By Jeff Britton
Executive Director of SecureCom Wireless
UPDATED JUNE 20 - The 3G sunsetting has begun, and LTE is here. As you know, it’s important to have a strategy to stay ahead. Here are some important dates confirmed from AT&T and Verizon to keep in mind.
By 2022, both cellular carriers have confirmed their 3G networks will no longer be in service. Specifically, AT&T’s 3G/HSPA network will shut down in February 2022. Later that year, in December 2022, Verizon has confirmed it will do the same with its 3G/CDMA network.
To stay ahead of the 2022 sunset, it’s time to start scheduling the replacement of CDMA or HSPA devices as you are doing service work, if you haven’t already. You may have heard that Verizon’s turndown date is December of 2019 and not 2022. That is true in many cases, but because of the SecureCom Wireless relationship with Verizon, we have received the three-year extension with assurances that our products will have service until 2022.
AT&T, Verizon Phasing Out 3G in Stages
According to recent communications with Verizon and AT&T, both cellular carriers are working proactively with customers still using the 3G network to help them manage their migration to the more advanced LTE networks. By December 2019, Verizon is giving customers an opportunity to stop activating or reactivating modems that use pre-LTE technology.
Please be advised, as for AT&T HSPA modems, DMP will discontinue shipping them December 2019. Two months later on Feb. 1, 2020, our AT&T carrier has confirmed that all activations and reactivations of HSPA modems on the AT&T Network will discontinue.
The Current LTE Networks Remain Operational Until 2030
Since last year, DMP began transitioning to the new LTE hardware and continues to expand its line of LTE communicators for Verizon and AT&T.
DMP Modules for the AT&T LTE Network:
- 265LTE-A Cellular Communicator for XTLplus
- 263LTE-A Cellular Communicator for XT Series
- 263LTE-A/381-2 for XR150/XR550 Series panels
- DualComWZ-LA Alarm Communicator with Wi-Fi Network Primary and Cellular Backup
- DualComNF-LA Fire Alarm Communicator with Hardwired Network Primary and Cellular Backup
DMP Modules for the Verizon LTE Network:
- 263LTE-V Cellular Communicator for XT Series and XR Series panels
- 265LTE-V Cellular Communicator for XTLplus
- DualComWZ-LV Alarm Communicator with Wi-Fi Network Primary and Cellular Backup
- DualComNF-LV Fire Alarm Communicator with Hardwired Network Primary and Cellular Backup
Each of these LTE communicators are designed to work with digital cellular service from SecureCom Wireless – enabling dealers to get systems up and running quickly. They're also designed with Cat-M1 technology. This offers important advantages, like maximum network lifespan, affordable module pricing, and greater performance through buildings and external walls. Furthermore, as recently confirmed by AT&T and Verizon, DMP LTE modules will continue to be serviced via the LTE networks another 10 years until December 2030.
Why Has 3G Shut Down in Some Areas Already?
There have been reports of some cell towers, particularly in heavily populated areas, dropping service for 3G devices. In these cases, the cellular towers, which the communicators are relying on, aren't directly owned or managed by AT&T or Verizon. These third-party providers are allowed to determine which technologies to support, and some are independently transitioning away from 3G. However, 98 percent of our 3G devices that are currently active on SecureCom are using towers owned by AT&T or Verizon and should therefore not be impacted.
SecureCom Wireless maintains a daily updated report of all active 3G devices for all dealers that can be requested anytime from DMP Inside Sales. That report will be available live in the Dealer Admin dashboard later this summer.
Thank you for placing your confidence in SecureCom Wireless. We’re committed to working closely with you to make this process as easy as possible and will keep you notified as additional information becomes available.