The Phase-Out of 2G and 3G Networks in the UK

UK networks to drop 2G and 3G by 2025

The mobile landscape is ever-evolving, and as we bid farewell to the second and third generations of mobile phone networks, exciting advancements await us. In this article post, we’ll delve into the recent announcement by the UK government and major mobile network operators (MNOs) regarding the retirement of 2G and 3G networks and the implications for consumers.

In December 2021, the UK government, in collaboration with leading MNOs – EE, Virgin Media O2, Vodafone, and Three – announced an industry-led initiative to switch off 2G and 3G networks in the country. The plan is to complete this transition by 2033, with a likelihood of an earlier completion date.

Already underway, the MNOs are gradually phasing out their 3G networks. EE, Vodafone, and Three have set 2024 as the target year, while Virgin Media O2 plans to follow suit in 2025. The shift will redirect focus towards 4G and 5G networks for mobile services.

Fleet trackers, powered by 2G and 3G networks, have been instrumental in providing real-time location data, optimising routes, and enhancing overall fleet efficiency. As the UK moves towards 4G and 5G networks, fleet managers need to navigate this shift seamlessly to ensure uninterrupted operations.

Fleet trackers relying on 3G networks may experience limitations as the network is gradually phased out. It becomes imperative for businesses to assess their current tracking systems and consider upgrading to devices compatible with 4G and 5G networks. This shift not only ensures continued functionality but also opens up opportunities for enhanced features and capabilities.

Steps for Fleet Managers:

 Evaluate the current fleet tracking systems and identify devices relying on 2G or 3G networks.

Stay informed about the timelines provided by mobile network operators for the phasing out of 2G and 3G networks.

Plan for the transition by considering the upgrade of fleet trackers to 4G and 5G-compatible devices.

Work closely with fleet tracking solution providers to understand their roadmap for network transition and explore available upgrade options.

The evolution of mobile networks impacts various industries, and fleet management is no exception. As 2G and 3G networks make way for 4G and 5G, fleet managers have the opportunity to embrace advanced technologies, ensuring a seamless transition and unlocking new possibilities for efficient and effective fleet tracking. Stay proactive, stay connected – the future of fleet management is evolving.

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Transport for London Implements FORS Gold Standard

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Starting April 2024, Transport for London (TfL) is mandating FORS Gold accreditation or an equivalent scheme for all new Greater London Authority Group contracts over £1 million involving vehicles. This move aims to enhance vehicle safety, aligning with the Vision Zero goal to eliminate road deaths and injuries. FORS, a safety and environmental standards accreditation scheme, has been instrumental in raising industry standards.

Despite a 31% reduction in serious injuries with FORS Silver, fatal collisions involving freight vehicles remain a concern. The shift to FORS Gold ensures operators meet heightened standards, prioritising safety for vulnerable road users. The new requirements won’t affect existing contracts, and suppliers with contracts under £1 million must attain at least FORS Silver. The FORS program assesses fleet performance in areas like safety, environmental impact, and operational efficiency, providing a framework for continuous improvement. TfL’s commitment to Vision Zero involves various initiatives, including the Direct Vision Standard, which reduces blind spots on lorries. Further measures, like a three-star rating or Progressive Safe System for HGVs over 12 tonnes, will be implemented from October 2024.

Read the full article here.

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Fatal Bus Accident Sparks Calls for Enhanced Safety Measures

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Fatal Bus Accident Sparks Calls for Enhanced Safety Measures

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In a tragic incident three weeks ago, a woman lost her life after being struck by a bus outside Victoria station in central London. The Metropolitan Police confirmed the pedestrian’s death, which occurred just after 9 am when a bus collided with her outside Victoria Bus Station.

This unfortunate event echoed a similar tragedy at the same station three years prior when a bus driver mistakenly pressed the accelerator instead of the brake, leading to the death of another female pedestrian. The bus involved in the recent accident, a number 13 double-decker, crashed into a passenger shelter at Terminus Place.

Despite an immediate response from Metropolitan police units, British Transport Police, and the London Ambulance Service, the woman was pronounced dead at 9:26 am. The bus driver was also taken to the hospital, and efforts were made to trace the victim’s next of kin.

The area surrounding the station was cordoned off with a large piece of black tarpaulin, and specialised police traffic investigators examined the circumstances of the collision. While the bus station was closed for the foreseeable future, the railway station remained unaffected.

In the wake of this tragedy, calls for enhanced safety measures have grown, with a spotlight on how advanced technology, such as the Direct Vision Standard (DVS), could have potentially prevented this incident. DVS systems provide real-time monitoring of a vehicle’s surroundings, utilising cameras and sensors to detect potential dangers and alerting the driver promptly.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan expressed condolences, calling the incident an “awful tragedy” and emphasising the need for a full investigation. The incorporation of DVS systems and other advanced safety technologies may play a crucial role in preventing similar incidents in the future.

Emergency services treated a third person at the scene, who was later discharged. The British Transport Police assisted in the investigation, and Transport for London (TfL) provided support to those affected.

This recent incident, along with the echoes of the past tragedy in August 2021 when Melissa Burr lost her life in a similar collision, underlines the urgency of adopting comprehensive safety measures and leveraging technology to ensure public safety on busy urban roads.

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Leveraging Telematics

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Leveraging Telematics

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A Fleet Witness Success Story In Preventing Vehicle Theft

In the fast-paced world of logistics, the stakes are high, and every minute counts. We recently celebrated a significant success story that underscores the crucial role of telematics in safeguarding businesses against the rising tide of vehicle theft. This incident serves as a testament to the power of cutting-edge technology and quick, decisive action in mitigating risks and ensuring a positive return on investment.

The Incident:
On a seemingly ordinary day, one of our clients faced a potentially devastating situation—a van was stolen in the early hours of the morning. However, thanks to the robust telematics equipment installed in the vehicle and the swift response from Fleet Witness, the story took a positive turn. By midday, the stolen van had been successfully recovered, preventing potential losses and demonstrating the real-time tracking capabilities of modern telematics solutions.

The Role of Telematics:
Telematics has emerged as a vital asset in the logistics industry, proving to be a game-changer in combating vehicle theft. Equipped with GPS tracking, real-time monitoring, and advanced features, telematics empower businesses to maintain a vigilant watch over their assets, countering the ingenuity of bold and inventive thieves. Adding an extra layer of prevention, telematics serves as a last resort in the unfortunate event that a perpetrator gains access to the vehicle. While we hope it never comes to that, this additional safeguard underscores the comprehensive security that telematics brings to the forefront of asset protection strategies.

Investing in Good Equipment:
The success story underscores the importance of investing in high-quality telematics equipment. In a landscape where criminal tactics are evolving, having reliable and advanced technology becomes paramount. Fleet Witness’s commitment to providing cutting-edge solutions ensured that their client had the tools necessary to recover the stolen van swiftly.

Positive Return on Investment:
While the initial investment in telematics solutions might seem like an added cost, the incident clearly demonstrates the potential for a positive return on investment. Recovering a stolen vehicle within hours not only saved the client from financial losses but also preserved the operational continuity of their logistics business. This success story serves as a compelling case for other businesses to prioritise the integration of telematics into their fleet management strategies.

Conclusion:
Fleet Witness’s recent client success story is a testament to the critical role that telematics plays in securing assets and maintaining operational efficiency in the logistics sector. As thieves become more sophisticated, investing in high-quality telematics equipment proves to be a proactive and cost-effective approach. The incident showcases how a quick and decisive response, empowered by advanced technology, can turn a potential crisis into a success story, reinforcing the importance of telematics in the modern business landscape.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – DVS 2024

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – New HGV Safety Legislation in London (Effective October 28, 2024)

Q1: Why do I need a HGV safety permit?

A1: The HGV Safety Permit is a requirement under the Direct Vision Standard (DVS) and HGV Safety Permit Scheme, aiming to improve road safety in London. It measures the direct vision of HGV drivers, indicating the level of risk to vulnerable road users. From October 28, 2024, HGVs over 12 tonnes must have a three-star rating or fit the Progressive Safe System to operate in Greater London.

Q2: What are the requirements for the Direct Vision Standard (DVS) in London?

A2: To operate in Greater London from October 28, 2024, HGVs over 12 tonnes must have a three-star rating or implement the Progressive Safe System. The DVS measures the direct vision of HGV drivers, helping to reduce risks for pedestrians and cyclists.

Q3: What is the Progressive Safe System, and how does it affect HGVs rated below three stars?

A3: The Progressive Safe System is a set of safety measures for HGVs rated below three stars. It includes requirements such as Camera Monitoring Systems, Class V and VI mirrors, Blind Spot Information Systems, Moving Off Information Systems, side under-run protection, audible warnings, and external warning signage.

Q4: How can I prepare for the changes coming into effect on October 28, 2024? 

A4: If you hold an existing HGV safety permit with a zero, one, or two-star rating, it will expire at midnight on October 27, 2024. To continue operating in London, ensure your vehicle has the Progressive Safe System fitted. Consult the DVS Guidance for operators for detailed information on requirements.

Q5: How can I get a HGV safety permit for a newly registered vehicle with a star rating between zero and two? 

A5: Owners of newly registered vehicles with a star rating between zero and two should start the permit application process early. Provide proof of the vehicle’s star rating, and if not available, submit a copy of the V5C log book or equivalent documents. Non-UK vehicles are also required to obtain a permit.

Q6: Can I self-certify my vehicle as zero, one, or two stars, and how does it work? 

A6: Yes, if you are applying for a single vehicle that is not in our records, you can self-certify its star rating. Provide a written statement including your name, vehicle registration mark (VRM), vehicle make/model, confirmation of self-certification, and the specific star rating. After confirmation, proceed with the HGV safety permit application. You can do so here: Apply for permit.

Q7: Are there exemptions from the HGV Safety Permit Scheme? 

A7: Some vehicles, such as specialist construction vehicles for off-road use, may be exempt. Check the DVS Operator’s guidance for the full list of exemptions. If your vehicle is exempt, no registration is needed. However, ensure your vehicle has a valid star rating.

Q8: What are the penalties for driving a HGV without a valid permit in Greater London? 

A8: Driving a HGV without a valid permit in most of Greater London may result in a penalty charge (PCN) of up to £550 (reduced to £275 if paid within 14 days). Ensure compliance to avoid penalties.

Discover Fleet Witness’s personalised solutions to fit your needs. Select the Full Kit for DVS Phase 2 Compliance, inclusive of an AHD Monitor, BSIS & MOIS Camera System, Left Turn Speaker, and Warning Sign. Alternatively, explore the PSS Package-Only option, tailored for vehicles with pre-existing monitors and nearside cameras.

Mandatory from October 2024, HGVs with 0, 1, or 2-star ratings or a DVS Safety Permit until 2024 must install a PSS before reapplying for a new permit.

For further details, visit our page HERE

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