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FMCSA warns that upcoming 3G sunsetting could render some ELDs obsolete


The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently issued a notice to motor carriers on how Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) could be affected by upcoming changes to network services.

According to the FMCSA, major mobile carriers will be shutting down their 3G networks in the coming months to make way for more advanced 4G and 5G services.

When that happens, the agency says that “any ELD that requires 3G cellular connectivity to perform its functionality will no longer be in compliance with the technical specifications in the ELD rule after the 3G network it relies on is sunset. When in an area that does not support 3G, a 3G device will register a malfunction. In accordance with 49 CFR 395.34, the carrier has 8 days to get the malfunction resolved, in this case by replacement, unless an extension is granted.”

Planned 3G sunset dates are listed below and are subject to change.

  • AT&T 3G: February 22, 2022
  • Sprint 3G (T-Mobile): March 31, 2022
  • Sprint LTE (T-Mobile): June 30, 2022
  • T-Mobile 3G: July 1, 2022
  • Verizon 3G: December 31, 2022

Some smaller carriers like Cricket, Boost, Straight Talk, and Lifeline use the AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile networks.

The FMCSA offered the following action plan to make sure motor carriers remain compliant.

What actions do motor carriers need to take?

Confirm whether your ELD relies on a 3G network.

If you are unsure if your ELD relies on a 3G network, contact your ELD provider. If your ELD does not rely on 3G, and meets all minimum requirements, no further action is needed.

Ask your provider for their upgrade or replacement plan.

If your ELD relies on a 3G network, ask your ELD provider about their plan for upgrading or replacing your device to one that will be supported after the 3G sunset, and complete the necessary actions as soon as possible.

The earliest announced sunset completion date is February 22, 2022. See all announced dates listed above and plan accordingly to avoid service disruptions and compliance issues. FMCSA strongly encourages motor carriers to take the above actions as soon as possible to avoid compliance issues, as portions of carrier 3G networks will be unsupported in advance of the announced sunset dates.

For additional information on ELD compliance, click here. You can also email [email protected] with questions.


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