How Do I Upgrade a 2GIG GC3e to Use LTE?
You cannot upgrade a 2GIG GC3e to use LTE. Since the GC3e never used older 3G or CDMA Communicators, the system would never receive an LTE upgrade. But you might install and activate an LTE communicator for the GC3e to get it monitored and set up with the Alarm.com interactive platform.
Any new 2GIG GC3e owner will want to install and activate a cellular communicator for the system as soon as possible. Per Alarm.com requirements, any panel using their services must have a cellular communicator that has been installed and activated. Although the GC3e System has an internal WIFI card, you must still activate an added cellular communicator to get the system monitored with Alarm.com. Once you add a cellular radio, the system will be dual-path ready, meaning that it can support both internet protocol (IP) connectivity and cellular communication. You should remember to connect the GC3e to a local WIFI network, assuming that the location has WIFI.
As of February 2021, the only types of cellular communicator for a GC3e that can be activated for alarm monitoring service are LTE cellular communicators. Compatible LTE modules for the 2GIG GC3e include the 2GIG LTEA-A-GC3 AT&T LTE Communicator, the 2GIG LTEV1-A-GC3 Verizon LTE Communicator, and the 2GIG LTEV-A-GC3 Verizon LTE Communicator, although this last option is no longer sold. While it's possible that some 5G communicators might be built for the GC3e someday, there are currently no known plans at the time of this writing.
If you are looking to get your GC3e monitored, then LTE is absolutely the way to go. An LTE communicator should provide very fast speeds for your GC3e System when communicating with Alarm.com. Another advantage of LTE is that it offers very strong reliability and consistency. Cellular service providers have repeatedly promised to maintain support for their LTE networks for a very long time. The general consensus is that LTE networks will remain active and in-service until at least the mid-2030s. These LTE networks will serve as important backups to the newer 5G networks. Simply put, LTE connectivity represents a true long-term solution for your panel that you can count on for many years to come.
Please note that you will need a compatible monitoring plan to activate a cellular communicator installed inside your 2GIG GC3e System. This monitoring plan must include cellular connectivity. The Gold and Platinum Plans (Self or Full) from Alarm Grid are examples of compatible monitoring plans that you could use. Check out our monitoring page for more info. You can also contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any further questions. Remember that our support hours run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F.
If you buy a new 2GIG GC3e, then installing an LTE cellular communicator is something you will likely do as part of the initial setup process. Complete the following steps to install an LTE cellular module for a GC3e:
1. Prepare the panel. Never perform hardware changes on a system that isn't ready. When installing a cellular communicator for a new GC3e, you can follow the traditional process of powering down the system, or installing the cellular module before ever powering up the system. To power down, open up the panel, disconnect its backup battery, and unplug its transformer from the wall outlet.
For any user who is replacing an LTE communicator, the GC3e has a menu option to put the system into a special mode where you can safely remove the old communicator and install the new one. This menu option removes power from the cellular port internally, without requiring the entire panel to power down.
To access this mode, start from the main screen of the system, and click System Settings in the bottom-right corner. Then provide the system's Master Code (default 1111, but usually changed) or the system's Installer Code (default 1561). You will then enter the System Settings Menu. Choose the option for Cell Radio Swap. Then choose Begin to put the system in a mode where the cellular communicator can be safely swapped.
2. Install the communicator. With the system either powered down or in its designated cell installation mode, you can now install the communicator. Before beginning, take note of the IMEI number listed on the module being installed. 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.
There is a possibility that the cell door is locked. If you attempt to open the side cover and it won't open easily you will need to unlock the door. Remove the plastic trim ring from around the touchscreen on the front of the panel. Use a small flat blade screwdriver to pry the bezel loose.
With it removed, in the lower-left corner of the unit, you'll see the lock or unlock option for the cell module cover. If the screw is in the lock position (Option A), remove it, and move it to the unlock position (Option B). This is done predominantly so that you don't lose the screw in case you want to unlock it now, but decide to lock it again later.
Once the screw has been moved to the unlock position, you should be able to easily open the side door where the cellular module is installed. The cellular module will only fit into the 2GIG GC3e one way. Slide it into place as far as it will go. You should be able to feel it when the radio is fully seated. Once finished, either follow the menu prompts on the screen, or power your system back on by plugging in the battery and then plugging in the transformer. Make sure to close the side cover, lock it if desired, and then replace the front plastic bezel.
3. 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 appointment at which time we will contact you to activate the communicator. Remember to have the IMEI number for the communicator ready.
4. Test cellular signals. Once the communicator has been activated, you will want to follow the activator's instructions to send a cell test. It is important to make sure that your system has adequate cellular signal strength. 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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