DON T LET YOUR FLEET TELEMATICS SOLUTION GO DARK Navigating the Upcoming AT&T 2G Shutdown

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1 DON T LET YOUR FLEET TELEMATICS SOLUTION GO DARK Navigating the Upcoming AT&T 2G Shutdown AT&T has announced it will shut down its 2G network by Jan. 1, 2017, and there are reports that the process of phasing it out is already well underway. This means that your telematics solution could soon be affected. Is your fl eet operation ready for this transition?

2 # OF M2M DEVICE CONNECTIONS IN M T-Mobile 7-9M Verizon 3.3M Sprint Source: According to research fi rm Current Analysis as reported by FierceWireless.com. *AT&T reports that as of Q1 2014, that number is now 17M. Telematics devices, like other machine-to-machine (M2M) connectivity devices, are often hosted on 2G networks remember fl ip phones and the world before picture messages? That s the network on which your fl eet s telematics devices may operate. But M2M solutions are undergoing a major transformation since AT&T announced that it will shut down its 2G network by Jan. 1, Given the ever-increasing demand for data capacity and lack of effi ciency of 2G, it is only a matter of time before other carriers shut down their own networks too. In addition, many other carriers rely on AT&Ts extensive coverage to fi ll in service gaps, so either way customers across all 2G carriers will be affected. AT&T hosts the largest number of M2M devices that have traditionally used 2G technology, which means there is a good chance you will be affected sooner rather than later. 14.7M AT&T* As a fl eet operator, you should expect your telematics provider to be working with you now to make the switch from 2G. It is important to know some of the background on this phase-out and how it could affect your fl eet management solution, as well as some of the myths about making the switch. This knowledge will make you a smarter telematics consumer and provide some talking points for engaging with your current or potential solution provider. BACKGROUND As smartphones, tablets and other advanced devices become more widely used, carriers need to expand their 3G and 4G LTE networks. In order to do that, they re repurposing older 2G networks and the associated spectrum. According to Cisco s annual Visual Networking Index (February 2015), global mobile data traffi c grew 69 percent in 2014, and the report forecasts that by 2019, more than half of all devices connected globally to the mobile network will be smart devices, which will account for 97 percent of mobile data traffi c. The report estimates that nearly three-fourths of the world s mobile data traffi c will be video, which requires bandwidth-intensive connections beyond 2G. According to Cisco s report, in 2014 there were 495 million M2M connections worldwide, and claims that number will reach 3 billion by Furthermore, the number of devices connected to 2G networks was 62 percent in 2014, but by 2019, the report states that only 22 percent of M2M devices will be on 2G networks. It s where the world is going and the shift is expected to be even more dramatic in the United States. In fact, some M2M solutions, like video surveillance, bus and rail commuter data access, digital signage and some healthcare M2M applications have already migrated to 4G LTE. As M2M device technologies advance, the data used per device is expected to increase in 2014 M2M devices averaged 70 megabytes of data per month and by 2019, Cisco projects each device will use an average of 366 megabytes of data per month. Although many M2M solutions like fl eet telematics use a relatively low amount of data and operate perfectly well on 2G technology, the near-term transformation means your data coverage and network access is in jeopardy. Fleets like yours are becoming dependent on telematics for dispatching, routing, safety, fuel management and other logistics, which means a disruption to your data is a disruption to your business. That s the bottom line.

3 ALMOST ALL TECHNOLOGIES BECOME OBSOLETE AT SOME POINT. YOU NEED A PLAN TO MANAGE THESE TRANSITIONS WITH MINIMAL IMPACT ON YOUR OPERATIONS. SKEPTICISMS Some telematics companies and fl eets have concerns about these projections and are waiting until the last possible minute to make the switch. Some just aren t aware that it s happening. Some even assume that the carriers will delay their plans or be able to communicate every step of the transformation. To be fair, the carriers are doing their best to be attentive; however, this migration is exceptionally complex and is already well underway. Here are some common skepticisms and the realities behind them. ARGUMENT #1: Replacement 3G or 4G telematics devices are signifi cantly more expensive than the existing 2G hardware, so it will be harder to achieve a reasonable return on investment. REALITY: Replacement device costs have come down dramatically and you will need one that supports wireless data technology to continue leveraging telematics services in areas where 2G networks are turned off. In addition, forward-thinking vendors may swap out your 2G device at little to no additional cost, which will deliver many more years of uninterrupted coverage while your business continues to reap the benefi ts of fl eet telematics services. In fact, the longer you wait, the more you risk service disruptions that negatively and materially impact your business operations, which could result in lost revenue or higher costs. Say a customer calls because a driver is late to a service request. If your driver is in a 2G dark spot, you re back to your old ways of having to call the driver to get their location instead of being able to locate them through your fl eet management system. This delays your ability to address the customer request while simultaneously creating a safety hazard if your driver is on the road and distracted by the call. ARGUMENT #2: Making the switch is going to be a headache with installation complexities, buying new hardware, changing plans, etc. REALITY: A good telematics provider will work with you to make this transition as seamless as possible, potentially including installation and even device and service upgrades. Not to mention, making the switch now provides a good opportunity to evaluate your overall needs, and to acquire new and higher-valued services like on-board diagnostics and J-Bus compatibility (heavyduty diagnostics), or in-cab navigation. Fleets should also consider incorporating asset tracking within their fl eet environment for items like generators, electronic signs and other costly fi eld equipment that are historically diffi cult to track. ARGUMENT #3: Availability of 3G/4G coverage in rural communities historically hasn t been good, particularly for off-road fl eets, so why would I want to switch? REALITY: This is no longer the case even now with comprehensive 3G/4G coverage already deployed. In fact, the complete opposite will be true once the phased transition is complete and 2G networks are turned off. In order to make the transition as seamless as possible, the carriers have already dedicated spectrum and deployed the latest technologies across their networks, and many new devices are backward compatible so they will automatically fall back to 2G if it is the best network available. ARGUMENT #4: Shouldn t I just wait until I absolutely have to make the switch? REALITY: The network transition is extensive and complicated so it isn t happening all at once on Jan. 1, 2017; it s an on-going, phased approach. It s possible that you will lose 2G coverage before that date with little or no warning. The transition is inevitable and not completely predictable. Do you want to take that risk and wait? Although the carriers will do their best to communicate advanced details of the shutdown, the overall task is exceptionally complicated and diffi cult to manage. AT&T has an online map to track the phase-out; however, you have to search for every zip code of concern to get the latest status, and even then it s unclear how far in advance notice is provided.

4 So, is it worth a very small disruption to update your system now? Yes, because there will likely be more disruption if you don t do something soon. Smart business management always looks long term and at future-proofi ng their operations. Almost all technologies become obsolete at some point, and 2G is one we already know will sunset. You need a plan to manage these transitions with minimal impact on your operations. FLEETS SHOULD EVALUATE VENDORS AND MAKE SURE THEY RE WORKING WITH A PROVIDER THAT TAKES AWAY THE COMPLEXITY OF NAVIGATING THESE TECHNOLOGY TRANSITIONS. Fleet managers should take the opportunity to evaluate vendors and make sure they re working with a solution provider that takes away the complexity of navigating these technology transitions. In essence, fl eet managers should look for a company that works with a variety of carriers and has a number of device and technology options to ensure a seamless transition. HOW TO MAKE THE SWITCH If your provider uses the 2G AT&T network, you need to make more aggressive plans to update your technology now, especially since the phase-out has already begun. Those with other 2G devices shouldn t wait too long either. And besides, why not take advantage of the latest technology and features as soon as possible? If your provider isn t working to make the switch and helping ease your stress, you should consider changing your fl eet management solution provider. Here are some questions to ask: 1. What wireless carrier and roaming partners does your system use, and how reliable is it? 2. Do you help in this transition and have a proven process for minimizing the impact on my business operations? Will there be increases in device costs and an impact to achieving an ROI? 3. How long have you been using the new technology? 4. How long have you had a relationship with your carrier partners? 5. How well integrated is your activation and provisioning process? 6. Who manufactures the device itself and are they a proven supplier? 7. How reliable are your devices once they are shipped and installed in vehicles? 8. What new system features will you provide with my upgrade? 9. What tools do you provide your installers to ensure successful installation of the new device? a. Do you provide vehicle telematics with engine diagnostics? b. Do you provide hard braking and acceleration reporting, and overall driver behavior information with direct in-cab feedback to the driver? c. Do you provide driver identifi cation technology to enable seamless transition of vehicle assignment from driver to driver? d. Do you provide monitoring and management of my remote and mobile assets as well as my vehicles on a single system? To give a provider-specifi c example, CalAmp offers best-in-class, drop-in hardware upgrades that require little effort to install and provide a smooth, uninterrupted view of the vehicle activity in the mapping application. CalAmp offers a seamless upgrade process for existing customers with no loss of data and a continuous view of vehicle history in its FleetOutlook application. Plus, the company has a broad portfolio of device options available across various wireless cellular data technologies, with many years of experience providing fl eet telematics services in addition to more than 15 years as a telematics device manufacturer.

5 CalAmp can answer all the above questions favorably. Can you say the same for your current provider or other providers you re considering? New devices from CalAmp provide access to the vehicle telemetry data on the OBD-II port in passenger vehicles or the J-Bus port for larger vehicles, giving owners visibility into diagnostic codes, and other vehicle and engine parameters. CalAmp s solution also supports accessories like key-fob driver sign-in and in-cab navigation to jobs using a Garmin navigation device. Picking a vendor like CalAmp provides you with data management solutions, and guides you through the switch with minimal complexity and the lowest total cost of ownership. As a forwardthinking company, not only is CalAmp helping customers manage the transition from 2G networks today, it is ideally suited and committed to seamlessly and cost-effectively guide its customers through inevitable future network and technology transitions as well. With a fair and realistic view of the fast-paced world of wireless telematics technology, CalAmp will provide free device upgrades, with a 3-year commitment to services, should they become obsolete due to wireless technology transitions. RESOURCES AT&T M2M Updates: It s time to develop a migration plan for M2M m2m-applications/cd2migration/page=addl-info/#tab2 AT&T M2M News: Media Kit Fiercewireless.com Current Analysis: AT&T leads M2M market with 14.7M connections, Verizon second with 8M ; August 26, ercewireless.com/story/current-analysis-att-leads-m2m-market-147mconnections-verizon-second-8m/ Cisco Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffi c Forecast Update, ; February, 5, AT&T coverage map ABOUT CalAmp is a proven leader in providing wireless communications solutions to a broad array of vertical market applications and customers. CalAmp s extensive portfolio of intelligent communications devices, robust and scalable cloud service platform, and targeted software applications streamline otherwise complex machine-to-machine (M2M) deployments. These solutions enable customers to optimize their operations by collecting, monitoring and effi ciently reporting business critical data and desired intelligence from high-value remote assets. For more information, please visit

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