G network or higher. Those drivers still utilizing ELDs dependent upon a 3G network will lose service within the year.

Many ELD manufacturers were prepared for the 3G sunset, proactively choosing to operate their units on 4G and 5G networks. However, several companies continue to struggle to meet the demands of the transition.

On March 4, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration granted an extension for two specific 3G dependent ELDs. The devices covered under the extension:

  • Omnitracs Intelligent Vehicle Gateway – ELD Identifier: IVG001 – Serial Numbers (SN) 108000000-108499999
  • Blue Tree ELD – ELD Identifier: BT500

Carriers with those affected units can maintain compliance by following a few simple steps. First, a copy of the extension approval must be maintained at the principle place of business as well as in the cab of each truck with the malfunctioning ELD. Letters for both Omnitracs and Blue Tree models can be downloaded on the FMCSA website. Additionally, a paper record of duty status must be kept until the ELD is returned to compliance.

3G wireless network sunsets

AT&T was the first to take its 3G network offline on Feb. 22. After the March 31 closure of the Sprint 3G CDMA network, the schedule for complete 3G shutdowns are as follows:

  • Sprint LTE (T-Mobile): June 30, 2022
  • T-Mobile: July 1, 2022
  • Verizon: Dec. 31, 2022

Drivers with 3G-dependent ELDs are encouraged to upgrade their equipment to avoid service interruptions. Contact your ELD manufacturer if you are unsure of what network your device runs on. LL

 

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