Revolutionising Fleet Connectivity: The Transformative Impact of 5G as 3G Networks Bow Out

This article is sponsored by Geotab.

Image created by DALL·E 3.

For some fleet managers, transitioning away from 3G might be a minor headache, but for most it should be a reason for optimism. 5G will improve the capability of telematics devices and will provide an opportunity to improve efficiency, enhance safety, and find additional savings.

The latest 5G technology brings significantly higher speeds, lower latency, and simultaneous connections to more devices at once, complementing the needs of modern mobile and Internet of Things (IoT) consumers. Global auditing and advisory firm PwC predicts that 5G will encourage businesses to adopt emerging technologies since it now facilitates better connections.

An A.T. Kearney report states that in Southeast Asia (SEA), Singapore is expected to capture the largest share of potential value from 5G. By 2025, Singapore is projected to achieve SEA’s most positive “win-win” scenario, where enterprise businesses are transformed with 5G-enabled technologies and consumers fork out for faster mobile services.

As Singapore inches closer to the gradual decommissioning of 3G networks this year, the country’s telematics sector stands on the cusp of a significant transformation. Singtel, StarHub and M1 will retire their 3G services by the end of July in 2024. Across SEA, other nations are propelling their 5G adoption at different rates.

While 3G might have brought mobile internet access to the world and made the consumption of multimedia content possible on the go, it is time to bow out.

Why is the 3G shutdown significant? 

To Geotab, the 3G shutdown represents progress in fleet management operations. As companies nationwide upgrade their devices, they align with the latest 5G network, which offers greater data capabilities at faster speeds. Given the critical role that fleet operations play in the economy, local transport businesses are likely to benefit significantly from this change.

Here are five ways that fleet operators on Geotab’s solutions can benefit from being on the 5G technology.

  1. Enhanced data transmission
    The superior speed and reduced latency of 5G technology facilitate real-time transmission of large volumes of data. For vehicles using Geotab’s telematics systems, fleet managers can instantly analyse and share fleet data, including high-definition video feeds, vehicle diagnostics, and driver behaviour metrics. The quick extraction of data can lead to more timely and informed decision-making processes for fleet operators.
  2. Improved reliability
    The 5G network offers significantly improved reliability over all its predecessors. Fleet managers will be able to enjoy constant access to critical data across the island.

    Moreover, fleet operators can expect AI-driven insights from video telematics to be enhanced by 5G’s capability to stream high-resolution clips at fast speeds, a critical component of modern fleet management. With access to detailed visual evidence of incidents, driver performance, and compliance with safety protocols in near real time, fleet operators can enjoy greater overall fleet safety and operational transparency.
  3. Increased scalability and flexibility – regardless of vehicle types and sizes
    The IoT is set to expand under 5G, allowing for an unprecedented number of devices to be connected simultaneously. For fleet management, this flexibility means more comprehensive monitoring capabilities and the ability to adapt to their operational needs.

    Additionally, the increased connectivity and device density supported by 5G perfectly complements Geotab’s open platform approach. This synergy allows for the seamless addition of sensors and devices to the fleet – regardless of vehicle types and sizes – without compromising performance. This enables businesses to scale their operations and integrate new technologies as they emerge.
  4. Predictive analytics and maintenance
    5G’s rapid connectivity will enhance the ability of Geotab’s AI-enhanced solutions to analyse vast datasets in real time. Fleet managers can now predict potential vehicle failures and maintenance needs before they occur. This predictive capability ensures that fleet operations are not just reactive but also proactive, minimising downtime and extending the lifecycle of fleet vehicles.
  5. Enhanced safety and efficiency
    The real-time data processing enabled by 5G technology allows Geotab’s platform to offer more dynamic routing and dispatching solutions. AI algorithms can analyse traffic patterns, weather conditions, and vehicle performance metrics on the fly, optimising routes for safety and efficiency. This can lead to significant cost and fuel savings, reduced emissions, and improved driver safety.

Why fleet operators should act fast and act now

With an expiry date set for the 3G network, the switch to newer technology is now inevitable. Acting swiftly ensures that fleet operators will get to enjoy the first mover’s advantage. Fleet managers will be able to familiarise themselves with the latest tech infrastructure and telematics devices ahead of their competitors.

The GO9 and GO9+ devices, Geotab’s most powerful vehicle tracking solutions, feature an expanded capacity to support improved fuel usage, accommodate electric vehicles, and facilitate global fleet expansion. These affordable devices are designed to cater to a wide range of businesses, from ride-hailing to heavy truck fleets.

As Singapore moves towards a 5G-powered future, the fleet management sector is set to become more connected, intelligent, and innovative than ever. The phasing out of 3G networks in the country is a turning point for all businesses, signalling the start of embracing a new generation of emerging technology. We believe that there is immense potential for 5G to revolutionise fleet operations as it could offer enhanced efficiency, reliability, and a host of new capabilities.