Hear that ticking sound? Time is running out for 2G and 3G networks across the globe. A host of cellular providers and telecommunications companies in multiple countries have announced plans to decommission one or both of these networks to shift their resources to 4G LTE. Each of these carriers is working off a different plan and a different schedule, sometimes based on the country in which they operate, but the point is: Many network shutdowns are coming in the next year or two.

This will impact millions of 2G and 3G devices of all kinds, including point-of-sale (POS) terminals. That’s because POS terminals contain modems that cannot connect to all generations of network, particularly in the case of older devices. Deployed devices that are not 4G-compatible will begin to experience connectivity issues — even before the official end-of-life date — as carriers gradually “refarm” those network spectrums  and stop investing in 2G or 3G network maintenance.

That means, if an organization’s terminal estate includes POS terminals that do not support 4G or are dependent on a network being decommissioned, they will need to be swapped out with solutions that do.

Service providers thus must reterminalize ahead of network shutdowns and source new POS terminals for their customers. TNS offers SIM products that can help service providers get the most out of their new technology:

  • TNSPay Mobile is a complete wireless POS gateway that provides high-speed, secure transaction delivery over TNS’ PCI DSS-certified TNSPay Mobile processing environment. Using 3G and 4G technologies, it supports a wide array of terminal types; processor connectivity; industry-specific applications; and supports most payment methods. Communications redundancy and multiple transaction routing options minimize the risk of service interruption.
  • Global Wireless Access (GWA) is a wireless access solution for POS terminals, specifically designed to help the payments industry simplify the deployment and management of mobile SIMs for wireless POS terminals, including during network migration. GWA provides comprehensive international coverage with in-country domestic roaming to minimize coverage gaps. Combining industry-leading features such as strongest-signal intelligent roaming SIMs and an advanced SIM management portal, GWA provides high wireless POS uptime through strongest signal connectivity; no “preferred” networks or steering; private APN; and a dedicated app to ensure the terminal is always connected to the best network.
  • Wireless POS deployers can bundle these SIM products with TNSConnect, a fully managed, PCI-compliant connectivity solution that was designed for entities that aggregate POS or digital transactions into their own payment host for delivery to banks and processors. TNSConnect provides a centralized, PCI-compliant service for accessing hundreds of global banks, processors, and gateways, greatly simplifying the challenge of securely connecting to many partners globally.

As the sun begins to set on 2G and 3G networks around the world, service providers must take advantage of the time left and get ahead of terminal upgrades — before customers begin experiencing connectivity issues with legacy terminals. Contact solutions@tnsi.com to learn how we can help make the transition virtually seamless.

Dan Lyman is Head of Global Products for TNS’ Payments Market business. He leads a global team of product specialists and is responsible for driving product innovation across TNS’ extensive portfolio of payments solutions.