ITS infrastructure technology pioneer Applied Information is to upgrade more than 3,000 connected traffic control devices to 4G in advance of the planned shutdown of 3G service by the major cellular network operators in 2022, the company has announced at the 2021 ITS America Annual Meeting in Charlotte, NC.
As part of its guaranteed connection program Applied Information is providing state and local Departments of Transportation (DOT) with free upgrades to 4G LTE which include new modems and cellular service.
The Internet of Things (IoT) devices that monitor and control school zone safety beacons, traffic signals and certain types of connected vehicles were installed before the widespread availability of 4G coverage. Now that 4G is ubiquitous and 5G is being rolled out, the cellular providers are turning off 3G service.
“The nature of connectivity is continuous evolution and improvement,” said Bryan Mulligan, President of Applied Information, Inc. “Our connected transportation technology solutions are designed to be future proof by anticipating the evolution in communications technology and make for a quick and seamless upgrade to 4G, 5G and even 6G.”
The 4G LTE modems come with the latest firmware and are installed on a plug and play module that takes about 15 minutes to upgrade in the field. Once the new modem is installed, the device reboots and resumes normal operations with no further intervention required.
All major U.S. cellular carriers are “sunsetting” support for 2G and 3G cellular networks by the end of 2022. Here are some general target dates for each network operator:
- AT&T (3G HSPA+ network) — 22, 2022
- Sprint (3G WCDMA network) — 31, 2022
- T-Mobile (3G UMTS network) — July 1, 2022
- Verizon (3G EVDO network) — 31, 2022