What is all the 2G fuss about?

The major telecommunications companies have announced their plans to replace 2G technology with 3G/4G technology. You may have heard this referred to as the 2G Sunset. To put it simply, telecom giants, such as AT&T, are phasing out all of the second generation (2G) equipment on cell towers and are replacing it with upgraded 3G/4G equipment. This upgrade will improve the quality and integrity of the signal that your equipment puts out. Meaning, you can expect less dropped calls and quicker communication between systems like your security system and the monitoring center.

This work to upgrade cell towers is already well under way, and AT&T has plans to have every last tower upgraded to 3G/4G technology by December 31st, 2016. It’s important to note that no one knows exactly when these upgrades will occur – meaning the towers in your community might have already been upgraded, or could be upgraded tomorrow, next month or next year.

Why do I need to know?

Cell communicators can be found in a whole host of products and systems. This is the tiny little chip that lets your phone pick up cell reception, or connects your security system to the monitoring center. If the cell tower in your community is upgraded to 3G/4G technology, but your equipment is still running on 2G technology, you will experience interruptions in service.

For example, if a fire alarm panel is running on 2G technology and the towers in the area are 3G/4G, the monitoring center would not receive the alert signal in the event of a fire, and the fire department would not be dispatched.

What systems are at risk?

Any alarm system that uses cellular technology and was installed in 2013 or earlier is likely to be based on 2G technology. This includes:

  • Security Systems
  • Fire Alarm Panels
  • Cellular Backup or Cell-Primary Configurations

How do I know if my system is utilizing 2G technology?

If you have new technology in your home or business, it will likely be compatible with 3G/4G technology. However, you should check with your life safety partner to ensure your security systems and fire alarm systems are updated, or risk that communications with your monitoring center might be interrupted.

Koorsen associates can determine if your communicator is 2G or 3G/4G based on manufacturer records. If you received a letter from Koorsen about this subject, please contact us today. If necessary, we will present you with a proposal to upgrade your 2G alarm equipment with 3G/4G equipment.