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3G Shutdown – Are you ready?

Why should you care about the 3G shutdown? If you have telemetered devices on your property that were installed from approximately 2009 to around 2020 you are likely to be affected.

What is 3G? The third-generation mobile network - the bridge between the slower 2G network and the faster 4G network. It’s being shut down as there are not enough spare radio frequencies to run the existing 3G network and the new 4G and 5G networks.

OneNZ are shutting off the 3G network from 31 August 2024 and Spark are shutting their 3G network off towards the end of 2025.

What devices are likely to be affected? Flowmeter telemetry, soil moisture sites, weather stations, water level sites, tractor steering systems, pump start/stops, pivot remote control, security systems and any other devices that talk to the internet.

There are still a significant number of 3G devices connected across the agricultural sector. Typically, there are likely to be a large number of people wanting to change at the last minute, meaning technician time and new hardware will be at a premium. Can you tell if your device is 3G or 4G? Some devices have 3G or 4G written on them, but in most cases, you’ll need to check with your service provider.

If your devices are still running on 3G when the network is turned off, they will stop communicating and no data will be updated to the web. This becomes a problem particularly if your consent requires you to send data daily to the Regional Council in the case of flowmeter data. If you rely on your phone to control your pivots and start and stop pumps – check your devices won’t be turned off unexpectedly.

If you have a mixture of telemetry providers, devices playing up or are fed up with your current provider, now is the time make changes. Turning data into useful information is now a critical part of farming, there are now options available that let you use data in a more integrated way to make better decisions.

Talk to the Primary Insight team about how we can help you switch over before the rush. We can monitor everything on farm from flowmeters to water level to effluent and soil moisture.


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