3G Sunset Posts

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ISC West, the security industry's largest trade show, was held this week in Las Vegas. This is the first year since the COVID-19 outbreak that the show is being held in person. We didn't attend the show this year, but based on what we've seen, JCI and Qolsys won the ISC West show in 2022.

Qolsys:

IQ Pro

Qolsys, Inc. which was acquired by Johnson Controls in 2020, premiered two brand new products, and reintroduced one more. The IQ Pro Panel is a hybrid wired and wireless system which targets large homes, and medium to large businesses. It combines the reliability of hardwired components with the range and versatility of the DSC PowerG Sensor lineup. The product is planned for release in Summer, 2022.

There is very little information available about the IQ Pro. The Press Release announcing the product, which was released by Johnson Controls, didn't even say for certain that it would be a Qolsys branded product, though with 'IQ' as a part of the name, we assume it will be. This panel will combine elements of the IQ Panel 4 with the DSC PowerSeries Neo, and a little bit of customer feedback thrown in. A couple of things we do know, the IQ Pro will offer the choice of either Ethernet or WIFI connectivity along with LTE. This panel has been designed with Alarm.com for Business in mind, to take advantage of all the extended features offered there.

IQ WIFI 6

The Qolsys IQ WIFI 6 was actually first introduced to us here at Alarm Grid last year. It is a product we thought was going to released then, but it was introduced at ISC West and should be available in Summer, along with the IQ Pro. The IQ WIFI 6 is is a router that uses 802.11 1/b/g/n/ac/ax WIFI-6 technology. It offers dual-end 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz MIMO mesh architecture on a Qualcomm Networking Pro 400 platform. It will integrate with Qolsys touchscreen panels, to allow a user to administer the network from there.

The IQ WIFI 6 will offer four (4) network partitions, including a Guest Network and a dedicated network for the end-user's WIFI devices. Both of these will switch automatically between 2.4 GHz and 5GHz for seamless optimization of WIFI performance. In addition to these partitions, there are two (2) private network partitions to be used by security and/or networking providers. By separating the security, surveillance, and smart home devices from the rest of the network, professional providers can cut down on disruptions caused by user error.

IQ Hub

The Qolsys IQ Hub has actually already been released, in a limited fashion within the last six (6) months or so. Presumably due to supply chain issues, Qolsys has tightly controlled how many of these panels are shipped, but now, based on a press release this week, it seems like they may be looking to perform a wider release. The IQ Hub differs from the IQ Panel 4 in several ways, one of which is that each panel will only support one RF product line. There is a PowerG version with either an AT&T or Verizon communicator. This is the only version that has been released at this time. Soon however, there will be a version that supports unencrypted, uni-directional Honeywell and 2GIG wireless sensors, one that supports unencrypted, uni-directional Interlogix and all Qolsys wireless sensors, and a version that supports uni-directional DSC 433 MHz wireless sensors.

Resideo:

Cellbounce

Resideo and Honeywell Home brought the Cellbounce to ISC West. This device will bridge communicators that work on the AT&T 3G network over to the AT&T LTE network, without having to replace the device. This is a plug-n-play device. It connects to an outlet within range, which is 25' (7.62m), of the existing AT&T 3G communicator, though be sure not to plug the Cellbounce in until it has been configured by your alarm dealer.

It syncs to the 3G communicator, then with the LTE network and any signals sent by the communicator will be picked up and transported via LTE. It even works with Total Connect 2.0, though it does not work with two-way voice. It also only works in the contiguous United States, so Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico residents, the Cellbounce is not for you. There are some other caveats and limitations, so be sure to read our product description carefully before purchasing.

2GIG, Nortek Control:

2GIG Edge

In October of 2021 Nortek Control, the parent company of 2GIG, was purchased by Nice. Nice originated in Italy, with Nice North America handling the US and Canadian segment of the business. This year at ISC West, Nice put their stamp on this relatively new acquisition. In addition to some commercial camera innovations by Linear, Nice/Nortek Control announced during ISC West that they will offer exclusive integration between the 2GIG Edge security panel and the ELAN Home Control platform. The Edge has been out for about a year now. You can read all about it here.

According to their press release, this integration will be supported by the ELAN SC-100 and ELAN SC-300 system controllers running ELAN 8.7 OS (which won't be available until April, 2022). The 2GIG Edge panel requires firmware version 3.1.1.0 or later. Firmware can be pushed through Alarm.com or downloaded. This panel firmware version is not available from 2GIG just yet, but once it is posted, our page will be updated. One of the more convenient features of this integration is the ELAN Control Auto Zone Detection feature. If the ELAN system is setup first, with zone names, once the 2GIG Edge is installed, it can download all zones and zone names directly from ELAN, without having to re-enter the information.


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Today, February 22, 2022 is the official date for the AT&T 3G Sunset. As we've mentioned before, there isn't a big switch that gets turned off and then, "Poof!" no more 3G. If you still have an AT&T 3G communicator, it may continue to work for a while, but there is no way to know how long.

If you're just becoming aware of the AT&T 3G Sunset because you have a security panel that you haven't been paying much attention to for a while, then you probably are seeing some type of error, and possibly hearing some annoying beeping. Some of the more common error messages are shown further down in this post. The thing to keep in mind is that your alarm panel wants to be sure that you know there's a problem. So, if you just press the touchscreen, or press any button on the keypad, that should stop the beeping, at least temporarily.

If you know the arming/disarming code for the system, enter it if prompted on a touchscreen panel, or if you're on a VISTA panel, just enter your 4-digit code and then press the OFF or 1 Key. This will acknowledge the trouble condition and stop the beeping on a more permanent basis, though in some cases, it may come back after a period of time. If you don't know a valid code for the system, then you will likely need to shut down your system by unplugging the transformer and the battery. If you're interested in putting your system into service keep reading to see how Alarm Grid is helping out in this situation.

If you find yourself in the unenviable position of needing to replace an AT&T 3G communicator, but you haven't done so yet, don't panic. The AT&T 3G network is vast and complex. It's not something that you can simply turn off. The process of sunsetting 3G equipment will take a bit of time. So, if after today your 3G communicator still works, you're one of the lucky ones. You've been given a slight reprieve. However, there is no way for us to know how long that reprieve will last, so decide what you're going to do, and do it now.

One ongoing problem that we've seen recently is supply chain issues. Maybe you've been trying to upgrade for the past six (6) months, but the communicator or system you need hasn't been available. Communicator manufacturers have been rolling out LTE Cat-M1 communicators in the absence of available components for standard LTE.

LTE Cat-M1 is the cellular network that was created for Internet-of-Things (IoT) use. It has lower power consumption, better range, and the modems used for it have a smaller form factor. The trade-off is lower bandwidth. However, the amount of data being transmitted by alarm communicators is very low compared to voice and data used for a traditional phone, so the difference in bandwidth isn't noticeable. Happily, the components to make LTE Cat-M1 communicators appears to be readily available, so those communicators have been coming into stock in the past months and continue to become available.

Some of the available AlarmNet LTE Cat-M1 communicators are listed below. These communicators are all compatible with the VISTA panels. The LTEM-PA and LTEM-PV are also compatible with the DSC PC1616, DSC PC1832, and DSC PC1864 and the Interlogix NX Series panels. For the Interlogix NX Series, the PRODCM is also required:

  • LTEM-PA - Dual-path IP and AT&T LTE Cat-M1 communicator with the ability to add a traditional LTE communicator if needed. First communicator to allow non-Honeywell panels to use Total Connect 2.0.
  • LTEM-PV - Dual-path IP and Verizon LTE Cat-M1 communicator with the ability to add a traditional LTE communicator if needed. Along with the LTEM-PA can allow non-Honeywell panels to use Total Connect 2.0.
  • LTEM-XA - AT&T LTE Cat-M1 Communicator for VISTA Panels.
  • LTEMXA-TC2 - AT&T LTE Cat-M1 Communicator for VISTA Panels. Includes upgrade chips for VISTA-15P and VISTA-20P panels, allowing them to support Total Connect 2.0.
  • LTEM-XV - Verizon LTE Cat-M1 Communicator for VISTA Panels.
  • LTEMXV-TC2 - Verizon LTE Cat-M1 Communicator for VISTA Panels. Includes upgrade chips for VISTA-15P and VISTA-20P panels, allowing them to support Total Connect 2.0.
  • LTEM-IA -COMING SOON - AT&T LTE Cat-M1 Communicator with RJ45 Port for Ethernet. Currently in Beta.
  • LTEM-PIA - AT&T LTE Cat-M1 Communicator with RJ45 Ethernet port. Listed for UL-985 Household Fire.
  • LTEM-PIV - Verizon LTE Cat-M1 Communicator with RJ45 Ethernet port. Listed for UL-985 Household Fire.

Some of the available Alarm.com LTE Cat-M1 communicators are listed below. Compatibility is listed with each communicator:

  • Alarm.com ADC-SEM210-PS-AT-M - COMING SOON - Dual-path AT&T LTE Cat-M1 and ethernet capable communicator for use with legacy DSC Power Series panels (PC1616, PC1832, PC1864).
  • Alarm.com ADC-SEM210-PS-VZ-M - COMING SOON. - Dual-path Verizon LTE Cat-M1 and ethernet capable communicator for use with legacy DSC Power Series panels (PC1616, PC1832, PC1864).
  • Alarm.com ADC-SEM300-VT-AT-M - COMING SOON. - Dual-path AT&T LTE Cat-M1 and ethernet capable communicator for use with Honeywell VISTA (non-polling loop) panels (VISTA-10P, VISTA-15P, VISTA-20P, VISTA-21iP manufactured in 2005 or later).
  • Alarm.com ADC-SEM300-VT-VZ-M - Dual-path Verizon LTE Cat-M1 and ethernet capable communicator for use with Honeywell VISTA (non-polling loop) panels (VISTA-10P, VISTA-15P, VISTA-20P, VISTA-21iP manufactured in 2005 or later).

Panel Cellular Communicator Trouble Condition Messages

If you are affected immediately by the AT&T 3G shutdown, you may see one of these error messages on your system:

  • Check 103 ####: - You may see this on a non-polling VISTA panel, such as the VISTA-20P, but only if you have an Alpha Keypad like a 6160. The #### will be a 4-digit number. It may be 4005, which indicates that the communicator has lost connection with AlarmNet. The exact 4-digit code will depend on whether there are any other trouble conditions existing on the communicator at the time the message is displayed.
    *If you have a VISTA panel, choose from any of the communicators listed above for VISTA panels. The VISTA-21IPLTE can use the LTE-21V. The only way to update an original VISTA-21iP is to add an external communicator and disable the internal one. The prior link is an FAQ on how to do just that. The same rule about possibly downgrading to an IP only plan mentioned under the bF message applies here too.
  • bF, or it may look like 6F: - This is supposed to be a bF, which stands for Backup Failure, as in backup communicator. This message means the same thing as Check 103, but will be displayed on a non-alpha keypad like a 6150. If this is the only type of keypad you have, then this is all the information the panel and the communicator can give you. If you get this message after 02/22/22 and your AT&T 3G Communicator has been fine until then, you're not one of the lucky ones. You should look to upgrade your communicator ASAP. *Or, if you have a dual-path communicator and an IP connection is available near it, you could downgrade to an IP only plan for now, and upgrade to LTE at a later time. Just bear in mind, if you go IP only, when the internet is out, your panel's ability to communicate is out. This is usually the case during power outages. The above rule about upgrading the communicator under the Check 103 message also applies here.
  • Fault 103: - This may also show as a Check 103, then display as a Fault 103 after you silence the panel. This is what you see on the Honeywell L3000 panels when there is a problem with the communicator. Losing connection due to the 3G Sunset would cause this error code. There is not a good IP only option for the L3000 currently available. You can use a 7847-I, but it is a messy installation. You can also use the 7847I-L, if you can find one, they are discontinued.
  • 103 Comm. Trouble: - The Lynx Touch Panels will display something along these lines. The icon and message may differ slightly, but the gist is the same. This is what you'll see on these panels if you're affected by the AT&T 3G shut down.
    • Honeywell LTE-L57A: - AT&T LTE Communicator for Lynx Touch panels. Important! There may be panel firmware revision restrictions with your panel and either of these communicators. Read the product description very carefully to be sure your panel is on the correct version for the communicator you choose. If you need to update the panel, you can do so with the Honeywell LYNXTOUCH-MSD Firmware Update Tool. It is compatible with the L5200, L5210, and L7000.
    • Honeywell LTE-L57V: - Verizon LTE communicator for the Lynx Touch panels. See the Important note above about panel firmware version limitations.
  • ⚠ 950 Comm. Trouble: This is the message displayed on a Lyric Controller if it has a cellular communication path, and it loses contact with AlarmNet on that path. This is what you will see if the AT&T 3G shutdown has caused your communicator to go down. There may be other messages in the status bar at the top of the screen as well, having to do with Comm Failure and potentially other conditions, depending on what's happening with your panel at the time.
    • Honeywell LYRICLTE-A - AT&T LTE Communicator for Lyric. Firmware Revision v01.03.06548.482 or higher required!
    • Honeywell LYRICLTE-V - Verizon LTE Communicator for Lyric. Firmware Revision 1.09 (aka MR9) or higher required!

  • Check 8##, ####: - You may see this message on a VISTA-128 or VISTA-250 panel. Devices connected to the keypad bus can be supervised for a connection to the panel, and for a tamper condition where applicable. The AT&T 3G Communicator can also be supervised for communicator troubles, such as a loss of connection to AlarmNet. If supervision is enabled (and it is not enabled by default) then when the 3G Sunset affects the communicator, the panel will display a Check or Trouble (based on programming) 8 + the 2-digit number of the address. So, if the communicator is assigned to address 03, and supervision is enabled, it will display as a Check or Trouble on Zone 803 plus the 4-digit communicator status code associated with the condition when you have the proper keypad to display it. If the only problem is a loss of network connection, then the 4-digit code should be 4005. Supervision is enabled by enabling the associated 800-zone with a trouble zone type, such as 05, Trouble by Day/Alarm by Night.
  • 2GIG GC2 and GC2e Displays Trouble Icon and beeps 6 Times per minute until the trouble condition is acknowledged: This is the behavior of the 2GIG GC2e and presumable the 2GIG GC2 as well. The Security Screen will show a Yellow button with an exclamation mark and a number. When you press the button, it will take you to the Trouble Display screen where you can scroll through the trouble conditions, and you may click on the communicator trouble then press OK. This will stop any beeping, but the display will continue to show trouble until the condition is cleared. In the case of the AT&T 3G Sunset, this means upgrading the communicator.


    • 2GIG LTEA-A-GC2: - Alarm.com compatible AT&T LTE Communicator for 2GIG GC2 and 2GIG GC2e. Important! Be sure to check for any panel firmware version requirements associated with either of these LTE communicators for the 2GIG GC2 and GC2e panels.
    • 2GIG LTEV1-A-GC2: - Alarm.com compatible Verizon LTE Communicator for 2GIG GC2 and 2GIG GC2e.
  • 2GIG GC3 and GC3e Message LED is lit and the panel chimes at ten-second intervals until the condition is acknowledged: The behavior for the cellular communicator losing connection to the AT&T 3G network on a 2GIG GC3 or GC3e depends somewhat on panel programming. In Q30, you set the amount of time that is allowed to elapse with no communication to the server before a trouble condition is indicated. The default is 30 minutes. A 0 in this field disables the supervision feature. The maximum entry is 255 minutes. Q31 also determines whether the radio network failure causes a trouble condition on the panel. This is enabled by default, but if disabled, you will have no visible indication if you are affected by the AT&T 3G sunset. Q32 is radio network failure reports. This is enabled by default and determines whether the panel reports the radio failure to the monitoring station (assuming it is able to do so with the radio down, the panel would need to be utilizing the WIFI communication path for this to be possible.)
    • 2GIG LTEA-A-GC3: AT&T LTE Communicator for the 2GIG GC3 and GC3e panels. The panel must have Firmware Version 3.2.3 or higher to support this communicator.
    • 2GIG LTEV1-A-GC3: Verizon LTE Communicator for the 2GIG GC3 and GC3e panels. The GC3 or GC3e must have Firmware Version 3.1.3 or higher to support this communicator.

Alarm Grid Is Here To Help!

If you're a current Alarm Grid customer and you have purchased an LTE communicator, but haven't switched over to it yet, please send an email to support@alarmgrid.com. In the subject line, be sure to put "I Need an LTE Upgrade". We'll reach out with further instructions and either a link to schedule your upgrade, or information as to what we need to begin your upgrade. Lyric and Lynx Touch users may be able to get upgraded with no appointment, where a VISTA user may require an appointment as those communicator swaps are a little more intricate.

If you purchase an LTE communicator or an upgrade kit from Alarm Grid, we will credit your monitoring account in the amount of the communicator or upgrade kit. If you purchase more than $150 in product, we'll also offer you free ground shipping, so if you've been thinking of adding a doorbell camera, or other products to your system, now may be a good time. The cost of products not associated with the communicator or system and communicator upgrade will not count toward free monitoring though.

If you have the ability to switch to an ethernet or WIFI connection only, you can choose to do that and your monthly monitoring fee will go down. You can purchase an IP or WIFI communicator strictly for that purpose. You may have that option with your existing panel and you just aren't using it, or maybe you were using dual-path monitoring, but now the cellular portion of your 3G communicator has stopped working. Whatever the case, if your communicator or panel supports the option for an IP-only connection, we will be glad to downgrade your service plan permanently, or until you can get the LTE upgrade. But be aware, Alarm.com customers do not have an option for IP-only monitoring.

If you're not a current Alarm Grid customer, never fear, you can get exactly the same deal as existing customers. If you purchase an LTE communicator from us or a kit with a panel and LTE communicator and you then sign up for monitoring with us, we'll give you credit toward free monitoring in the amount of the purchase for the communicator or communicator and panel. Once again, purchases over $150 will have free ground shipping, but any sensors or other devices that you purchase will not count toward free monitoring.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us at support@alarmgrid.com. Our support hours are Monday - Friday from 9:00 am - 8:00 pm Eastern. We will help in any way that we can to get you through this transition. Your safety and peace of mind is our top priority.

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Alarm Grid announced in December that some Qolsys Panels, namely older IQ 2 and 2 Plus panels with AT&T LTE communicators, require a firmware update before the AT&T 3G Sunset this month. Alarm.com has been pushing those updates, but some panels still need the update, and time is running out.

As noted in December, Alarm.com has been automatically pushing the firmware update to those panels that need it. However, in order to get an update Over-the-Air (OTA) a Qolsys panel MUST have a connection to WIFI. That means if you have an older Qolsys IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus with an AT&T LTE communicator built in, and your panel doesn't have a connection to WIFI, you may need to get a WIFI connection. At least long enough for the firmware update to come through. If you don't, and if your panel is one of the ones that requires this update, it will stop communicating via AT&T LTE Cellular soon after February 22, 2022.

AT&T doesn't have one big switch that they can turn off and then, "Voila, 3G is no more!" So, just because your system is still able to communicate on February 23, that doesn't necessarily mean that your panel doesn't require the firmware update. In addition, some panels will only need an update to the cellular firmware while other panels will need a panel firmware update first, followed by the cellular update. For this reason, it is best to connect your panel to WIFI and allow the Alarm.com server to connect and determine which updates, if any, need to be applied.

In order to make it as easy as possible to get a panel connected to WIFI, Alarm.com has made it possible to connect the panel to WIFI remotely using the Alarm.com customer app. To use the app to connect the panel to WIFI, follow these steps:

  1. Log into the app, completing any 2-factor authentication that may be necessary.
  2. Go to the 'Security System' card.


  3. Tap the Gear icon in the upper right.


  4. Select 'Panel WIFI'.

  5. From this point, there are two options:
    • If the network to be used is already connected to another device on the account, such as a video camera, it will display under a prompt for 'Access Ready Networks'. Since that device already has the network credentials, the panel can use those same credentials to connect to the same network.
    • If the WIFI network is not already connected to another device, then you should see a prompt that says 'Additional networks available to your panel'. Select the network, and then enter the proper password where indicated.



  6. Once the WIFI network is selected, and the password has been entered, if applicable, press 'Connect'.

  7. If you don't see your network, press 'Rescan' or tap, 'Don't see your network?', then follow the provided steps to add the device to the network manually.

If your panel simply doesn't have an option to connect to traditional WIFI, then you may need to briefly use your cell phone as a wireless hotspot, and contact your alarm dealer to ask them to manually push the update to your panel while you're onsite. Alternatively, you can visit our Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus Firmware Update Page and download the update files to an SD Card, then follow the instructions listed on the page for updating via SD Card.

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A recent blog post about the looming AT&T 3G Sunset contained an error. We mentioned in that blog that the ingenious Resideo Cellbounce, a 3G to LTE converter, does not support Total Connect 2.0. That is incorrect. As long as the original 3G device supports TC2, the Cellbounce also supports it.

This misinformation has been updated in the original post, but for those who may have already read it, we wanted to also briefly touch on it here. In brief, the Resideo Cellbounce is a plug-and-play device. It plugs into a standard 110 Volt AC outlet and should be mounted within 25' (7.6m) of the working AT&T 3G Communicator. The Cellbounce connects to the 3G communicator, and to an AT&T LTE network. Once those connections have been made, it acts as a bridge, receiving the 3G information and transmitting it through the LTE network.

AT&T has committed to supporting the Resideo Cellbounce unit until at least the end of April, 2025. It is possible that support may go beyond that date, but the contractual obligation ends on May 1. Since the Cellbounce is plug-and-play, anyone can install it. An Installation Professional is not required. Though, it is important to note that the Cellbounce should not be powered on until after the information has been added to the customer account by the alarm dealer.

The Cellbounce will arrive in a box with a Serial Number and an IMEI number printed on it. This information must be provided to the alarm dealer so that they can attach the unit to the proper customer account. This step must be performed BEFORE the Cellbounce is powered on. Once power is applied, within a few minutes the Cellbounce will connect to the existing communicator and to the LTE network. LEDs on the unit will signal when these connections take place. From there it's just a matter of testing to be sure signals are going through successfully. Just be sure to put your system on test with the monitoring station prior to beginning this process.

The Resideo Cellbounce is only compatible with AlarmNet AT&T 3G communicators. The existing communicator must be registered and working. This means it can't be in a comm failure condition. Adding a Cellbounce to a communicator that is in comm failure will not correct that issue.

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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:


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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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