Fleet managers deal with risks every day. But it’s the risks you don’t see coming that can cost you. Here are three risks you may not have considered when looking at GPS telematics for your business fleet.
#1) Network Sunset
This week, at least one major U.S. carrier finally began its sunset of 3G hardware, by halting new 3G SIM activations in the United States. You can read more about that here. Why does this matter? Every network so far has had about a 5-year lifespan, and we are now 4 years into 3G. What happens when a network sunsets? Your telematics device turns into a brick, and you get to pay to replace it.
I saw this firsthand when 2G networks were shut down in 2015, and the fallout was not pretty. Major telematics providers are currently shipping 3G units, and charging clients for hardware which will be useless very soon. Even worse, they are locking clients into contracts, doubly exposing them to this risk. If you are currently in the market for GPS-based telematics for fleet management, you should ask vendors how they will handle the 3G sunset. Momentum IoT was the first major telematics provider in North America to ship 4G devices. And we offer plans with no contract lock-in. Pay as you go, and we will switch your hardware to the new networks when the time comes. It’s our problem, not yours.
We read last week about a new IoT hack. Security is an increasingly important topic. You may not be worried about it now, but you will be. If you’re in the market, ask telematics vendors how they handle security. Here’s how we handle it. A unique digital signature imprinted onto each device. Encrypted end-to-end communication, and 1-to-1 communication between our servers and the devices. In other words, we offer the gold standard in security. If your vendor needs to “get back to you” on this topic, the odds are high they are working hard to put together the right combo of words to convince you that their “good” security is good enough. Don’t buy it.
#3) Hidden Costs
When vendors want you to pay up-front for hardware, then lock you in to a 1-year service contract, beware. They are telling you they have zero confidence that you will be happy to pay them in three months. But don’t believe us. Take a look at Verizon Connect’s reviews for yourself. Note, 1-star is bad, not good.
Don’t let the risks catch you by surprise. You can try our complete product before you buy.
About the Author: Dev Bhatia is a proven leader in IoT. He was most recently Senior Director of Product Management at CalAmp, where he launched LoJack SureDrive and other connected vehicle products. Prior, he was Chief Marketing Officer at Spireon, a business intelligence platform for telematics. In 2013, Bhatia was honored as one of the inaugural socalTech 50, recognizing fifty up-and-coming Southern California executives.