It seems that every couple of years, we typically upgrade our mobile phones for newer models so we can get the most out of our devices.  This is what drives the cellular industry to continually upgrade its network to accommodate faster data speeds, greater capacity and enhanced reliability.

But what about the devices on the network that use minimal bandwidth and don’t need to be constantly upgraded?  Many of these types of devices have utilized the 2G cellular network and are being abandoned as the spectrum has been re-farmed for higher bandwidth networks.  Carriers have planned this upgrade for more than five years, but many users have not been able to invest in upgrades due to the lack of funding and resources.

Case in point, the San Francisco Metropolitan Transit Agency’s (SFMTA) NextBus system went offline at the beginning of January 2017 as a result of the shutdown of AT&T’s 2G network.  The SFMTA claimed it was not notified in advance of the impending shutdown, but AT&T cites a notification to the agency as early as 2008.   Regardless of who is to blame, the citizens of San Francisco are now faced with interruption of a valuable service which provides real-time transit schedules for the city’s bus system.  In a metropolis that is the second greatest user of public transportation, the outage has massive ramifications to say the least.

So, how do cities, businesses and consumers insure that their devices will not be affected by a network shutdown in the future?  There are a few important questions to ask.  First, does the provider of the network guarantee the length of time the network will remain operational?  Second, do the devices on the network consume minimal power so they will last at least as long as the network? And, finally, does the network have the capacity to grow as needs change?  For many networks, the answer to these questions is no.

However, Ingenu offers an alternative to cellular with its RPMA (Random Phase Multiple Access) technology.  It is a low-power, long-range connectivity solution that has been built specifically for machines.  It offers network guarantees and won’t leave you stranded years down the road.  So, before the cellular bus leaves you stranded, check out Ingenu’s RPMA for a welcome alternative.