May 18, 2022

519 Magazine

Complete News World

The end of 3G networks is a problem for millions of car owners

The end of 3G networks is a problem for millions of car owners

The planned shutdown of legacy 3G networks will affect the connected systems of dozens of car models that entered the market anytime from 2010 through 2021, in some cases.

Dusan Petkovic | iStock | Getty Images

Millions of vehicles in the United States, including TeslaAudi, Honda and AprilIt will lose some emergency and rest features by Tuesday, as AT&T became the first carrier to disrupt its 3G network this year.

The shutdowns – known as sunset on the network – affect older mobile phones but also other products such as home security systems and vehicles that use 3G networks for updates and remote communications.

The impact on vehicle owners will vary based on their car or truck, millions of which have been made over the past decade or so with a 3G connection. Some owners may have no problems, while others may miss out on automatic emergency response services in the event of an accident and some infotainment and convenience features like real-time navigation and cabin pre-conditioning.

said Kenny Hawk, CEO of Mojio, a mobility services company that partners with Volkswagen and Audi to maintain emergency services. “You have a lot of vehicles…that have built-in 3G remote controls, modems and antennas that only work on 3G networks.”

slow motion disaster

AT&T It is the first major provider to stop 3G services, which will be shut down on Tuesday, followed by T-Mobile And the Verizon later this year. Other smaller carriers that rely on those networks such as Cricket, Boost and Straight Talk will also be affected.

Telecommunications companies are conducting 3G sunsets to free up infrastructure and capital to support the latest, such as emerging 5G services.

“Since February 2019, we have worked with car manufacturers to help them convert their connected cars to newer technology before 3G services end on February 22. Customers have received, and will receive, additional communications as we work with them on this transition, including direct communications,” AT&T said. In an emailed statement on Monday, “Mail, bill letters, emails and text messages.”

Although cellular providers have been warning that their networks will be shutting down permanently for some time, many automakers still rely on 3G connectivity until as soon as 2021.

William Wallace, director of safety policy at Consumer Reports, called the situation a “slow-moving disaster,” as automakers either do nothing or scramble to maintain services for owners.

“We’re talking about millions of vehicles that will lose the features promised to their owners, that will no longer be delivered,” he said. “In some cases, those features are safety features, things that can help them die or get seriously injured after a collision.”

Consumer Reports has a big volume List of affected vehicles by car brand. Owners, if not already contacted by the automakers, can check the brands’ websites to see if their vehicle has been affected.

Auto effect

The solutions offered by automakers to fix problems vary widely. They range from discontinuing some services to offering software and hardware upgrades, and some require owners to pay a one-time fee or sign up for new monthly or annual subscriptions.

“It’s hit and miss,” said Brian Moody, executive editor of Autotrader. “Not every solution for the auto industry is the same.”

Tesla, for example, is charging $200 to owners of a Model S built before June 2015 to upgrade to their car modem, according to His website. Tesla says that without the update, drivers will lose many remote capabilities and some infotainment features, including navigation, maps and live traffic updates.

Owners of some Hondas have until Tuesday to download new software for free. Otherwise, they’ll have to pay upwards of $900 for a hardware upgrade or lose certain features, according to Consumer Reports.

A view of the dashboard of a Tesla Model S.

Getty Images

“Manufacturers, on a case by case basis, take a look at how many people are actually affected by the 3G shutdown, and as they inevitably do with anything, they make a determination that there are enough people that are going to be affected by this to justify developing some kind of upgrade?” Guidehouse Insights principal analyst Sam Abu Samid said.

Others like Volkswagen, Audi and Stilantswhich owns the Jeep, Ram and Chrysler brands, offers third-party alternatives to some of the Services.

Mojio’s solution with Audi and Volkswagen is an auxiliary device that connects to the vehicle’s remote control, or OBD, ports to maintain multiple emergency services. It will be offered free to Audi customers for a certain period before switching to the subscription service, Hawke said.

Wallace criticized some automakers for taking advantage of the situation to try to charge owners for the services they promised free when they bought the car.

General motors, which makes Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac cars, has been sending remote updates to maintain services since October, according to a company spokeswoman. Other automakers such as Toyota Motor They are simply letting the services expire.

“Although these circumstances were caused by factors beyond our control, we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause,” Toyota said in a statement on its website about the end of services on November 1.

owners Ford Motor A spokesperson said cars, including its luxury Lincoln brand, will be relatively unaffected by sunset 3G other than an older version of the app is no longer available.

automotive technology protection

Sunset on the grid is not new to the auto industry, but the impact on consumers is becoming more widespread, as automakers expand their fleets and services of connected vehicles to realize greater revenue opportunities.

“The difference this time in the past was the number of vehicles affected by it is relatively small, as a percentage of the total number of vehicles,” said Abu Al-Samed.

OnStar’s 4G LTE dash system is shown on the Chevrolet Impala.

Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Automakers are trying to protect future vehicles from sunsets on the network to ensure they can easily handle or upgrade to support new networks, according to company officials. Wallace argues that automakers, telcos and federal regulators need to be more prepared for when 4G, which is widely used in new cars, ends.

“Congress needs to take this up and make sure that this total catastrophe does not happen again in the fourth generation,” Wallace said.

See also  Tech stocks are dropping again, and the Nasdaq has its worst month since 2008