Sunset Sale It’s never been easier to move to LTE!

Extending the Life of Your Deployments Doesn’t Have to Come at a Greater Cost

With critical 2G/3G cellular network shutdown dates quickly approaching in North America, now is the best time to upgrade or add to your network of routers. Sierra Wireless is making it even easier by offering you a rebate on each device you purchase! When you upgrade to a Sierra Wireless LTE router you will get:

  • $50 – $100 savings – Per device upgrade, including Sierra Wireless devices and other Manufacturers
  • 1 Year of free support – With AirLink Complete included in every new device purchase
  • Single point of accountability – For all your devices and SIMs to simplify operations and reduce your total cost of ownership
  • 10 – 20+ more years – To the life of your deployments with LTE

Why Upgrade Now?

This transition will be especially challenging for end-to-end IoT solutions because the carrier technology is typically interlinked with several other components of the platform, including devices, device applications, SIMs, gateways, business applications, and cloud platforms. This means failing to start to plan and implement a transition now could result in major business disruption and great pain for customers when critical IoT platforms suddenly go dark.

Sierra Wireless recommends a 4-Step solution for the impending 2G/3G sunset to avoid the disruption:

Step 1: Perform a Comprehensive Audit

Assess the current situation and determine which module, network, and solution architecture will be impacted and what it will take to update or replace them—or whether an altogether new technical architecture needs to be built. It’s then critical to build out a realistic implementation timeline. 

A key decision will be whether to move to low-cost LTE-M—a Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) technology specifically designed for IoT devices to provide far greater coverage, capacity and battery life—or to wait in the hope that 4G LTE technology costs will come down sufficiently, which also means taking the risk that your IoT transition won’t be completed in time. 

Step 2: Evaluate Your IoT Needs

Companies need to develop a clear understanding of their operational requirements. For example, a company that uses mainly battery-powered devices will benefit the most from low power consumption. A company that must track mobile assets through remote regions must be able to maintain connectivity even in these areas. These companies will likely want to select LPWA or satellite connectivity, which is designed to solve the challenges of poor cellular network coverage. Companies that require high data bandwidth or do not need to use battery-powered devices may prefer a 4G LTE solution. In addition to the requirements of the specific application, choosing the right solution will also depend on the business sector, the cellular coverage in those areas, and the geographies involved. 

There’s no doubt that performing a comprehensive evaluation of the platform and operational requirements is a highly complex task, requiring a deep understanding of the existing systems and the available solutions. If this expertise is not available in-house, it is essential to find a partner to work with.

Step 3: Future-Proofing: Design for the Long-Term

As disruptive as the current redesign may seem, failing to design long-term for the future can result in an even more complex and costly project down the road as network capabilities continue to change and technology evolution naturally occurs. 

Most companies will benefit today from taking advantage of LPWA technology. LPWA provides an estimated 5 to 10 times better coverage for IoT devices deployed in remote locations, compared to normal LTE, and offers significantly lower power consumption, so these devices can last up to 10 years in service without a battery replacement.

For companies concerned about moving to 4G LTE technology because of the arrival of 5G, it’s important to recognize that 5G is essentially an evolution of 4G, so it is likely companies won’t have to re-architect their solutions. The software interfaces between the two technologies will be largely the same, while the modules will be pin-out compatible. For LPWA cellular modules, a firmware upgrade will likely be sufficient to move to 5G LTE.    

Step 4: Work with a Trusted Partner and True IoT Expert

Choosing the right partner is essential for minimizing the complexity of the transition to new cellular technologies and ensuring a scalable long-term IoT solution. By working with a single partner instead of trying to coordinate multiple vendors and piece together disparate solutions, companies can also ensure that their IoT projects will be managed efficiently and strategically.

NEWCOM, a Certified Partner for all things Sierra Wireless. Our expert project team of engineers offers turnkey solutions for commercial and public sector markets ranging from system analysis, design, installation, implementation, and system management, and raises the bar for the highest standards for customer support in transitioning organizations between 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G in our joined collaborative efforts with Sierra Wireless.

Sierra Wireless has the 25+ years of expertise, a securely integrated router, and management platform, as well as antenna and connectivity options to simplify your journey to LTE!

Reference:

Sierra Wireless. (2020, March 19).Upgrade to LTE Before 2G and 3G are Gone Forever. [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.sierrawireless.com/iot-blog/iot-blog/2018/09/2g-3g-network-sunset/