Last updated: June 11, 2018
In an effort to improve the reliability and experience of using Digital Fleet, we are making some changes to our hardware offering and want to ensure all customers are informed of the future hardware requirements. There are also changes coming from the carriers (AT&T, Verizon) that we want to make sure you are aware of. These changes may impact your production starting in 2021 but we want to prepare as far in advance as possible. Please take a look at the following sections of information which discuss tablets, modems and the move from the 3G to the 4G network.
There is a lot going on here and we are trying to do our best to keep you informed as we move the platform forward in significant and meaningful ways. If you have questions or concerns, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 630.518.4606. Thank you!
Many of you are already using data enabled tablets. If you are, there is nothing you need to change. If you are using a wifi only tablet, you have already been contacted by us informing you of the required change to a data enabled tablet.
To summarize, here is what is changing:
- We are moving to a configuration that requires a data enabled tablet. There are multiple reasons for this, all which will make the experience of using Digital Fleet better and put us in a position to build more reliable, faster responding, and data intensive features.
- A data enabled tablet will dramatically improve the reliability of communication from the tablet.
- A data enabled tablet does not have the data limitations that the wifi only tablet setup has.
- A data enabled tablet does not have any restrictions on how that data connection can be used.
- A data enabled tablet allows us to enhance the overall experience of Digital Fleet. Recently added features like the ability to use Google Maps for turn by turn navigation require a data enabled tablet. There will be more and more features in the future that require a data connection. Imagine the possibilities - features that rely on the tablet camera for photo capture, signature capture, credit card processing, etc all will require a data enabled tablet.
- We are no longer adding new trucks to the platform using the hardware configuration that used a wifi only tablet. In addition to the benefits outlined by moving to a data enabled tablet, the wifi only tablet setup will completely stop working as dictated by the carriers and their support for the 3G network. Please see below for the 3G network sunset dates.
- To help with the transition to data enabled tablets, we have launched a Mobile Device Management (MDM) service. We have partnered with Verizon to allow you the option to have your data plans be managed by Digital Fleet. By using this service, you have the option to allow our staff to remote control the tablets in the trucks and assist with common support issues. If you are interested in this service, please reach out to us.
Many of you have modems in your vehicles. If you do not, there is nothing you need to do. If you have modems in your trucks, you are impacted.
The modems are connected to the 3G network and the carriers (AT&T, Verizon) have informed us of the last dates we can activate devices on the network. The carriers have also informed us of the sunset dates for the network.
These dates are controlled by the carriers. Digital Fleet does not have control over these dates. All existing modems that you have are impacted by these changes.
Existing modems will stop working after the network sunset date. New modem hardware is being developed for use on the 4G network, but we do not have final information on them yet.
- Can I add modems to my trucks today?
- Yes. Starting in January 2018, we began rolling out a newer hardware version of the modem (GNX6). This modem currently works on AT&T / T-Mobile and we will continue to launch those devices through the end of the year.
- What about 4G?
- We are working with our modem manufacturer to get access to their 4G modems. Their current ETA is Q4 2018. We don’t have any more specific information, but we are working with them and will be testing new hardware as soon as we can.
- Can my existing modem be moved from 3G network to 4G network?
- Unfortunately no. New hardware will need to be purchased.
- After the “No New Activations” deadline, will I be able to replace modems that I had purchased before the deadline.
- No. After the activation deadline, we will no longer be able to bring any new devices onto the old network, even if that device is replacing an existing device.
- Will I need to replace my JBoxes as well?
- The JBox devices operate in conjunction with the GNX5P modems. When those modems are replaced, you will no longer need the JBox. The newer version of the modem, the GNX6 does not need a JBox.
- Do I need to migrate my fleet all at once to this new hardware setup?
- No. Digital Fleet will continue to support the old hardware configuration until the network sunset date, at which point those devices will no longer be able to communicate with the Digital Fleet servers. So, you will be able to gradually migrate the hardware in your existing fleet over to the new setup between now and the network sunset date. More and more features will be added to the platform that require the data enabled tablet.
- Are you still offering the bring your own device (BYOD) for tablets?
- Yes. If you currently have a relationship with a carrier (Verizon, AT&T) to get data enabled tablets for use with Digital Fleet, you can continue to do so. Tablets need to be data enabled either from you working with the carrier or you using our MDM service.
- Do I have to use your MDM service for tablets?
- No. You can use your existing relationship with a carrier (Verizon, AT&T) to obtain data enabled tablets.
- What about ELD?
- We will continue to offer ELD as a service. From the launch ELD has required a data enabled tablet in the truck.
- Will additional hardware options be available to obtain engine data?
- We are currently working on adding a device to retrieve the engine data and transmit the data through a data enabled tablet. While initial testing is positive we are still in the discovery phase for the device to ensure it meets our demands. When we have finished this work we'll notify customers of its availability.