Be prepared for the 3G Sunset

Published on January 17, 2020, by AFA Author

Does your fire alarm communicator transmit signals via cellular technology? If yes, is it using 3G technology? If it is, it’s time to upgrade.

Cellular carriers have already started to replace 3G cellular networks with 4G/LTE and 5G. This means if your cellular communicators are designed to transmit signals over 3G, instead of the newer 4G/LTE or 5G networks, your fire alarm signal transmission capability could be at risk in the near future.*

For example, if cell towers near a protected premise get upgraded from 3G to 4G/LTE or 5G, and the systems’ communicators are still 3G, a signal will no longer be able to be transmitted. In this case, the Cellular transmitter needs to be upgraded to either 4G/LTE or 5G technology in order for the alarm signal transmission to work. We urge all subscribers with cellular transmitters to get ahead of this issue. If not done in a timely manner, an expensive service call may be required to restore the communication channel if it is unexpectedly disabled.

For your reference, below are some important dates on the planned 3G phase out:

  • February 2022: AT&T 3G sunset date
  • December 2022: Verizon 3G sunset date

While both AT&T and Verizon will have some areas 3G capable up until the above dates, the phase out of 3G service in some areas has already begun.

It is important that an upgrade plan be in place in order to prevent any disruptions for central station monitoring service. AFA Protective Systems, Inc. can assist with your upgrade and make your transition to the newer technology as smooth as possible.

Call 1.877.232.1873 to speak with a consultant today or you can visit our website at info@afap.com for more information.

*AFA recommends that customers use internet and cellular technologies for alarm signal transmission. This gives the user two communication technologies and two communication paths providing a robust and diversified alarm signal transmission package.