2G vs. 3G/4G | Alarm Monitoring Needs

Alarm RelayTechnology

One of the greatest things about technology is that it evolves. The VHS became the DVD. The LP became the cassette tape, the cassette became the CD, and the CD gave way to digital music files. Cellular communications are no different: our analog phones were replaced by 2G (“2nd Generation”) within the last decade. Soon, we’ll be facing another cellular extinction: the death of 2G technology in favor of 3G (“3rd Generation”) and 4G (4th Generation”).

You may not think the 3G/4G revolution has any effect on your life. You probably already have a smartphone that uses 3G or 4G. If you’re one of the few that still have 2G phones, there’s little chance you’ll be using it when 2G communications became obsolete: cellular phone providers and dealers have already stopped selling 2G phones.

But there is one factor that you may not have considered: your cellular alarm communicator.

Why Should I Worry About 2G Communicators? My System Still Works Fine!

Though we always want the latest technology in our cell phones, our customers often follow the “If it isn’t broken, why fix it?” mantra when it comes to their alarm systems — it’s why our clients often discover communication errors when they switch to Alarm Relay. Their old security system monitoring company never tested for communication errors, so our customers never knew their systems weren’t communicating with their previous company’s Central Station.

Similarly, many customers simply don’t know they’re using 2G technology in their cellular communicators, and they don’t know why they should upgrade their system. As 2G technology is phased out of use,  customers most likely won’t understand why their home alarm system is having more and more technical issues.

To cut off any communication problems before they start, we’re advising our alarm monitoring customers to switch to a 3G/4G alarm communicators before 2G technology becomes obsolete.

Preparing for the 2G Sunset

The “2G Sunset” is the phase-out process of the 2G network. A similar process has already happened with analog phones. Analog phone technology was introduced in 1983. When 2G technology was introduced in 1995, it began slowly replacing analog phones. As more people started using 2G phones, phone companies had fewer reasons to continue supporting analog technology. Shortly after the launch of 3G technology, we entered the Analog Sunset: a time period where analog phones were phased out in favor of 2G and 3G. By 2008, analog phones no longer functioned. The Analog Sunset was complete.

With the introduction of 4G technology, 2G is set to have the same fate as analog. The 2G Sunset has begun. It’s predicted that 2G technology will be obsolete by 2017, giving the alarm industry and its customers just five years to switch over to 3G or 4G.

2G Communicators Will Get Slower

In past years, both 2G and 3G/4G communicators have been sharing the same higher-speed bandwidth. However, as the number of 3G and 4G-capable devices increases, 2G devices will get “muscled out” and forced onto a slower bandwidth, causing communication issues for you and your security system monitoring company.

Though we still happily service 2G alarm systems, our UL listed alarm monitoring services are most efficient with 3G and 4G communicators. Not sure if your communicator is a 2G or 3G/4G? Our Central Station is UL Listed in both monitoring and system installation. Although we do not install systems nationwide, there is someone available who can assist you with your questions or concerns. Give us a call, we’ll be happy to assist you.

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