You may be hearing a lot lately about cellular carriers announcing the intention to fully “sunset” 3G technologies by the end of 2022. National outlets like CNN and Los Angeles Times have both covered the 3G shutdown, but you may be unsure what this means for you. Many security systems rely on local cellular carriers to communicate system activity with the monitoring station. And it’s possible at the time of your installation, 3G was the optimal technology available in your area.
But don’t worry, we have you covered. Here’s everything you need to know about 3G shutdowns and how it may affect your security system. Plus any actions you may need to take to stay up to date!
What is 3G?
3G is short for “third-generation wireless technology,” which carriers are phasing out in favor of faster and more advanced technology. But in order to open up airwaves for networks like the 4G (LTE) and 5G networks, older networks like 3G need to be shutdown.
3G networks are nearly 20 years old in most cases. However, many mobile devices and services still rely on them for connection. As the LA Times put it:
In particular, 3G was the network of choice for devices that talked to other devices through the internet, including some fire and burglar alarms, roadside assistance services and personal medical alert devices. And 3G has remained in use because the costs are low. Daniel Oppenheim, chief executive of the alarm and safety monitoring company Affiliated Monitoring, said the components needed to connect to 4G networks were too big and expensive for many devices until recently, which is why 3G-only hardware continued to be in wide use until a couple of years ago.
With better technology able to take full advantage of 4G and 5G networks, 3G has simply become obsolete. Which is why carriers have begun sunsetting 3G in areas throughout the country.
How Will the 3G Shutdown Affect Your Security System?
Your home security system includes a cellular transmitter that is necessary to communicate with our alarm monitoring centers in the event of an emergency. If your device is currently reliant on 3G networks, it will no longer function when the 3G sunset takes place.
And as a result of the 3G network shutdown, even if your alarm appears to function, it will no longer communicate with our central service station. That means it will not notify us to dispatch emergency services. Any devices that use 3G technology will no longer be supported. It’s imperative that any affected customers schedule an onsite panel update to avoid any potential disruptions.
Look for Notices from Your Security Company
Like other security providers, My Alarm Center kept a close watch on all affected areas and systems in our database. If you live in an area where 3G shutdowns are occurring, you should receive a notice from us to schedule your update if you haven’t already.
3G Shutdowns May Already Be Affecting Your Service
Although wireless carriers have published specific dates for 3G termination, this does not guarantee 3G services will be fully available until the sunset. Meaning your system may be affected before then. It is common practice for carriers to reduce coverage during transition periods.
If you’re not sure that you received a notice, or want to confirm that your service will be unaffected, contact your security provider. If you’re already a My Alarm Center customer and have received a notice to schedule your update, you should do so as soon as possible.
For More Security and Home Automation Tips and Solutions, Stick with My Alarm Center
At My Alarm Center, the protection and peace of mind of our customers is our top priority. If your security system is currently running on 3G, take action. After 3G sunset, your system may lose its ability to communicate with our central monitoring station in an emergency.
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Even if you’re not sure if your area is affected by 3G sunsetting, contact us today to check. We want to ensure your home and family stay protected.
And if you’re looking for more ways to keep yourself and your family safe, check out our home security and automation services at My Alarm Center. We offer a wide range of home security options to protect you and your family. If you’re ready to discuss our custom solutions, contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you prepare for what’s next.