How Do I Upgrade a 2GIG GC3e to Use LTE?
You can upgrade a 2GIG GC3e to use LTE by powering down the panel, installing an LTE communicator, and activating it for monitoring service. This will allow the GC3e to maintain constant contact with Alarm.com. You should have your monitoring company test cell signals after activating.
Any new 2GIG GC3 or GC3e owner will want to install and activate an LTE cellular communicator as soon as possible. Per Alarm.com requirements, these systems must have a cellular communicator that has been installed and activated. While both the GC3 and GC3e Systems have internal WIFI cards, you must still activate the system's internal cellular communicator to get these systems monitored and activated with Alarm.com. Once you add a cellular communicator, the system will be dual-path ready, meaning that it will support both IP and cellular communication.
As of February 2020, it is only possible to activate LTE communicators for the system. Alarm.com stopped allowing 3G and CDMA communicator activations in June 2019. While there will likely be Alarm.com 5G Communicators available sometime in the future, this is most likely still a very long time away. If you are looking to get your GC3 or GC3e monitored, then LTE is absolutely the way to go. An LTE communicator will provide super fast speeds for your system when communicating with Alarm.com, and it will offer exceptional reliability. Cellular service providers have repeatedly promised to maintain support for their LTE networks well into the very distant future, even after 5G networks are inevitably activated. Therefore, LTE represents a true long-term solution for your panel that you can count on for many years to come.
It may be possible that you have an existing GC3 System that is already activated with a 3G or a CDMA communicator. If that is the case, then your system can continue to use that communicator until the associated cellular network is shut down. Most cellular service providers are expected to shut down these networks sometime in 2022. Once the network is shut down, the communicator will stop working. This means that you will eventually need to upgrade the communicator for your 2GIG GC3 to LTE in order to keep using the system. We recommend being proactive and upgrading to LTE as soon as possible so that you can take advantages of the enhanced speed and overall reliability of LTE. It's also important to note that if you deactivate a 3G or CDMA communicator for any reason, you will not be able to reactivate it.
The 2GIG GC3 and GC3e Systems use the same cellular communicators. Currently, there are two (2) LTE communicators to choose from. There is the 2GIG LTEA-A-GC3 AT&T LTE Communicator, and there is the 2GIG LTEV1-A-GC3 Verizon LTE Communicator. Whether you go with the AT&T LTE option or the Verizon LTE option should depend on which network is more reliable in your area. We advise checking coverage maps to determine which communicator will work best. Remember, the cellular service provider you use with your system will have no impact on your monthly monitoring costs, and it has absolutely nothing to do with the service you use for your phone. If you find that neither AT&T nor Verizon provide adequate service in your area, then you might consider adding a cellular antenna or a cellular amplifier to boost cell signals. Please be aware that if you are using an older 2GIG GC3 System, then you may need to update the system's firmware before it can support an LTE communicator. We advise checking our 2GIG GC3 Firmware Page for more information.We also have a separate page for GC3e Firmware.
Please note that you will need a compatible monitoring plan to activate your system's cellular communicator. This monitoring plan must include cellular connectivity. The Gold and Platinum Plans (Self or Full) from Alarm Grid are examples of compatible alarm monitoring plans for a GC3 or GC3e System. Check out our monitoring page for more information. You can also contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any additional questions about our monitoring services. Remember that we maintain support hours from 9am to 8pm ET M-F.
Whether you are starting with a brand-new GC3e or GC3 System, or you are upgrading the communicator for an existing GC3 System, the process for activating an LTE Communicator is essentially the same. For this FAQ, we will assume that your system is already on the latest firmware. Complete the following steps to upgrade a 2GIG GC3e or GC3 to LTE:
1. Power down the panel. You must power down the system whenever you are making hardware changes. Start by opening up the panel and disconnecting its backup battery. You can keep the panel opened up, as you will eventually need to reconnect the battery pack anyway. After disconnecting the backup battery, unplug the transformer from the wall outlet to power the system down.
2. Install the communicator. With the system powered down, you can now install the communicator. Before beginning, take note of the IMEI number listed on the module. It will likely be found on a sticker somewhere, or it may be on the packaging for the module. You will need the IMEI number when you go to activate the communicator later. Refer to the instruction manual for the communicator for steps on how to install it to the panel.
3. Power panel back on. With the panel still opened up and the communicator properly installed, reconnect the backup battery. Then close the panel, and reconnect the system's transformer. The system should power back on, if it hasn't already.
4. Activate the communicator. Contact your alarm monitoring company and work with them to activate the communicator. If you signed up for service with Alarm Grid, you will most likely have a scheduled activation slot when we will contact you to activate the communicator. Remember to have the IMEI number for the communicator ready.
5. Test cellular signals. Once the communicator has been activated, you will want to have your monitoring company test its cellular signals. It is important to make sure that your system's is receiving adequate cell signals. Weak cell signals could result in your system failing to communicate with Alarm.com. Your monitoring company will let you know if your panel is receiving strong enough cellular signals. If it isn't, then you may need to add a cellular antenna or a cellular amplifier to boost the signals.
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