AT&T has established a deadline of Dec. 31, 2016, for discontinuation
of its 2G network, emphasizing the need for security dealers to turn their
attention to more advanced cellular alarm communications and data transmission.
Telguard is sponsoring a webinar to help members understand
what the 2G sunset will mean to them, along with other technology issues. The
webinar – "Update: Setting the Record Straight on 2G, 3G and 4G” – is scheduled
for Friday, Aug. 17, at 1 p.m. Central time.
here to register or to learn more about the webinar.
This webinar is a follow-up to a well-attended June 19
webinar in which AT&T and Qualcomm experts reviewed the future of 2G, 3G
and 4G technologies. Shawn Welsh, vice president of marketing and business
development for Telguard, will review information shared in the previous
session, and also include new content and additional time for questions and
answers in light of AT&T’s announcement.
Welsh has estimated that as support for 2G technology
continues to erode, the industry has 3 million 2G radios that will have to be
replaced in the next five years.
Bob McVeigh, chair of ESA’s Industry Affairs committee, said
it is significant to finally have a confirmed date for the shutdown of
AT&T’s 2G network and the transition from Global System for Mobile (GSM) Communications.
"Most alarm dealers now have a definitive date that almost
every product installed or sold to their customers needs to be replaced with a
different technology in order to continue communications,” McVeigh said. "For
some dealers, this could be a daunting task with potentially thousands of
customers affected. In addition, any new equipment needs to be carefully vetted
to ensure which network it communicates over, since 2G GSM systems are still
being offered for current installations.”
While 2017 is the hard date, McVeigh said, degradation of 2G
services will begin much earlier as towers get converted on a site-by-site
basis, often with no warning.
"Sometimes watching a ‘sunset’ isn’t so pretty,” he said. "We
should count ourselves fortunate that this information is coming now, since
they have no legal obligation to spread the word. The prudent dealer will begin
the switchover now to protect customers and the value of their company.
"There are many choices out there for communications and a
lot of information to sift through to make a good decision. Now is the time to
get our homework done and pick the most reliable future-ready products
available. ESA is a great resource and also can point members in the direction
for success. Our customers deserve our diligence in this effort.”