The Sun Sets on AT&T 3G

The Sun Sets on AT&T 3G

Here we are again. Today marks the day AT&T plans to shut down the support of 3G-enabled devices. This is not a surprise to any of us in the alarm industry, but in case you’ve been hibernating for some time, here are the details: By the end of 2022, many of the U.S.’s largest wireless carriers will shut down their 3G networks, and 3G devices based on this network technology will no longer have a connection. An estimated six million alarm industry radios will go dark with the sunset of 3G networks.


With the fourth generation (4G) of wireless technology widely available and 5G network support on the horizon, operators around the world have already or are in the process of shutting down 3G networks. This “sunset” of older infrastructure makes new technologies available and frees up bandwidth for faster 4G and 5G signals.


Of course, this transition significantly affects the monitoring industry. If an alarm system is installed with a 3G-compatible communicator, it will no longer work once carriers stop supporting 3G networks, and your customers’ systems could be affected. It’s imperative to act as soon as possible to avoid service disruptions.


Planning is key. But if you’re reading this and haven’t planned for this transition, some technologies can help. Since AT&T 3G GSM Communicators will no longer connect to a carrier network, CellBounce has developed technology designed to keep AlarmNet 3G GSM devices connected beyond the current 3G sunset.


CellBounce provides a connection between an existing AT&T 3G GSM Communicator and an AT&T LTE network. The end-user can easily install it by plugging it into an electrical outlet within 25 feet of their current communicator, reducing the need to send a technician to each site to upgrade or modify the existing device. When installed, CellBounce establishes a conversion of the current communicator signals on the new LTE service, maintaining communication with the AT&T network.


Technology should be a primary focus, but the timing must be on your radar as well: Although wireless carriers have publicized specific dates for 3G termination, this does not guarantee services will be fully available until the sunset. It is common for carriers to reduce coverage during transition periods. As the next evening of 3G is scheduled to occur at the end of 2022, you must be vigilant to ensure your customers are upgraded accordingly.


The promise of the future depends partly on the industry using assets most effectively so we all can experience the most robust network speeds and capacity, and innovators can build the products and services that will make our lives more efficient, safe, and productive. As a technology provider, these advancements lead to more opportunities for your business. The future is now, are you prepared?


To evaluate if it’s time for you to transition your customers, it’s best to contact your manufacturer partners to gain access to their support and timeline suggestions.