Impact on Parking Meters

Picking up on a story released just before the Christmas break, the Local Government Association highlighted concerns over the future switch off of 2G and 3G mobile networks.

The Local Government Association reported that “All mobile operators have agreed with the Government to switch off 2G and 3G by 2033, as these services are being replaced by faster 4G and 5G technologies, although this means some older devices may no longer work and need to be updated or replaced.

A survey by the Local Government Association has found that the majority of councils are aware of the network closures and are making the necessary preparations, but almost two-thirds of councils who responded say they are still using devices and systems reliant on 2G and 3G networks to at least a small extent.

The LGA, which represents councils in England and Wales, said greater guidance and awareness-raising of the switch off is needed from government and the telecoms industry to make sure any disruption to devices and services are kept to a minimum and to better help them prepare for the transition.

Adult social care, housing and environmental services are among the areas which could be affected, particularly in rural parts of the country where mobile signals are more patchy, the survey reveals. It also found that: 

  • Over half (57 per cent) of councils responding to the LGA’s survey said their highways, transport and parking services were still reliant on the older networks, the most of all their services, with parking meters the main area which needs upgrading. Some councils said they are concerned about not being able to afford the upgrade and potentially reducing access to parking machines.
  • Environment and waste services were the second most impacted (45 per cent), with refuse collection vehicle in-cab displays among the devices affected.
  • The third most impacted were housing services at just under 40 per cent still reliant on the old networks, including smart sensors in housing stock and emergency auto diallers in lifts.
  • Telecare safety devices, used by older and vulnerable people to be able to live more independently at home, were also referenced in the survey as needing to be replaced.

The LGA says a lack of adequate 4G and 5G coverage, particularly in rural areas, will further hamper efforts to move on from the legacy networks. It is calling on the Government and regulator Ofcom to build on the findings and recommendations of the Wireless Infrastructure Strategy, published earlier this year, to improve the quality of mobile coverage reporting data. This in turn would help improve understanding and awareness of overall mobile coverage across the country.”


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