3G Sunset Posts

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If you read our blog regularly, you know that certain Qolsys IQ Panel 2 systems that use the AT&T LTE 4G network require an update to the communicator. Without this update, these cellular units will stop communicating after the 3G Sunset. On January 10, these updates will begin automatically.

Qolsys IQ Panel 2 panels that use an AT&T LTE Cellular Communicator will need a firmware update prior to the AT&T 3G sunset, which is scheduled to occur on 02/22/22. Without this update, these panels will lose their connection to the cellular network and could leave the alarm system with no communication path. The update can be performed over WIFI, or by using an SD Card.

For those panels that have a WIFI connection, Alarm.com will begin to automatically push the update on Monday, January 10, 2022. Once these updates begin, they will continue from 8 am - 8 pm seven (7) days per week until all are completed. Some panels will require both a panel firmware update and the cellular communicator update. The Alarm.com server will determine the panels that fall into this category and will perform the updates in the correct order automatically. Once the update has been applied, the panel will reboot as part of the update process. This is normal.

If a WIFI signal is available in the location where the panel is installed, but the panel is not currently connected to it, there are a few different ways to get the panel connected:

  1. Locally: The connection can be made at the panel using the touchscreen. Instructions for connecting to WIFI locally can be found here.
  2. By the dealer, remotely: Alarm.com dealers, like Alarm Grid, can use the Partner Portal to connect the panel to WIFI. This is found on the Partner Portal website under the Signaling/Broadband Settings.
  3. By the end-user, remotely: Starting on 12/13/21, Alarm.com has enabled a tool that allows an end-user to connect the panel to WIFI through the Customer Alarm.com App or Alarm.com Website.

If you would like to go ahead and perform the update on your own, and you need to connect the system to WIFI first, from the customer's Alarm.com app click on Menu > Manage Devices > Select the 3-dots icon next to the panel's name > Select Device Settings > Select Panel WIFI. From there you can either choose an existing camera to copy that device's WIFI settings or select the SSID and complete the authentication process by entering the proper password. Once the connection to WIFI is made, the communication path will be changed from Cell-only to Dual-Path.

Panels that are on version 2.3.0 or lower must be updated to a minimum of 2.3.1 or higher before applying the communicator firmware patch. Panel firmware updates on panels that have a WIFI connection can be performed locally from the panel with a Patch Tag or can be completed remotely by the alarm dealer via Alarm.com's Partner Portal. Once the panel's firmware is on a compatible version (see the link in the paragraph below) the cellular firmware can be installed using the patch tag: ATT3GSunset

For panels that have no WIFI connection available, the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 can be updated locally using a MicroSD Card. The upgrade files, as well as instructions on how to perform the local upgrade, are available on Alarm Grid's Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Firmware Update page. Both the panel firmware files and the ATT3GSunset patch can be downloaded from there.

This issue only affects AT&T LTE Cellular units. Verizon cellular units are in no way affected. This update is required because early Qolsys AT&T units used a provisional VoLTE Firmware Version. This later changed when VoLTE was fully released and because the difference between the two firmware versions didn't affect a panel's ability to send signals via cellular, no action was required at that time. AT&T realized that the upcoming sunset would have a detrimental affect on these early communicators and alerted Qolsys and Alarm.com of the required update.

If you are unsure whether your panel requires the update or not, contact your alarm dealer. They can verify whether or not your panel requires the panel update as well as the cellular update. This version information is only available when checked through the Partner Portal Website, and is not available from the Alarm.com Customer App or Website. You can read the full Qolsys Technical Service Bulletin regarding this upgrade here.

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Qolsys IQ Panel 2 equipment that uses an AT&T LTE Cellular Communicator requires a firmware update prior to the AT&T 3G sunset date of 02/22/22. Without this update, these devices will lose their connection to the cellular network. The update can be performed over WIFI, or by using an SD Card

If a WIFI signal is available in the location where the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 is installed, but the panel is not currently connected to it, there are a few different ways to connect:

  1. Locally: The connection can be made at the panel using the touchscreen. Instructions for connecting to WIFI locally can be found here.
  2. By dealer remotely: Alarm.com dealers, like Alarm Grid, can use the Partner Portal to connect the panel to WIFI. This is found on the Partner Portal website under the Signaling/Broadband Settings.
  3. By user remotely: Starting on 12/13/21, Alarm.com is enabling a tool that allows an end-user to connect the panel to WIFI through the Customer Alarm.com App or Alarm.com Website.

In order for the customer to connect their panel to WIFI using the customer app they will click on: Menu > Manage Devices > Select the 3-dots icon next to the panel's name > Select Device Settings > Select Panel WIFI. From there the user can either choose an existing camera to copy that device's WIFI settings, or select the SSID and complete the authentication process. Once the connection to WIFI is made, the communication path will be changed from Cell-only to Dual-Path. This may be useful for panels installed in locations where the building is not always occupied.

Starting on Monday, January 10, 2022 Alarm.com will begin to automatically deploy the firmware update to any WIFI connected panel that has not already received it. The automatic update process will proceed through the queue of needy panels 7 days per week during daytime hours (8am - 8pm panel time). As part of the update, a system reboot will occur.

In some cases, the panel's firmware may require an update before the cellular firmware update can be implemented. Panels that are on version 2.3.0 or lower must update to a minimum of 2.3.1 or higher. Panel firmware updates on panels that have a WIFI connection can also be performed locally from the panel with a Patch Tag, or can be done remotely via Alarm.com's Partner Portal. Once the panel's firmware is on a compatible version (see the link in the paragraph below) the cellular firmware can be installed using the patch tag: ATT3GSunset

For panels that have no WIFI connection available, the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 can be updated locally using a Micro SD Card. The upgrade files, as well as instructions on how to perform the local upgrade are available on Alarm Grid's Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Firmware Update page. Eventually, Qolsys will also make the cellular firmware update patch available for download and install via Micro SD. Once they do, we will also host it on our site. As of 12/10/21, it is not yet available.

This issue only affects AT&T LTE Cellular units. Verizon units are not affected. This issue is occurring because early Qolsys AT&T units used a provisional VoLTE Firmware Version. This later changed when VoLTE was fully released. Since the difference between the provisional firmware and the released version didn't affect a panel's ability to communicate via cellular, no action was required before. If you are unsure whether your panel requires the update or not, contact your alarm dealer. They will be able to verify this information for you, as this information is only available when checked through the Partner Portal Website, and is not available from the Alarm.com Customer App or Website. Read the full Qolsys Technical Service Bulletin here.

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Users of the Lyric Alarm System with an LYRICLTE-A AT&T LTE Communicator installed take note. Resideo has identified an issue where, after the AT&T 3G sunset on 02/22/22, any panel not properly updated will lose its connection with the cellular network. This issue does not affect Verizon units.

The firmware version that resolves this issue is 01.09.07772.494, and it is available now on the Resideo AlarmNet360 servers. The issue at play here is that the AT&T cellular communicator currently falls back on the 3G network when it can't connect to LTE. Once an LYRICLTE-A communicator is registered, it looks for both an LTE signal and a 3G one. Without this critical firmware update, these communicators would continue to look for a 3G signal after the 3G sunset. Being unable to find a 3G signal, they will lose connection and go offline.

Users who find themselves in this situation have a few options. If you are a Lyric Alarm System user with the AT&T LTE communicator installed, you can choose to go ahead and manually update your system now. The system needs to be disarmed and have no trouble conditions present in order for the firmware update to go through, so a manual update allows you to choose a time when it is disarmed and ready. It also allows you to confirm that the update was successful after you see your panel reboot.

Since this is a critical update, AlarmNet will begin automatically updating panels that are affected by this issue starting on December 8, 2021. Since a firmware update can only go through when the panel is disarmed with no troubles, any users with a zone trouble, or a low battery message that they have been putting off correcting, should go ahead and take care of the issue. Once all trouble conditions are clear and the system is disarmed, we recommend that you go ahead and manually perform the firmware update. Instructions for updating are linked above.

If your system is automatically updated, it will reboot as part of the update process, so don't be alarmed if you see this happen. Step 3 in the FAQ on updating the panel linked above shows you how to confirm the panel's firmware version. So, if you see your panel reboot you can verify that an update was successfully completed.

Any Lyric Controller with a LYRICLTE-A AT&T LTE Communicator that is being installed on or after 02/22/22 will need to be updated to firmware version 01.09.07772.494 via the built-in WIFI communicator before the LYRICLTE-A will work properly. The firmware update should be completed prior to the installation of the LYRICLTE-A. The LYRICLTE-V Verizon LTE Communicator is not affected by this issue. You can read the full notice from Resideo here.


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This is just a friendly reminder that the 3G and CDMA Sunsets are still on-track. The AT&T 3G Sunset occurs January 31, 2022, while the Verizon CDMA Sunset occurs December 31, 2022. Alarm Grid can help you take action and make a transition to newer LTE hardware, or make alternative plans.

The 3G and CDMA Sunsets go beyond the alarm industry. Older cellular technology is being shut down and will no longer work. This is being done to transition resources to newer and more advanced cellular technology that will provide more effective service for users. After the shutdown, only 5G and 4G LTE will remain active as major network bands. Once your alarm system is set up with LTE, you will have a trustworthy and reliable communication path for many years to come.

You may have to start thinking about the 3G or CDMA Sunset if you have an older alarm system that is still using a 3G or CDMA Communicator. By the time the Sunset occurs and the associated cellular network is shut down, you will either have upgraded to newer technology, or your hand will be forced and your system will no longer be monitored.

The following outcomes are possible for any user with a 3G or CDMA Communicator:

  • Upgrade to a new alarm panel entirely, namely one that will support LTE, or a Honeywell Panel or Resideo Panel that is IP Only.
  • Keep the existing alarm panel, and upgrade its 3G or CDMA Communicator to a new LTE Communicator that will allow it to stay monitored.
  • Downgrade to IP-only monitoring service. This is not possible for any system that uses Alarm.com.
  • Terminate all monitoring service for the panel. It can still be used as a local sounder, but it will not report signals.

Users with 3G and CDMA Communicators who do not take any action will be subject to that last option. Once the 3G or CDMA Network is shut down, the panel will lose network connectivity, unless it is a Honeywell Panel configured for internet connectivity. A system that loses all connectivity due to a permanent network shutdown can still be armed and disarmed, but it cannot send any signals to the central station, meaning that no help can be automatically dispatched. The system also won't send notifications to Alarm.com or Total Connect 2.0, and the user won't be able to control their system remotely from one of those platforms. Also, the user will not be able to maintain an active Certificate of Alarm (CoA) for a discount on their homeowner's insurance. Only actively monitored systems are eligible for a CoA.

Many users aren't even aware that their systems have 3G or CDMA Communicators that need to be upgraded. There are ways to tell if your communicator needs to be upgraded, but it may be difficult for someone who isn't trained to tell. If you have an older security system that you think may be in need of a communicator upgrade, then we can help you. Reach out to our team at support@alarmgrid.com, and we will work with you to make sure that you are ready for the 3G or CDMA Sunset. Depending on your situation and the equipment, we will advise you to do one of the following.

  • Upgrade to a panel that can support LTE Cellular.
  • Upgrade the communicator for an existing panel to LTE Cellular.
  • Certain Honeywell Panels can be downgraded to support IP-only so that you can stay monitored using the equipment you already have.

Do you have any questions about the 3G or CDMA Sunset? Maybe you have already upgraded, and you want to let us know about your experience? Or maybe you have been putting off upgrading and are waiting until the last minute? We would love for you to leave a comment down below to let us know how you are preparing for the 3G or CDMA Sunset in your home or business. This is a major event for the security industry, and it's happening very soon. Stay tuned to the Alarm Grid blog for more security news and updates on the 3G and CDMA Sunset, as we all transition to LTE.

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Alarm Grid is here with a video recap! We have four (4) new videos this time, all featuring myself. We have cellular communicator installation videos for the 2GIG GC2 and GC2e and some videos explaining the use of thermostats on Alarm.com. Let's check out the latest Alarm Grid videos!

Upgrading the 2GIG GC2 to LTE

I show you how to upgrade the 2GIG GC2 to LTE. There are two (2) LTE communicators currently available for the 2GIG GC2. These are the 2GIG LTEA-A-GC2 AT&T LTE Communicator and the 2GIG LTEV1-A-GC2 Verizon LTE Communicator. Upgrading to LTE involves removing the system's old 3G or CDMA communicator and installing a new LTE module in its place. It is very important that you do this before the 3G Sunset to prevent any disruption to your monitoring service.


Installing a Cellular Communicator Into a 2GIG GC2e

I show you how to install a cellular communicator inside of a 2GIG GC2e. The 2GIG GC2e Security System does not come with any available communication path by default. You must add a cellular communicator to get the GC2e monitored. The communicator will connect the system with the Alarm.com servers. Alarm.com then forwards important information, such as alarm events and system trouble conditions to a central monitoring station and/or the end user directly via text message and/or email.

ADC-T2000 and ADC-T3000 Thermostats Work with Alarm.com

I explain how you can use the Alarm.com ADC-T2000 Thermostat and Alarm.com ADC-T3000 Thermostat with the Alarm.com interactive platform. Both the ADC-T2000 and ADC-T3000 are Z-Wave Plus thermostats that pair with virtually any Z-Wave controller or hub. If that Z-Wave hub also happens to be an Alarm.com Security System that is actively being monitored, then the thermostat will be automatically pushed over to the Alarm.com platform after it has been enrolled with the system and the system syncs with Alarm.com.


Adding the ADC-T2000 to an Alarm.com Account

I show you how to pair the Alarm.com ADC-T2000 Thermostat with your Alarm.com account. The ADC-T2000 is a Z-Wave device. Like most Z-Wave devices, when you pair it with your Alarm.com Security System, the device will be automatically pushed over to your Alarm.com account the next time that your alarm system performs an automation sync with the server. You will then be able to control the thermostat remotely through the Alarm.com website and mobile app and include it with Alarm.com Smart Scenes.

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We have learned that Verizon has confirmed the sunset date for their CDMA Network for December 31, 2022. This is Verizon's equivalent of the 3G Sunset. Anyone with a security system using a Verizon CDMA Communicator is urged to upgrade to LTE ASAP to avoid monitoring service disruptions.


The 3G Sunset has been covered extensively on the Alarm Grid Blog. It refers to the phasing-out of old 3G and equivalent communicators, in favor of newer technology, specifically LTE. The Verizon CDMA Network is the Verizon equivalent of a 3G Network. While AT&T is known to be shutting down their 3G Network after January 31, 2022, the Verizon CDMA Sunset date it a bit later at December 31, 2022. While there was earlier confirmation by Resideo for the CDMA shutdown date, this time the confirmation is directly from Verizon themselves.

In preparation for this major event, Alarm Grid has been encouraging users to replace their old 3G and CDMA Communicators with newer LTE communicators. Users are strongly advised to upgrade to LTE as soon as they can. While it's understandable to wait until the last minute, especially if money is tight, you should realize that many other users will also try to wait until the final opportunity. Our support staff is limited, and we cannot upgrade everyone all at once. If you put-off the required upgrade as long as possible, then there's a chance you might get left behind at the deadline. Our goal is to prevent that from happening and ensure that all Alarm Grid customers with cellular monitoring service make a seamless and undisrupted transition.

We know that the 3G Sunset might still be a bit confusing, and you might still have some questions. That's okay, because we're here to help you. If you aren't sure about the LTE communicator replacement options available for your system, then you may want to check this post for some further assistance. If you have recently purchased a new LTE communicator for your system, and you need us to activate the unit, then head on over to the Alarm Grid Communicator Replacement Portal so that you can choose a time that works for you. And if you have any other questions, or if you are still confused about the 3G and CDMA Sunset, please email our support team and security system experts at support@alarmgrid.com. We're here to answer your emails from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Resideo has confirmed that the Verizon CDMA Sunset date is December 31, 2022. After that date, Verizon CDMA Communicators for security systems will no longer function. You must replace your panel's cellular communicator before that time to avoid any interruptions to your monitoring service.


In an effort to dispel any false rumors and/or misinformation, Resideo is reconfirming the Verizon CDMA Sunset for alarm panels to be at the end of 2022. The reason why Resideo found it necessary to confirm this shutdown date is because most CDMA Communicators for cell phones had a shutdown date to stop working after December 2020. This date was originally set for the end of December 2019, but it was later pushed back to the end of 2020. However, Resideo has a special agreement with Verizon to keep alarm system CDMA Communicators operational until December 31, 2022. Additionally, the largely equivalent AT&T 3G Communicators for alarm systems are set to stop working after January 31, 2022. This is according to a banner posted on the Resideo AlarmNet website.

The big thing to take away here is that nothing has changed. The 3G and CDMA Sunset impacting the security industry is still on-track to occur next year, in 2022. For AT&T 3G Communicators, this will take effect following January 31, 2022. For Verizon CDMA Communicators, the key date is December 31, 2022. In preparation for these dates, any 3G, 4G, or CDMA radio can no longer be activated for monitoring service. If you deactivate these modules for any reason, you will not be able to reactivate them. But if no changes are made, then they should continue to function until their associated shut-off dates.

As a reminder, Alarm Grid is urging anyone still using a 3G, 4G, or CDMA communicator to upgrade to an LTE communicator as soon as possible. We know that it is tempting to wait until the last minute, especially if money is tight. But please understand that many other users are thinking the same thing. There is most likely going to be a mad rush of users trying to upgrade right at the very end. And while we will do our very best to accommodate everyone, we are unfortunately expecting that some users may get left behind, simply because they didn't act to upgrade their communicators soon enough. Don't risk it. Upgrade now, and ensure that your home or business stays protected well into the very distant future.

If you want to learn more about communicator upgrades, including which model to get for your system, and how to access the Alarm Grid Communicator Replacement Portal, then please check out this prior blog post at your earliest convenience. You may also email our team at support@alarmgrid.com if you need further assistance. We're here to help you from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Alarm Grid noticed a new addition to the AlarmNet360 platform for alarm dealers. There is now a banner counting down to the end of the respective AT&T 3G and Verizon CDMA network shut downs. It's another indication that the 3G Sunset is indeed a very pressing matter in the alarm industry.


If you are not familiar with the 3G/CDMA Sunset, it refers to quickly approaching dates at which the AT&T 3G Cellular Network and the Verizon CDMA Network will be permanently shut down and deactivated. Other cellular service providers also have their own dates for when they will decommission their older networks in favor of faster and more reliable LTE and 5G cellular networks. But for the alarm industry in the United States, the AT&T and Verizon shutdowns are particularly important, as many alarm systems rely on communication through these networks.

According to the banner shown on AlarmNet360, the AT&T 3G Sunset is set to occur after January 31, 2022. Likewise, the Verizon CDMA Sunset, according to the banner, will occur after December 31, 2022. We want to make it very clear that Alarm Grid is NOT stating that these are "official" dates for the respective network shutdowns. This is just what AlarmNet is displaying on their dealer portal. But it is our understanding that these dates are accurate and very important for end users to consider.

When a cellular network is shut down, any device communicating across that network will stop working. This includes many cellular alarm monitoring communicators that security systems depend upon for providing trustworthy and effective monitoring service. Inevitably, there will be many homes and businesses that fail to make the proper transition and get left behind during this period of adjustment. Our goal is to ensure that this happens to as few Alarm Grid customers as possible.

In preparation for the 3G/CDMA Sunset, AlarmNet has stopped allowing activations for these older cellular modules. Similar measures have also been taken by Alarm.com. But just because new activations are no longer permitted does not change the fact that there are many existing communicators out there.

Alarm Grid has promised to continue providing support for these modules as long as possible. We know that there are many people who aren't necessarily in a position to purchase a new communicator and/or an entirely new alarm panel right away. We're doing our best to accommodate everyone. But once an associated cellular network is shut down, there is nothing we can do. This is completely in the hands of the cellular service providers, and it is entirely out of our control. We fully understand the need to decommission older networks in favor of better technology, and we know that cellular service providers are making these decisions in the best interest of everyone involved. But we need to urge our customers. Do not get left behind.

The 3G/CDMA Sunset is not something to take lightly. There will be some homes and business that do not get the memo and/or decide to not take any action. They will be left vulnerable and unprotected. That is an unfortunate reality of the situation. But you do not need to let that happen to you or those around you. Most systems will allow you to replace an existing 3G or CDMA Communicator with a newer LTE communicator.

The term LTE stands for "Long-Term Evolution". Cellular service providers like AT&T and Verizon are planning to keep their LTE networks active and in-service for many, many years into the future, possibly even decades. The LTE networks will serve as a reliable backup for the new 5G networks, for which the infrastructure is still being rolled-out. Even as cellular technology continues to evolve and change, the LTE networks will remain as a stronghold, keeping millions of security systems monitored and protected. Cellular service providers will not let their LTE infrastructure go to waste. These networks will be there for your home or business when you need them the most.

If you haven't upgraded to LTE yet, please contact us. We will help you explore your options so that you can make an informed decision. Depending on your current equipment, you might only need to buy a new communicator. Others will need to replace entire alarm panels. Our technicians can provide more detail once we know exactly what you are working with. We understand that it might be difficult or impossible for you to purchase new alarm system equipment right now. That's fine. You still have time. But time is running out. You need to start preparing and thinking about these things now. That's why AlarmNet has slapped a giant banner marking the countdown dates. Take action now, if possible, so that you aren't racing to make an upgrade at the last minute.

For Alarm Grid customers it is important to note that, in most cases a communicator replacement will require that you work with one of our trained technicians. In some cases, this can be done without an appointment, but in many cases an appointment will be required. So please, also keep this in mind when you're planning to upgrade your equipment. If everyone who needs an upgrade waits until the last minute, the wait for an available appointment time may get longer than usual.

The best way to contact us regarding any questions or concerns you might have about the 3G/CDMA Sunset is to email support@alarmgrid.com. Please let us know about the security system equipment you currently have so that we can provide the most comprehensive and complete support possible. We may even ask for pictures of your panel and/or communicator so that we can help you to the best of our ability. Remember that our support hours for checking email run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you and ensuring that your security system is kept monitored for many years to come!

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We're here once again to remind you to upgrade the old 3G or CDMA cellular communicator for your alarm system to an LTE communicator! Once the associated cellular network is shut down, the old communicator will no longer work in any manner. This could leave your home or business vulnerable!

Honeywell lte l57v verizon lte cellular communicator for l5200 l

Security systems use internet and/or cellular communication to send out signals to central monitoring stations and/or interactive monitoring platforms like Total Connect 2.0 and Alarm.com. This is the very core principle of alarm monitoring. And if the associated communication network is shut down or fails, then alarm monitoring will become impossible.

Just like your phone, tablet, or computer, your alarm system cannot just magically send out signals. It needs equipment to accomplish this task. That equipment comes in the form of an alarm monitoring communicator. This is a piece of hardware either inside, or located nearby your alarm panel, much like what you would find inside of another electronic device that needs to communicate out and also receive incoming signals.

In the world of cellular communications, you have likely heard about the new 5G networks. These 5G networks represent the latest and greatest cellular technology available, and they are certainly going to change the game when it comes to mobile communication. But while service providers are working to develop new 5G infrastructure, they are also phasing out older technology. This includes the AT&T 3G Network and the Verizon CDMA Network.

If you have a system with a cellular communicator that works across a 3G network, such as the aforementioned AT&T 3G and Verizon CDMA Networks, then time is running out for you to upgrade. While we cannot provide an exact date of shut down, we can confirm that it is due to occur sometime in 2022.

Now, you might be thinking, "Well gee, 2022 is a long way away. I'll just wait until then." And really, we can't force you to upgrade now. We have already promised to continue supporting older communicators for as long as possible. But if you have the means to buy a new cellular communicator and keep your existing system running, then we urge you, as professionals, to make the jump sooner rather than later.

Time is moving quickly, and we can all but guarantee you that some people will not get the memo, and they will get left behind. We understand. For many people, a security system is not something that is on their minds regularly. Historically, this has been a piece of hardware that you hide away somewhere, while only interacting with a wired keypad. But don't take this deadline lightly. Make the jump sooner rather than later, and save yourself the trouble.

We are also often asked by people upgrading from 3G or CDMA which type of communicator they should get. The answer to that is an LTE communicator. LTE is the direct successor to 3G and CDMA. If you have heard the term "4G LTE", that's where LTE comes from. There have been LTE communicators available for security systems for a few years now. They work great, and they can keep a system monitored well into the very distant future.

You might be wondering why we aren't recommending a 5G alarm monitoring communicator. The truth is that 5G technology is still so new that there aren't really any 5G communicators available quite yet. We are sure that we will have some 5G communicators available to sell and promote in the near future. But for right now, LTE is the best available. And since LTE already provides fast speeds, there really won't be much difference for a security system.

Another common concern we encounter is that end users are fearful that LTE will also one day become obsolete. Our response to this concern is that LTE will most likely remain active and in place for many, many years, even decades into the future. The term LTE itself even stands for "Long Term Evolution". Cellular service providers envision 5G as the primary network of the future, with LTE infrastructure being kept in service as a reliable backup.

It's important to understand that building a new nationwide cellular network is not cheap. Every cellular service provider is spending billions to build the necessary infrastructure. To them, this is not a joke or a game. The 5G networks are being built to last. They enable the remarkably fast speeds needed to support future technology. The idea here is that they are spending huge amounts of money now so that they do not need to build new networks later.

And while 5G cellular networks are the technology of the future, the current LTE networks are also not going anywhere anytime soon. Why? They are designed to serve as backup options once 5G is fully in place. This is much like the current 3G and CDMA networks. They are a backup to the current LTE networks. If you have ever noticed that your LTE phone is also capable of using 3G, that is why. It's in case LTE is ever unavailable for some reason.

The difference with 5G is that, once in place, it is going to be the premier option for a very, very long time. The very idea of a supposed "6G network" isn't really even fathomable at the moment. We're likely talking decades from now. What you can expect in the near future is that 5G will become the primary technology, while LTE will be kept in-service as a backup.

And again, we hear some more cries from people, "Well, I'll just wait for a 5G communicator to come out." The truth is that with alarm systems, the difference between LTE and 5G really won't matter all that much. Security systems do not transmit large amounts of data. Yes, 5G might make some automation commands a hair faster. But LTE can already handle this quite well. And it's very possible that 5G communicators might not be ready before the 3G sunset.

Long story short, you should upgrade to LTE as soon as you can if you intend on using cellular communication with your security system. Remember that cellular service is much more reliable than WIFI connectivity. Even in the year 2020, internet outages are relatively common. They likely always will be. That is why users are willing to pay a premium for cellular monitoring service. Cellular all but ensures your system will always stay connected.

While your 3G or CDMA communicator might be working great right now (as it always has been), you will wake up one day (in 2022) only to find a scary "Comm Fail" message with no quick solution. And if you are cell-only, your panel will be offline, and your home or business will be vulnerable. Don't let that happen. Just make the jump to LTE as soon as you can.

Alarm Grid offers LTE cellular communicators for many types of alarm systems. We can help you get exactly what you need so your transition is as seamless as possible. As of this writing, there won't be any increase in your monthly bill. You will pay exactly the same monthly fee for cellular monitoring service using a new LTE communicator as what you pay with a 3G or CDMA communicator now. You only need to buy the new LTE module. That's it.

And if you're worried about needing to install your new LTE communicator, fear not! These devices are super easy to install. And if you're monitored by Alarm Grid, we will be more than happy to help you through the installation process. That's our job. Every day, we encounter new and inexperienced users and help them monitor their homes and businesses. And that includes keeping existing systems running. We love what we do, and we're happy to help.

Maybe you aren't sure which LTE communicator you need for your system? Hey, we totally understand! It's not like you're completely obsessed with this stuff (like we are). Just shoot us an email with a picture of your panel, and we can help you explore your options. If you can get us a picture of the panel's inside with its current communicator, then that's even better!

Like always, the best email to reach us is support@alarmgrid.com. We'd love to hear from you, whether you're an existing Alarm Grid customer, or if you're looking for the very best in DIY security. Maybe you would prefer to talk on the phone? That's cool too. Our number is (888) 818-7728, and we happily answer phones from 9am to 8pm ET Monday thru Friday.

Our goal is to make the 3G and CDMA sunset as easy and as seamless for our customers (and future customers) as possible. The time to take action is now. We can help you get what you need so that you and the people around you stay safe and protected. The 3G sunset is serious, and we don't want you to get left behind. Please, upgrade now. We are grateful to have you as a member of the Alarm Grid family, and we look forward to hearing from you.

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A couple of weeks ago, we learned that AlarmNet announced an end date for activating 3G and 4G cellular communicators. Now Alarm.com has followed suit by announcing that they will no longer allow 3G activations starting June 30, 2019. Future activations must use LTE communicators.


Both AT&T and Verizon have made it clear that LTE and eventually 5G communication is the way of the future. They are beginning the process of phasing out their older 3G networks in favor of faster and more advanced technology. AT&T has publicly stated that their 3G network will be shutdown in February 2022. The shutdown for the Verizon CDMA Network is expected to occur around this time as well. Users should start preparing for the long-term now by getting LTE communicators for their systems.

If you have an Alarm.com 3G Cellular Communicator, you must activate it by June 30, 2019, or else it will not work. If you deactivate your Alarm.com 3G Communicator after this date, you will not be able to reactive it. Reactivating a communicator is considered the same as a new activation. If you have a 3G communicator that is already activated, then it will continue to work as long as the associated cellular network is kept in service. But once the network is shutdown, the communicator will stop working.

Any customer who has an Alarm.com 3G Communicator should get it activated as soon as possible to avoid missing the cut-off date. Customers who want to prepare for the long-term should obtain an LTE communicator. This may mean upgrading to a new alarm panel. To activate a communicator or to learn about the options available to you, please email support@alarmgrid.com. You may also call us at (888) 818-7728 during our normal business hours of 9am to 8pm EST M-F.

Note: Verizon stopped allowing activations for all CDMA communicators starting on December 22, 2018. More information about this can be found here.

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