The 3G Sunset: What You Need to Know

Over the next two years, US providers are planning to “sunset” 3G networks in order to free up bandwidth for faster 4G LTE and 5G signals. In fact, the process has already begun.

So what does that mean for you?

Well it means a lot more than just updating your cell phone. Your home security system will be affected by this change, too.

Not 100% sure what the 3G sunset is or what you need to do? Don’t worry, we’ll explain it all.

In this article, we’ll walk you through:

  • What the 3G sunset is
  • How the 3G sunset will affect your home security system
  • What you need to do to prepare for the 3G sunset

What is the “3G Sunset”?

3 G Sunset Tower

The 3G Sunset refers to how providers will turn off 2G and 3G networks over the next few months/years.

Why are operators making the change?

It’s simple really—mobile network providers are turning off older, slower networks in order to add more capacity for 4G LTE and expand their 5G networks.

Once 2 and 3G networks are completely turned off, any IoT (Internet of Things) device will need to transition to LTE connectivity to continue operating. For clarification, an IoT device is any computing device that allows the transfer of data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.

Now, considering there are over 80 million current 3G devices in North America alone, the 3G sunset won’t happen overnight. However, changes are being made now that are pushing users toward LTE connectivity.

That said, depending on your carrier you could lose 3G support as soon as 2020.

For example, effective 1/1/2020 Verizon Wireless no longer allows activations/ re-activations of 3G cellular devices. If an existing 3G device fails it must be replaced with a newer technology LTE device. Effective 12/31/2020 the entire 3G network will shutdown.

So how should you prepare?

Well, if you haven’t already, start converting your devices right away.

Keep in mind, though, that most IoT devices purchased and/or installed in the last few years may already be operating on 4G LTE connectivity, which means they will still function well (if not better) once 5G is completely rolled out.

If you’re not sure what network your IoT devices are operating on, just contact your provider.

IoT devices you’ll need to look into converting include:

  • Smartphones & tablets
  • Smart appliances/products
  • Smart home security systems

Let’s explore how the 3G sunset will affect your home security system.

How will the 3G Sunset affect my home security system?

Once 3G networks are completely shut down, any alarm panel that hasn’t been converted to 4G LTE/5G networks, will no longer be able to communicate with a central monitoring station.

What does that mean?

It means when there’s an emergency, your system will go off locally (in your home) but the monitoring center will not know to call the police or send help if there is an emergency. This applies to all monitored security systems—whether it’s a Richmond Alarm system or not.

How to upgrade your security system

If you’re already a Richmond Alarm customer:

Just call Richmond Alarm and let us know that you’re ready to update your home security system. We’ll send a tech over to update the cell communicator in your alarm panel.

How much will the upgrade cost?

Richmond Alarm Company is offering a few package options that you can choose from, or pay a small monthly fee.

If you’re not currently a Richmond Alarm customer:

Consider switching your monitoring services to Richmond Alarm before the 3G sunset.

If you have an existing home security system here in Virginia that was installed by another company, Richmond Alarm may be able to take over your system, fix any problems you're having, reuse much of the equipment and set up ongoing 24/7 monitoring. We can also discuss with you upgrading to the latest smart home technology powered by Alarm.com.

Why switch to RAC?

At Richmond Alarm, we’re a local security company that’s devoted to Virginia homeowners. That means we treat our customers like neighbors—not numbers.

Large national brands (like ADT) simply can’t make that promise. In fact, you’ll find that it will inevitably take longer for them to schedule you in for your upgrade. With so many customers to accommodate across the US, you’ll likely have to wait until they can schedule you in at a time that works for them (not you).

When you switch to Richmond Alarm, we’ll help you upgrade your home security system on a day/time that’s convenient for you. And don’t worry—we can reprogram almost any existing security products you have to work with our monitoring services. Plus, we offer local monitoring services for faster, more reliable help when you need it most.

Ready to upgrade your home security system with Richmond Alarm?

The 3G Sunset is just around the corner—don’t get left in the dark!

Schedule your home security upgrade to LTE connectivity with Richmond Alarm. Just request your upgrade by clicking below or call us at 1 (800) 759-5151.

Request upgrade