Wireless Network Shutdowns

What is a “Wireless Network Coverage Turndown?” #

Cellular Providers like AT&T (our main service provider) are always improving their networks- combining robust infrastructure with increasingly faster and more reliable connectivity speeds. While other countries and regions will leave older networks up, US providers have decided that they will only have the latest networks up and running.

We saw this at the start of 2017 when AT&T shut off their 2G network and replaced it with 3G. This happened again at the start of 2022 when AT&T shut off their 3G network and replaced it with LTE and 5G. T-Mobile (our other provider) and the other cellular providers will complete their transitions to LTE and 5G by early 2023. Years down the road, this will occur again when the next technology is ready to go.

Now you may ask, “Why would I need to replace older devices? Wouldn’t a software update work?”

With each network improvement, starting with 1G, it causes the signal to physically have a different shape. Thinking back to science class, these signals are literal waves that undulate. Over the years, these signals have gotten more compact with 5G being the most streamlined to date. Because the signal itself is physically different, the hardware needs to be designed for that specific signal. Likewise, looking at it from a GPS angle, improvements to batteries, GPS modules, and even protective casings also occur. When the network upgrades, it’s time for a fully new device.

This is why within 2 years of the projected start date of the 3G network turndowns we replaced our inventory with the newest GPS technology. That means we started selling LTE vehicle devices in 2019. With the release of the PocketFinder LTE-M1 Smart Tracker in 2021, our personal tracking customers also have the latest in mobile tracking technology.

LBT is committed to supporting our business and family customers long term and making the network transitions as well as worldwide usage of our trackers as smooth as possible. Thank you again for being a long time customer and for being a part of the LBT PocketFinder family!


Best regards,

Dave Morse CEO