Australia, Company News, Sponsored Content, Transport Features, Transport News, Truck Technology

Why Telstra’s 3G network switch-off is an opportunity for Australia’s transport sector to fast track its carbon reduction goals

Geotab says the shutdown of Telstra’s 3G network and the 4G switchover present a unique opportunity for Australia's fleet managers to adopt or upgrade telematics, which can deliver safety, environmental and cost benefits

David Brown is Associate Vice President for Asia-Pacific, Geotab

David Brown. Image: Geotab

The federal government’s recently revised mandate to reduce carbon emissions to 43 per cent by 2030 and net zero by 2050 has made the need more urgent than ever. All industry sectors must play a more active role in addressing climate change, and none more so than the transport sector, which currently accounts for 18 per cent of all of Australia’s carbon dioxide emissions.

In fact, our sector is the third-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Australia according to the Climate Council. By 2030, transport emissions are projected to be 82 per cent higher than in 1990. Despite this, the government is yet to propose carbon emission standards specifically for transport. As a responsible industry, it is therefore incumbent on us to drive change for ourselves.

Electric fleets are relatively new in Australia and so far, only a few fleet managers are leveraging available telematics technology that can significantly enhance both fleet efficiency and safety through data intelligence and analytics.

The case for telematics 

By providing real-time traffic and weather information, telematics solutions can help fleet managers identify the most efficient routes for their vehicles, thereby reducing fuel consumption and emissions in the process. This is especially important in Australia, where fleets must operate over long distances, often in remote areas where fuel and maintenance costs can be higher.

Another key benefit of this technology is its ability to track and analyse driving behaviour. With features such as driver scorecards and real-time alerts, fleet managers can identify and address unsafe or inefficient driving practices that put drivers and other road users at risk.

This powerful real-time combination of driver behaviour, vehicle performance, and route planning data provides fleet managers with multiple opportunities to make more informed decisions that improve efficiency, safety outcomes and reduce their fleet’s environmental impact, all the while benefiting from reduced fuel and maintenance costs in return for a modest upfront investment.

Telematics, and more specifically data intelligence, is the key to unlocking this sustainability goal as well as multiple bottom-line rewards. Unfortunately, many Australian fleet managers are yet to fully embrace the potential of telematics, and their failure to do so could put them at risk of falling behind their peers in comparable developed markets such as the United States.

The Telstra 3G shutdown runway

However, there is a chance for Australian fleets to catch-up, and the runway to change begins now with Telstra’s looming August 2024 3G network shutdown, which will mean that legacy in-vehicle modem-based systems that connect with this network will become instantly redundant.

But rather than seeing this as a significant obstacle, I see the switchover to 4G as a once-in-a-generation hardware upgrade opportunity for Australia’s fleet managers, enabling them to realise multiple data-led benefits that a more powerful cellular network will bring.

If you’re a fleet manager, the first step is to find out if you have a 3G connected fleet, and how long it has been since you did an audit of your needs. This will give you a clearer idea if you could be vulnerable when 3G is switched off.

You should also assess your priorities, and then figure out which 4G technologies might best address them. Do you want to go paperless? Are your maintenance costs out of control? Is safety more of a concern? Do you want to include more EVs in your fleet, and are you looking for a scalable approach to reducing carbon emissions?

Understanding these priorities will help you best plan for a staggered rollout between now and the 3G sunset so that you are not left in the dark. By getting ahead of the 3G network switch off and switchover, Australian fleet managers can play a more significant role in helping Australia achieve its emissions reduction targets.

My final word of caution – do not leave your planning too late.

About Geotab

Geotab and its partners have provided connected transportation solutions to over four million vehicles globally to date and is committed to helping Australia’s commercial fleets achieve their full sustainability potential.

Previous ArticleNext Article
  1. Australian Truck Radio Listen Live
Send this to a friend