The Lifespan of LTE Cellular Networks

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Security, Sales, & Integration recently published an article outlining the 3G Sunset and the importance of upgrading to LTE. One question we are often asked is how long LTE networks will be kept in-service. Thanks to this informative article from SSI, we now have a pretty good estimate.


According to the information presented in the article, LTE networks are expected to have a lifespan that extends through at least the mid-2030s, if not longer. We have said many times before that LTE networks should be kept in service well into the very distant future, and now we have somewhat of a more precise timeline. It is also important to note that we understand this "mid-2030s" estimate to be on the conservative side. There is a good chance that the LTE networks might be supported even beyond that point in time. But given that we are in the year 2020, and have a "mid-2030s" estimate for the LTE lifespan, we can say that anyone who purchases an LTE communicator for their security system at this point in time should expect it to work for at least the next 15 years.

We need to stress here that this is nothing official. This is just information being published in an SSI article. This is not an official statement from a cellular service provider, and we advise taking it with a grain of salt. But given our understanding on the subject, this mid-2030s estimate strikes us as legitimate. The article also states that all 3G cellular networks will be shut down no later than December 31, 2022. This also lines up with what we have been hearing. At the time of this writing in late October 2020, we are slightly more than two (2) years away from the final end of 3G. We have said it many times before, and we will say it again. You need to upgrade to LTE as soon as possible to avoid a loss of monitoring service.

On that note, it's also fair for us to begin thinking about what lies beyond LTE. It's no secret that 5G networks are being rolled out across the country, and they will soon become the norm for cellular communication. At this time, we have not heard of any alarm manufacturer offering a 5G communicator, though we wouldn't be surprised for it to happen soon. But it's not a sure thing that a 5G communicator would be available before the end of 3G. That is why we are pushing so hard for users to make the upgrade to LTE. We don't want any of our monitored customers to be left behind in the transition. While the eventual promise of 5G might seem exciting and flashy, the important thing here is keeping your security system working and having your home or business stay protected. And from what we can tell, LTE will provide exactly that until at least the mid-2030s, possibly even beyond that.

If you are interested in getting starte with alarm monitoring service, or if you are needing to upgrade your existing system to LTE, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. Our team is here to check email from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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