Decommissioning of 2G GSM Cellular Transmitter Units

Dear Valued Client;

This letter is to inform you of an issue regarding the decommissioning of 2G GSM Cellular Transmitter Units.

When cellular communications were first utilized in the monitoring industry, equipment utilized the AMPS cellular network.  This network was decommissioned in 2008, and the security and monitoring industry was forced to adopt a newer technology – 2G cellular transmission.  This technology utilized General Packet Radio Service technology, and operated at speeds far superior to the AMPS network.  This technology has been surpassed by 3G and now 4G/LTE technology, which you have likely heard of on the television and radio advertisements, and offers high speed wireless communications.

4G LTE cellular connectivity, which allows for large downloads at high speed.  Consumer demand for the 4G LTE has put pressure on the carriers to replace the less profitable 2G service with the more lucrative 4G LTE.  This replacement is known as the 2G sunset. Meanwhile, the many businesses that have relied on the 2G network for connecting their devices for all these years must decide ho to move forward.

Now that the 2G system has been surpassed 2 times over, we are on the verge of another “sunset” period for the 2G Cellular service.  Indeed, in the United States, AT&T, Rogers has announced that it would completely discontinue service on its 2G(GSM/GPRS/EDGE) network by the end of 2016. Though the announcement gave a definitive end to 2G services, in Canada, security and monitoring providers generally utilize the Rogers cellular network for transmission, and they are provisioning the spectrum away from 2G which is already under way, some 2G products in the field today are already experiencing connectivity issues, and many areas are seeing reduced capacity on the 2G network as they continue to invest in their own high-speed offerings.

What does this mean? It means that over time, the cellular service on you monitored system may degrade as older 2G towers are replaced, and this may result in communications issues with your alarm system.  This does mean that in the next few years the 2G communicator you may be using as a primary or as a back-up must be replaced.

In the coming months, BML / Hometech Security Representatives will be in contact with all of our customers with regards to the looming 2G shutdown.  We will be presenting you with options for a smooth transition to the 3G network (the network currently used by monitoring providers), which is expected to have a life expectancy into the mid- 2020’s, to ensure no “crunch time” issues will present themselves.

If you are an existing customer and have any questions about this, or have a security system and wish to talk about your current setup, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Thank You,

BML Security / Hometech Security

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