Kore Telematics has launched an educational program in partnership with modem maker Multi-Tech Systems aimed at supporting M2M players facing a shutdown of 2G networks.
Leading US operators AT&T (Dallas, TX, USA) and Verizon Wireless (New York City, NY, USA) have both announced plans to switch off their 2G networks over the next few years and run all voice and data traffic over 3G and 4G infrastructure.
The plans have generated concern among companies that currently use those 2G networks for their M2M services.
According to MVNO Kore (Alpharetta, GA, USA), more than 90% of M2M connections are on older 2G networks.
“There is still a good deal of uncertainty and confusion surrounding the process and timeline for the decommissioning of North America’s largest 2G GSM network,” said Robert Metzler, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Kore. “Kore and Multi-Tech [Mounds View, MN, USA] will provide organizations with a clear blueprint for how the 2G transition will impact existing and future deployments, as well as help them understand what M2M network options are available and best suited for their businesses.”
Many companies still prefer 2G networks for M2M services because equipment and transmission costs tend to be lower and there is often little need for a high-speed connection.
Nevertheless, in a recent report, analyst firm Machina Research said LTE was set to become the main cellular M2M technology by 2022.
The company expects LTE modules to account for more than two thirds of all modules shipped for use in wide area networks in 2022, up from just 0.5% in 2013, with take-up driven by the decommissioning of 2G networks, rapidly expanding LTE coverage and falling equipment prices.
Kore says it can provide organizations with guidance on network connectivity options, while Multi-Tech contributes insight and expertise on hardware issues.
“The 2G GSM network has been a staple of the M2M market and the upcoming change will impact hundreds of thousands of connected devices,” said Bryan Eagle, vice president of business development and communications for Multi-Tech. “By combining our device management services with Kore’s network expertise, we can provide organizations with a well-defined roadmap for efficiently and cost-effectively migrating off of the largest North American 2G GSM network in advance of the shutdown.”