“I would say that 2G is not going away anytime soon, but if you are concidering new M2M installations today I would definetly recommend going with 3G compatible devices and to use 2G/3G compatible SIM cards. There is no guarantee of a maintained functionality in 2G networks looking ten years down the road (a normal life span for many M2M installations), and 2G CAPEX and OPEX will decline with all operators. Even if you take a slightly higher investment initially using a 3G device you will avoid the risk of having to exchange both SIM card and modem during the life span of your installation. Besides, prices on 3G modules are dropping and are rapidly approaching similar price levels as 2G units. This is of course dependent on the life span of you M2M installation and the amount of data you need to transfer. From an operator point of view, I am curious of which industry will first make use of 4G networks and M2M to rapidly transfer streaming video for specific surveillance tasks or other data intensive applications.”
The 2G/3G dilemma – Comments by Martin Svensson, Tele2
Martin Svensson, M2M Product Manager, Tele2
Good points, Couple of comments about ”The 2G/3G dilemma ”
2G usually refers to GSM and as soon as the packet data is used the lowest leel is 2,5G or GPRS. Since M-M are usually using GPRS. Many people are using 2G for GPRS but they usually refer to Radio which is ”almost” same in GSM and GPRS but the Data services are not the same
SIM cards GSM, GPRS are the same while you could use the USIM which has a better capacity in case some more information may need to be used. there are of course other enefits like improved encryptions, etc.
CAPEX for 2G and 3G
CAPEX is usually higher in old systems like GPRS compared with 3G. But since it is about investment it is a word of cautions to continue investment on old systems, the reason is quite obvious since the old system one day needs to be replaced by new technology
OPEX in 2G
Usually newer systems are more designed for less operational cost so I am pretty convinced that the GSM, GPRS systems needs more operation hands on compared to new systems. In other word it is hard to believe that the OPEX for 2G is lower than in 3G. Of course one need to consider same level of service ability.
Choose of the “right” technology
The business case, availability, reliability and technical characteristics are of course the elements which needs to be analyzed prior to choose of the technology (GSM, GPRS, UMTS, LTE,…)
Mohammad Mahloujian, 3G-Consult