You may have heard that most telecom companies will switch to 4G (or even 5G) networks in 2022. This means that existing 3G networks will shut down over the next 12 months. Why is this important – especially for Buy Here Pay Here lenders?
First, let’s define exactly what all these “G’s” mean.
“The telecom industry describes each new cellular network it has rolled out over the years as a ‘generation.’ For the last 20 years, most users—including mobile phone owners and customers of GPS tracking solutions—have been on 3G (or third-generation) networks. Today, the major communication providers are all phasing out their 3G networks and building the towers and other infrastructure to move their customers onto 4G (fourth generation) technology. Some are already rolling out 5G.” The biggest difference between 3G, 4G and 5G is the speed at which devices can connect to the internet and transmit data.
The shutdown of 3G networks is set to start in January 2022 and run throughout the year. Most cellular carriers have announced their timing. You can check with your provider about when their switch is scheduled, or learn more on the Federal Communications Commission website.
So back to our question – how does this affect lenders? Most BHPH lenders rely on GPS systems to track vehicles, and most GPS trackers operate on 3G networks. This means that if you don’t upgrade your devices, you’ll likely be unable to receive data from your vehicles once your carrier moves to 4G or 5G networks. Your GPS systems will be useless.
An alternative solution to costly GPS upgrades is the use of license plate recognition (LPR) technology. DRN’s solution provides access to real-time LPR data captured by a nationwide network of mobile-mounted cameras that capture vehicle photos along with location, date and time. Layer on the DRNsights analytics platform, and you can build stories of where vehicles have been, where they might go – and where you can find them. And none of this relies on ever-changing cellular networks.
The bottom line? It’s time to prepare for the shift away from 3G and the implications that has on your business. We’re ready to talk with you about how LPR data can be an effective solution.