This post is courtesy of TracPlus.

TracPlus, a global leader in real-time tracking and communication solutions, addresses the impending global 3G network shutdown, guiding all users of 3G aircraft tracking systems, including its RockAIR devices and those from other providers. The transition away from 3G networks, happening now and continuing over the next few years, varies by region. TracPlus provides essential guidance on how to navigate this change, outlining steps for users to ensure continuous, reliable operational connectivity during and after the transition. This initiative highlights TracPlus's commitment to innovation, safety, and reliability in the face of significant telecommunications evolution.

Understanding the 3G Shutdown

As global telecommunications shift towards 4G and 5G networks, the phasing out of 3G services presents widespread challenges for users of 3G-dependent aircraft tracking systems. This transition is occurring at different paces globally, affecting regions in unique ways. For example, in the United States, major network providers have already begun decommissioning their 3G networks, with the process expected to be largely completed by the end of 2023. In contrast, countries like Australia and New Zealand have set a timeline extending through 2024 and 2025, respectively. In Europe, the scenario varies by country, with some like the UK planning to phase out 3G by 2023, while others may extend beyond that. These regional differences in the shutdown timelines are critical for users to understand, as they directly impact the operational connectivity and the need for timely upgrades or adaptations to maintain continuous, reliable service.

Impact on 3G Aircraft Tracking Devices

The gradual shutdown of 3G networks will affect all 3G GSM and satellite network-based aircraft tracking devices. Users of these systems will experience a shift towards greater reliance on satellite communications. This transition, while affecting connectivity, does not mean the end of utility for these devices. It's important to note that as 3G towers are decommissioned, devices with multi-carrier capabilities, such as TracPlus's RockAIR, may offer more resilience. However, post-shutdown, all 3G tracking devices will need to operate in a satellite-only mode, which may result in higher operational costs due to increased satellite data usage.

Future-Proofing With LTE RockAIR

In anticipation of these industry-wide changes, TracPlus introduced the LTE-compatible RockAIR model in late 2022. This move highlights the importance of staying abreast of technological advancements. For users of other 3G tracking systems, exploring options for 4G-compatible upgrades with their respective providers is recommended to ensure continued high-quality connectivity and performance.


TracPlus is committed to leading the way through the challenges of the 3G network shutdown, offering guidance not only to its customers but to all users of 3G aircraft tracking systems. With a focus on providing comprehensive solutions and proactive support, TracPlus aims to ease the transition for the entire aviation community. All users impacted by the 3G shutdown are encouraged to seek guidance and support from their device providers and consider available options for adapting to these technological changes.