If our readers have watched the news as of late, they may have heard about the “sunsetting” of 3G networks by national mobile carriers. This is being done to make more room for other, more advanced, network services, like expanded 4G LTE, 5G, etc. This means that older mobile devices will not longer be connected to data services.
How does this effect electronic logging devices?
Well, this depends on which electronic logging device a transportation company uses. If the ELD utilizes a 3G network, once support and data services are pulled, the ELD likely will no longer function. This means that it will stop reporting the required data and transferring that data to ELD output files.
Out of compliance as a result
In practice, this means that if the ELD requires 3G cellular connectivity, the transportation company utilizing it will begin violating the ELD technical specifications rule after the 3G network support is pulled, i.e., when the 3G sunset occurs. According to 49 C.F.R., Section 395.34, transportation carries have 8 days to resolve these types of malfunctions. If a replacement is required, which is likely for 3G ELD devices, an extension can be requested, but depending on the situation, may or may not be granted.
When should we call our ELD providers?
Now. Start planning for this now by contacting the ELD provider and inquiring whether the company’s ELDs will be affected by the 3G sunset.
Though, actual upgrades will not be needed until next year, depending on the carrier. For Verizon devices, the sunset is not set to occur until December 31, 2022. But, for AT&T, that date is moved up to February 22, 2022, Sprint/T-Mobile, March 31, 2022, and T-Mobile 3G, July 1, 2022.
Remember, for alternative carriers, like Cricket, Boost, Straight Talk, etc., they utilize these networks, so they would also lose 3G connectivity when the network they utilize stops 3G support. For those transportation companies in Long Beach, California, this is just yet another example of the complicated legal network that is transportation law and compliance.