Telstra Delay 3G Network Closure By Two Months

Telstra has announced it will delay the shutdown of its 3G network by two months to allow more time for affected customers to upgrade their handset or devices.

Telstra CEO Vicki Brady says the 3G network will now close on August 31 rather than June 30 as previously planned.

The delay is in response to concerns customers might not know their devices aren’t compatible when the 3G network is closed.

Of particular concern are customers with 4G devices, but ones that are so old they are hard-wired to use 3G for emergency calls.

“We have to make sure everyone is ready to make this transition together, and we know some of our customers are still working through the steps they need to take to upgrade their devices,” Telstra says.

“That’s why we’ve decided to provide more time and further support.”

With Vodafone having already shut down its 3G network in December and Optus planning to shutter its 3G network by August 31, all systems relying on the 3G network for communication are likely to experience limited function from those dates onwards.

Commonly affected devices include: telematics and vehicle/asset tracking devices; traffic management signs; weather systems and stations; alarms/building entry; devices that incorporate gateway or mesh backhaul; personal emergency response (PER) systems; and phones and tablets.

Gavin Hill, Transport Certification Australia’s General Manager, Strategic Engagement and Performance, says that despite the extension provided by Telstra, there’s still limited time available to transport operators who rely on telematics devices for access or productivity benefits to manage their transitions.

The migration process can take months, and timing is dependent on the number of affected devices and the availability of installers.

“There are over 15,000 heavy vehicles currently reporting telematics data from their vehicles through the National Telematics Framework, which enables them to take advantage of productivity and/or safety benefits offered by Australia’s road managers,” he says.

“Transport operators who rely on telematics devices for the Road Infrastructure Management (RIM) application, the Telematics Monitoring Application (TMA) or the Intelligent Access Program (IAP) need to ensure their telematics devices have been upgraded to remain legally compliant with road access notices or permits.”

As the administrator of the National Telematics Framework, TCA plays a key role in assessing and approving telematics hardware for use in telematics schemes that enable heavy vehicles to operate on the Australian road network.

TCA’s registered and certified service providers are the first point of contact for transport operators who wish to check if their vehicles are affected by the 3G closure.

“TCA’s message is: don’t delay. Commit to a rollout schedule with your provider to ensure you remain compliant after the 3G shutdown,” Hill adds.

A list of 4G compliant telematics devices which have been type-approved by TCA is available here.

HVIA has released a simple one-page fact sheet to help members and the wider industry prepare for the impeding shutdown of the 3G network.

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