Don't Fear the Future Plan a Scalable Long-Term Cellular Strategy for 2G, 3G, and 4G Technology

Second-generation () data services have served millions of users and devices for many years, and continue to be employed in virtually every market worldwide. The evolution of third-generation () and fourth-generation () cellular networks, however, has made the world of cellular services more complex. While operators in many markets will continue to invest in maintaining and upgrading 2G networks for the foreseeable future, operators in others have already begun to cap existing 2G services and are transitioning to 3G and 4G technologies.

Given these market realities, it is important for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and enterprises developing cellular machine-to-machine () applications to think carefully about how 2G, 3G and 4G fit into their long-term roadmaps. When developing new cellular products and M2M solutions, OEMs and enterprises should carefully weigh the pros and cons of the different air interfaces. To best plan ahead, they should adopt a scalable approach that will allow them to address all markets – 2G, 3G and 4G – as cost-effectively as possible.

There is no single right answer for all enterprises and all markets. The best option: build to scale. Focus on solutions that allow for reuse of development, testing and certification efforts in multiple markets and operator networks, regardless of access technology.

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