Alarm Grid would like to remind all of its monitored customers who receive cellular alarm monitoring service to upgrade to an LTE communicator as soon as possible. Older 3G cellular communicators will no longer function once their associated cellular networks are shut down in 2022.
Without going too in-depth, an alarm panel uses a cellular communicator to send the necessary signals for alarm monitoring service to take place. When doing this, the communicator will send and receive signals across the same cellular networks that are used by mobile phones and other devices that utilize cellular communication technology.
Cellular communication is widely recognized as being the optimal communication path for security systems due to its exceptional reliability and generally fast speeds. Additionally, the Alarm.com platform requires that all systems using their service have a cellular communicator that is registered and activated. This differs from Total Connect 2.0, where a user can forgo a cellular communicator and strictly use an IP communicator with their system.
If you read this blog regularly, then you will likely have heard us discussing the 3G Sunset. This refers to the ongoing process of shutting down 3G cellular networks in favor of newer and more powerful LTE networks and 5G networks. Both Alarm.com and Total Connect 2.0 have stopped allowing 3G activations. A user who has a security system with a 3G communicator that is already activate can continue to use their communicator until the associated network is shut down. Once that happens, the communicator will no longer work for monitoring service.
Alarm.com and Total Connect 2.0 do not control the cellular networks, and it is not their decision when these networks are shut down. That decision falls on the cellular service providers. AT&T has stated that their 3G network is due to shut down by the end of February 2022. The Verizon CDMA Network (their 3G equivalent) is expected to be shut down in 2022 as well.
Alarm Grid urges everyone using a 3G communicator for monitoring service to upgrade to an LTE communicator as soon as they can. While 2022 might seem like a long time away, time is ticking by. Do not leave your home or business unmonitored and vulnerable. Upgrade to LTE now, and save yourself the hassle later on.
One concern that we have heard from some users is that LTE networks will also become outdated someday, and they will eventually be shut down as well. But AT&T and Verizon have both gone on record to say that their LTE networks will be supported and maintained well into the very distant future. This might seem surprising, especially considering that 5G is regularly mentioned in their advertisements. The reality though is that cellular service providers still intend on maintaining their LTE infrastructure for use as a backup to their 5G networks. Remember, even new and upcoming smartphones that utilize 5G technology are still designed to connect with LTE networks whenever 5G service is unavailable for whatever reason.
For more proof that LTE is here to stay, you do not need to look any further than the name itself. The term "LTE" is actually short for "Long-Term Evolution". Cellular service providers built their LTE networks with the intention that they would remain active and in service for many decades. They are not going anywhere any time soon, even as the excitement and anticipation of 5G continues to grow. And if that weren't enough, using 5G communication with a security system will not really be all that different than LTE. Alarm systems do not need to send large amounts of data, and LTE is more than capable of providing fast and reliable data transmissions as needed.
Alarm Grid has released many panel-specific guides to upgrading to LTE that we have linked below. You may notice that one noticeable absence from the list is the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 and IQ Panel 2 Plus. These systems already come with built-in LTE communicators, so no upgrade is necessary. Please check out our LTE upgrade guides linked below:
- Honeywell Lyric
- Honeywell LYNX Touch
- Honeywell L3000
- Honeywell VISTA P-Series
- Honeywell VISTA-21iPLTE
- Honeywell VISTA Turbo Series
- 2GIG GC3e & GC3
- 2GIG GC2e & GC2
- DSC PowerSeries
- DSC PowerSeries NEO
- Interlogix Simon Series
- Interlogix Concord 4 & NetworX
Remember that if you have any questions about the 3G sunset or upgrading to LTE, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be happy to discuss your options for keeping your existing system monitored. Our team checks email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!