For a project I'm working on we are orienting on the available mobile data connections. Because the current cellular connections are in a transition from G to LTE, I'm not sure whats the right desicion. From what I read about the 2G and 3G networks I have the feeling that theyre not going to be supported another 10 - 15 years. The 3G network is sure to shut down anytime soon (2021 in USA). The 2G network is a bit more complicated. Some providers say they will keep the 2G network alive because of many M2M applications use the 2G network. Some say the network will shutdown soon like 3G.
The reason I want to explore the possibilities with 2G is the (module) price and the worldwide coverage. These are the criteria for my project:
- Embedded module with serial interface
- As cheap as possible (module and price/mb)
- Speed is not so much of a concern. 2G speed (56kbps) is sufficient
- Worldwide support
- Supported for another 15 years (the lifetime of our assets)
Next to the 'old' 2G 3G and 4G networks the LTE cat-m is coming up. LTE cat-me seems to be the right choice for M2M solutions in the future. This might be interesting for us, but the problem is that the network is upcoming and not avaliable globally. I think that it can take a few years before its globally supported. Besides that, the price/mb is going to be higher than the 2G/3G/4G prices as we know them.
I hope someone can clear things up.