Soon, US cell providers plan to shut down 3G networks to free up bandwidth for faster signals. When providers shutter 3G completely, it is known as a “network sunset.” It’s been roughly two decades since the introduction of 3G communications. Since that time, we have seen faster networks such as 4G, LTE, and 5G emerge. For most consumer devices, it has been a relatively simple transition. The migration to new network standards are incorporated into every new phone release.
However, there is a substantial amount of Internet of Things (IoT) devices still transmitting 3G signals (roughly 80 million in 2019, according to GSMA.com). Most importantly, security systems using 3G modems will no longer report in and will lead to a lapse of service. If your home or business alarm uses 3G as the primary path, it will require an upgrade.
If you are a Current Safe Systems Customer
Your alarm system will not likely be affected by this technology transition. Safe Systems uses an advanced wireless radio network to transmit the majority of our alarm signals to our Central Monitoring Station.
Alarm Subscribers from Other Companies
As early as the end of 2020, your alarm panel may lose its communications capability. Police or other emergency responders won’t receive a call when the alarm is triggered. That’s the worst-case scenario. Alternatively, if your panel or keypad has a secondary means of communication through your Internet provider or the phone line, that redundancy of reliability goes away. Thus making the equipment more susceptible to failure during a power outage or attempted tampering.
For fire alarms, a single communication path will not suffice.
Published Cellular Network Shutdown Dates
According to some of the major carriers’ FAQ pages, these are the anticipated shutdown dates for each company:
- Verizon: End of 2020
- AT&T: Early 2022
- T-Mobile: Currently, in the planning stage
How do You Prepare?
Start cataloging your crucial devices, such as your alarm system. Note the network version and carrier providing the signal. Take inventory of older, less critical IoT devices on your network at your convenience as these may experience loss of operation as well when 3G goes away.
Some alarm panels and other “smart devices” may operate on the newer 4G LTE network, requiring no equipment switch. For reference, 4G became a new standard at the end of 2009.
If you would like assistance navigating through this network change, Safe Systems is ready to assist. Furthermore, it might be time to leave the endless cycle of cell upgrades and move your alarm monitoring service. We offer award-winning, professional monitoring service. In many cases, we can use most of the existing equipment at your location.
Safe Systems is one of the largest alarm firms in Colorado. It has been family-owned since 1982. Safe Systems provides business alarms, fire alarms, card access, security cameras, and home security systems. Our main office is in the Denver metro area. We service all of Denver, Boulder County, Northern Colorado, the Eastern Plains, and Colorado Springs.
The bottom line is that Safe Systems would like a chance to earn your business. We feel that we can do an outstanding job of protecting your home or business. To that end, we frequently offer new customers incentives to activate monitoring of an existing system with us. Check out the Switch Provider page of our website or call 303.448.4357 for more information.