We are in the midst of a strange confluence of events. The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on both manufacturing and supply chains, with both sub-assembly parts and product delivery being affected. Add to that the AT&T 3G/4G GSM sunset and you'll have a good picture of where we are today.
We've known about the AT&T sunset for some time. We've written about it in this blog on numerous occasions. Alarm Grid implemented an email campaign to proactively remind our customers who needed an upgrade not to wait until the last minute. But there will always be people who want to wring every last bit of usefulness out of their current product, before upgrading to a new one. I don't blame them, really. But the strange confluence of events I mentioned earlier may find those folks scrambling to upgrade at the last minute.
Security communicator manufacturers, including Resideo, and Alarm.com are doing everything they can to bridge the gap between supply and demand. They are introducing new product lines, with alternatives to standard LTE such as those that use the LTE Cat-M1 network. Resideo has introduced the LTEM-PA and LTEM-PV and they are beta testing the LTEM-IA for future release. The benefit of these products is that they provide nearly the same experience as the previously released LTE products, but either due to happenstance or good planning, components for these products are readily available, so while other LTE products are on backorder, these units are plentiful.
Alarm.com also has a series of LTE Cat-M1 System Enhancement Modules (SEM), including the Alarm.com ADC-SEM300-VT-AT-M (coming soon) and the ADC-SEM300-VT-VZ-M which is available for purchase now. Both of these SEMs are compatible with the Honeywell VISTA product line (with the exception of the VISTA-128 and VISTA-250 panels). They allow compatible VISTA panels to communicate using Alarm.com, and to work with the Alarm.com remote control features. These are dual-path communicators that also have a Z-Wave plus controller built in. Alarm.com will soon have the ADC-SEM210-PS-AT-M and the ADC-SEM210-PS-VZ-M. These dual-path communicators with Z-Wave Plus controllers will support the older DSC Power Series panels (PC1616, PC1832, PC1864 all version 4.20+).
Perhaps the most intriguing "Bridge the Gap" product available currently is the Resideo Cellbounce. This product has some limitations, it only works with AT&T 3G communicators, it only works in states within the contiguous US (sorry Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico), and it can only be installed with a communicator that is currently still registered and active on the AT&T 3G network. If the communicator is in comm failure, this condition has to be resolved before a Cellbounce can be added. There are some other limitations too, such as it
can't support Total Connect 2.0, (CORRECTION: It CAN support TC2 as long as the original AT&T 3G communicator supports it.) But be sure to read the full product description linked above before deciding to purchase.
The Cellbounce is a plug-and-play device. Anyone can install it, so no installer visit is required. It can work with any Honeywell or Resideo AT&T 3G communicator. The Cellbounce is installed within range, which is 25' (7.6m), of an existing, registered AT&T 3G communicator. The Alarm Dealer will need the Serial Number and IMEI Number from the Callbounce unit. These can be found on the box the device comes in.
Important Note: Provisioning must take place on the AlarmNet360 server BEFORE the Cellbounce unit is powered on.
Once the Cellbounce has been provisioned, it should be powered up using an unswitched outlet, not a power strip. From there, the Cellbounce does all the heavy lifting. On one hand, it reaches out and finds an LTE signal, on the other, it reaches out to the existing 3G communicator and locks on to it. Once both of these connections have been made, any time the 3G communicator sends a signal, the Cellbounce captures it and transfers it to the LTE network. AT&T has promised that the Cellbounce units will continue to function until at least Q1 2025. This should give any Cellbounce users plenty of additional time to upgrade. There are a limited number of Cellbounce units available, so if this sounds like an attractive option for you, order yours today. Don't get left behind!
Sunset Graphic courtesy of AlarmNet360: