Is Your GPS Tracking Hardware Up to Date? 4G LTE Cat M1/NB1 is here and 2G and 3G Network Shutdowns Are Looming

The time to replace legacy 2G and 3G GPS trackers is now.

As cellular network technology fully embraces 4G and 5G, the legacy 2G and 3G network sunsets are here. For fleet managers with telematics devices, the time to replace legacy 2G and 3G GPS trackers is now. Though nobody wants to incur hardware replacement costs on account of network shutdowns, the good news is that the new generation of GPS hardware have more capabilities, uses far less power, and has a much longer lifespan. Battery powered GPS trackers will require far fewer battery replacements.

What is 4G LTE Cat 1, Cat M1 and NB1?

The first evolution of 4G targeted specifically toward the “Internet of Things” (IoT) applications – such as GPS trackers -within 4G LTE is Category 1 (“Cat 1”) which use far less bandwidth than voice, video and data. More recently, 4G LTE Cat M1 was developed to significantly reduce power consumption and complexity for IoT applications by lowering upload and download data rates, thus reducing bandwidth. Another IoT-specific option is NB1 (NB-IoT) which has a data rate smaller still than that of Cat M1. GPS trackers using NB1 have even less power power consumption. NB1 is ideal for battery powered asset trackers where the equipment moves infrequently.

Btracking’s 4G LTE hardware is capable of operating on both LTE Cat M1 and NB1. Our customers can expect years of performance, low power requirements, and for battery powered trackers, exceptionally long battery life of up to 10 years.

2G and 3G Network Sunset Dates

Here’s a brief summary of upcoming 2G and 3G network shutdowns that affect Btracking customers. In some areas it may take a year or more after the announced shutdown date to fully sunset the network, however, carriers are already gradually reducing coverage.


  • T-Mobile 2G GSM – Dec 2022. T-Mobile 2G coverage in rural areas is already significantly reduced.
  • T-Mobile 3G HSPA – sometime after April 2022 but no firm shutdown date announced. Many areas already have significantly reduced or no 3G coverage.
  • Verizon 2G CDMA – Dec 2022.
  • AT&T 3G HSPA – Feb 2022. 3G coverage is already sparse in rural areas. The 2G GSM network is already off.


  • Rogers 2G GSM – Dec 2021.
  • Bell and Telus 2G GSM – already off.
  • Rogers, Bell and Telus have not announced 3G HSPA shutdowns, but the end of 2025 is anticipated.


  • Vodafone 2G and 3G will be supported through at least 2025.

Btracking has already contacted its customers to jointly develop an upgrade plan.

If your business is looking to add GPS Fleet management, or is looking for an alternative provider when upgraded to 4G, Btracking has one of the most intuitive, full featured systems available. Please check us out at We’ll help you:

  • Develop a timeline for replacing obsolete units.
  • Provide details about our products, and especially new devices and services that will benefit your business.
  • Provide the most robust, top quality hardware at the best price.
  • Sequence hardware replacements over a timeframe that works for your business.
  • Work with installers that work within your fleet maintenance schedules. You don’t need to replace everything at once.