Fleets running tracking systems on their vehicles could be affected by plans to switch off 2G communications in the UK, according to telematics firm Crystal Ball.

It said the 2G network, which major mobile telephone operators are beginning to phase out, was used by many black box devices to transmit data.

Vodafone and EE have announced plans to stop using 2G by 2025, while O2 and Three have said it will be phased out by 2033 at the latest.

Crystal Ball managing director Raj Singh said: “Fleets using vehicle tracking are facing a period of great change due to the phasing out of the 2G mobile network, which will make many hundreds of thousands of black boxes obsolete.

“As a result, they will have to swap out redundant 2G devices in hundreds of thousands of vehicles, while installing new systems that will use 4G.

“If you are bringing new vehicles on fleet and are paying for the installation of 2G-based vehicle tracking, that system will need to be changed during the lifecycle of the vehicle, as the network is being phased out and replaced with 4G. And any existing vehicles with 2G black boxes will be affected too.

“It means that now is the time to reassess your vehicle tracking system and provider. Not doing so could mean a costly retooling further down the line.”