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We at SSP always want to ensure our customers are as informed as possible and well equipped to protect their campus, staff, and students. Because of this, we’d like to share a few things about 3G Sunset.
You may be aware that some time ago, cellular carriers such as AT&T and Verizon announced their intention to “sunset” 3G network technologies in favor of the faster and more advanced 4G (LTE) and 5G networks. This shutdown is scheduled to begin in February of 2022 and could impact your commercial security system alarm communication. Here’s why and how.
What Exactly are 3G, 4G, and 5G?
Every ten years or so, the ITU-R comes out with new standards and technology, and their operability can overlap. The G in 3G stands for generation, and 3G is the third generation of network architecture that supports devices such as cell phones and alarm transmission technologies. Subsequent generations of network architecture are faster, more complex, and powerful.
4G Standards were developed in 2008, and they have slowly replaced 3G. 4G is significantly faster than 3G. Now, 4G is considered the general standard in today’s world. It has more capacity than lower generations and less bandwidth caps.
You have likely heard talk about 5G cellular service, which is also in the works, and wonder how this impacts your security.
First, 4G isn’t going anywhere for a long while, and there are reasons why 5G would not be fit for alarm communications at this point. While 5G promises to have exponentially higher speeds, it will not be available everywhere for some time. 5G relies on cell sites that are closer together and so far, this is possible only in more populated urban areas. Conversely, 4G is slower than 5G but travels significantly longer distances. That matters in alarm communications.
At SSP, we listen, we innovate, we inform, and we stay with you every step of the way.
Why Is There a Need for 3G Sunset?
Cellular providers are responsible for providing cellular services, developing new generations of networks, and the sunsetting of old networks. As newer and faster generations emerge, older generations are shut down to accommodate mobile devices’ increasing need and usage. It is expected that there will be 24 billion devices in use by 2024. Closing down the 3G network makes it possible to accommodate the massive number of devices while offering peak capacity and latency.
Major Carrier Sunset Dates
- Verizon: Planning to shut down 3G service at the end of 2020
- AT&T: 3G sunset scheduled for early 2022
- T-Mobile/Sprint: 3G sunset date on or about January 1, 2022
What Does 3G Sunset Mean for Your Campus Security System?
Security systems use communicators to relay alarms from the point of alarm to the monitoring station that initiates emergency action. Some security system communicators use the current 3G network for this purpose. Though the complete shutdown is not expected until the end of 2022, exact dates can change. Some cellular service providers are beginning their shut down early, and there is no guarantee that you will receive consistent service beyond February 2022. It is common for carriers to reduce coverage during this transition period, and you should expect reduced coverage.
- Intermittent coverage can impact your security system’s ability to communicate alarms.
- Once 3G service ceases, any security systems using that network will no longer be connected to the monitoring station and will not transmit alarms.
- To avoid hazards, it is necessary to ensure that your system is up to date and compatible with the current technology.
What Are the Advantages of Upgrading
Technology is ever-advancing, and systems becoming outdated is unavoidable. There are serious advantages to security system upgrades, however.
- 4G is 10 times faster than 3G services
- Better alarm communication
- Better frequencies to penetrate walls and buildings
- Longer lifespan
- Improved, real-time connectivity to apps used to control alarm systems
What Should You Do?
If your alarm system cellular communicator uses the 3G network, it will need to be replaced with one that operates on the 4G network as soon as possible to avoid disruption of service. Contact our team at 1-888-540-0175 as soon as possible to find out if 3G Sunset will impact your system and options to keep your commercial security system running optimally.
SSP. The Right Choice for Campus Security in Atlanta, GA
As a specialist in physical security for commercial enterprises, SSP looks at the complete security picture to address overall security risks from multiple facets. Call SSP today to discuss solving your challenges. 1-888-540-0175