Sprint has committed to keeping its 2G network operational beyond AT&T and Verizon, hoping to sign up some machines even if fleshy humans wander away. Announcing a deal with u-blox to provide embedded modules which are pin compatible with GSM kit already in use, Sprint promised to maintain its CDMA network for "the long term", …
"a few thousand 'leccy meters" plus ATMs, credit-card transaction processors, vending machines, parking meters, vehicle tracking modules, home medical monitoring devices, pipeline and similar utility monitoring, and whatever other uses clever people figure out for what amounts to a mobile copper-pair POTS line modem, which while requiring some spectrum and old kit doesn't use a figurative drop in the bucket of bandwidth.
Good luck with that Sprint. Pin compatible doesn't make much difference. Most companies have a deal with usually just one carrier, so now they will need to have deals with two. Sure $20 sounds better than $40, but if you need to upgrade a bunch of them, paying the extra $20 goes a lot further than not spending it. You don't save much when Sprint hasn't exactly clarified what "the long term" is in terms of a date. The labor alone to upgrade existing equipment is likely more than $20 and eventually it needs to be upgraded again when Sprint decides to kill their 2G network.
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