The Impact of 5G on ATMs

The ATM industry has dramatically evolved over the past few decades to utilize the latest technologies and shifts for EMV, ADA compliance, and the looming move to LTE and 5G for wireless technology will be no different. Most ATM operators are quick to realize that their ATM’s don’t need the speed that 5G brings, but 4G LTE is now built out so thoroughly the carriers need to offload 2G and 3G networks to make room to build out the 5G network.

Things like driverless or automated cars, robotics, fleet asset tracking and management, healthcare monitoring, improved retail experiences through personalization, sensors, and cloud-connected traffic control are part of this transformative 5G technology to name just a few. The point is we will soon know a cellular world that is supported mainly by 5G and 4G LTE networks, with 3G & 2G reaching obsolescence.

Chris Baird on the 3G to 4G Transition 

OptConnect’s President and CEO, Chris Baird, took some time to speak in one of ATMIA 2019’s breakout sessions this year to educate industry professionals on this critical topic of “Planning & Preparing for the 3G to 4G Transition.” Baird began his discussion by introducing the room to a horror movie entitled ATM where an assailant traps three people in a small kiosk containing an ATM.  

The movie wasn’t the main point, but the objective was to show that with the movie ATM’s 3.9 GB file size, it can—and has —taken quite a while to download content over a cellular network; however, download times are getting much better as cellular technology advances.

Here are some interesting notes relating to how fast cellular networks have allowed downloads over the years:

  • In the 1970s to download this 3.9 GB movie file, it would have taken 5.5 months to complete (<0.1Mbit/s)
  • On 2G in the 1990s the download gets better and would have taken 141 days (0.1Mbit/s)
  • On 3G in the 2000’s the download would take a little over 5 hours (1.5-8Mbit/s)
  • On Long-Term Evolution (4G LTE) the download would take 15-20 minutes (60Mbit/s)
  • On 5G, when it is effectively rolled out, this same file will take only 3 seconds to download! (1-10Gbit/s)

Can you believe the difference in how cellular technology has progressed?  Think about your first smartphone that probably utilized speeds of 0.1Mbit/s. In the last 12 years, we have seen a push from 2G to 3G, and now a mere decade later it is almost outrageous to find a part of the country that does not support 4G LTE.

It is becoming increasingly more effective to utilize cellular technologies in more and more use cases, and with the advent of LTE and 5G, it gives business owners more and more reason to use wireless solutions as information is only being passed faster and more efficiently.

What Can You Do to Prepare for 5G?

OptConnect makes it easy for operators on our subscription or OpEx model as our lifetime warranty gives operators a path to 4G devices for free. If you have devices on these plans, you get the peace of mind of knowing that OptConnect will make this upgrade process easy to navigate through. OptConnect will also work with each operator to ensure your equipment will not be affected by the carriers moving away from older 2G and 3G networks.

If you have purchased hardware and need to invest in new 4G equipment, OptConnect has the best, industrial grade routers paired with proprietary technology that makes our managed wireless solution available for operators nationwide. OptConnect has upgrade options available for operators that would like to upgrade their 3G equipment to 4G as well, and our team is here to help anyone adapt to the rapid changes carriers will be making.

OptConnect can provide an operator with recommendations for unique situations, and we will always be there to ensure a steady, reliable service.  It is our goal and mission to provide information that is invaluable in keeping your business running and navigating a rapidly changing connectivity space and make connecting your business headache-free no matter the changes.

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