How to Prepare Your Security System for the 3G Cellular Upgrade

If you have a commercial or residential security system, the 3G sunset is bearing down upon you. The 3G sunset marks the end of the manufacturing of devices that specifically use 3G networks. Now is the time to start upgrading your security system to LTE networks. There’s not much time left before carriers and manufacturers start phasing out these products.

Why Phase Out 3G Products and Services?

In general, many people don’t like change, and you may be wondering why this is necessary. Well, it’s definitely time for something new. Since the arrival of LTE networks, its natural for manufacturers and carriers to phase out older products to make room for new ones. 2G networks are almost completely phased out already.

The transition from 3G/CDMA to 4G long-term evolution or LTE networks has already started. LTE networks can be up to 10 times faster than 3G networks. 3G networks were constructed to support limited data transfers and voice. Today’s consumer needs much more from their cellular network so 3G networks are significantly outdated.

An alarm panel that uses a 3G network to communicate will cease to work starting in 2020, depending on the carrier.

United States Cellular Carrier 2G/3G Shutdown Dates

Verizon has already announced plans to shut down its 3G service after 2019 and AT&T recently said it expects a 3G shutoff to be completed by 2022. To that end, Verizon stopped accepting new 3G-CDMA subscriptions to its network after June 30, 2018, and AT&T blocked new 3G-GSM activations starting this year. Here’s a quick breakdown of tentative transition dates for various communications companies:

Your security system communicates with a 24/7 monitoring station, smart home as a service, or interactive service over your cellular network. Imagine an intruder breaking into your home and setting the alarm off. But the police don’t come to the rescue because your system never sent the alarm signal to the central monitoring station.

Checklist for Migrating Your Alarm Services

You may be wondering when you should start upgrading your 3G devices and transition to the new networks. Many carriers are discontinuing 3G products in 2022, but others may initiate the switch earlier. The answer is as soon as possible. Here’s a brief checklist to make the migration easier.

  • Take inventory of your devices: First, figure out what network your system is currently on and the devices you have. Then, find out which carrier supports each of your devices.
  • Set priorities: Determine the use for each one of your devices. Is it for personal or business use? This prioritization helps you decide if you need to upgrade their networks and which devices you need to upgrade first. Guardian Security is providing different cost effective options for our clients to choose from.
  • Schedule the changes: Don’t feel like you need to upgrade all your devices at once. Contact Guardian Security so that we can help you determine your upgrade schedule. Transition the most important services first and add the others gradually. You may want to consider upgrading your devices to LTE to stay ahead if you plan on keeping these devices and services for a long time. It may save you a significant amount of money later down the road. 

For any questions on the 3G sunset, contact your Guardian Security at Here’s more information about the 3G sunset for AT&T and Verizon.

About Guardian Security

Guardian Security has the largest dedicated wireless mesh network in Washington. As the leading system integrator, we strive to keep all of our clients ahead of the technology curve. For more information, please call Guardian Security today.