3G Sunset | Overview & Objectives

At this point, you’re certainly aware of the 3G Sunset. But just in case you’re not, the situation is pretty simple. In the not-too-distant future, communications traffic over the 3G network will be a thing of the past as carriers finalize the transition to LTE (Long-Term Evolution). That means that when this transition occurs, security systems and other devices on the Internet of Things (IoT) that rely on 3G will no longer be able to communicate, rendering them essentially useless.

As of this writing, the major carriers have announced the following 3G sunset dates:

AT&T: 02/01/2022

Sprint: 12/31/2022

T-Mobile: 12/31/2020

Verizon: 12/31/2019

But don’t be lulled into a false sense of security by these dates:

  • They are “moving targets” and have been changed by the carriers
  • 3G towers that go down for other reasons are being replaced by LTE
  • Carrier partners are making their own changes to the network footprint
  • It will probably take longer than you anticipate to complete the upgrades

In short, the transition is happening right now and there is no clear schedule as to when a specific area will be impacted. That means security systems and other devices that rely on 3G in any given area could “go dark” and stop communicating at any time.

In this course, you will learn what you should be doing right now to advise your customers about this transition and get impacted systems upgraded in the most efficient and cost effective manner possible. We will also discuss how to use this situation to your advantage to create very significant new business opportunities and provide you with the tools and implementation resources you need to get the job done.

The Situation             

  • Millions of radios need replacement
  • Dealers have anywhere from hundreds to thousands of radios to replace
  • By February 2022, all 3G Cellular Towers are slated to be replaced with LTE
  • Individual Cellular Towers are being replaced in ‘random’ locations today – prior to this official deadline.  Results in disruption of service immediately
  • Current 3G and 4G Cellular Radio Communicators will cease to communicate on or before this date
  • Failure to replace these communicators before deadline will result in a disruption of service / communication of alarm signals

Problems Created

  • Time-sensitive.  There is a hard deadline of 2/22 (for AT&T).  With the additional threat of the ‘Network Footprint’ may change between now and the actual deadline which would leave areas without 3G/4G cellular coverage to affected areas
  • Failure to begin in a timely manner – TODAY!
  • Requires physical site visit to perform replacement – 100% of cases
  • Labor-intensive. Scarcity of technicians / technical resources to perform service
  • Expensive.  Non-revenue producing visits to client sites
  • ‘Spinning your wheels’.  Many site visits that produce no profit.  Increased activity + Reduced efficiency = lack of profitability
    • Admin Staff
    • Central Station Staff
    • Technical Staff
    • Sales Staff
  • Lack of communication with Dealer’s client base
  • Confusion.  Customers / end-users do not understand:
    • Nature of the problem itself / need to replace older radio
    • ‘Why’ it is their problem and cost to replace.  Many feel it should be the ‘Alarm Company’s responsibility’ to replace

Implications of Problem(s)

  • Unprofitable / expensive
  • Cost of equipment
  • Labor costs
    • Communication and scheduling
    • Travel
    • Site visit by Technicians
  • Loss of new business due to labor shortage(s) / restricted growth
  • Time consuming
  • Frustration for Dealer
  • Frustration for Customer
  • Attrition / Loss of Customer
    • Some Customers will simply cancel service entirely
    • Some will seek alternative provider
    • Poaching by competitor
    • DIY
  • Stress

Effect on Operations

  • Con(s)
    • Reduced productivity
    • Reduced efficiency
    • Increased demand for communication with Customer Base
    • Increased Attrition
    • Increased Costs
    • Reduced Revenue / Profits
    • Flat growth – RMR
  • Pro(s)
    • Maintain RMR stream / customer base
    • Ability to profit from new radio sales / upgrades
    • Ability to positively engage customer base
    • Opportunity to SELL additional services and features
      • Upgrade system / keypads
      • New systems like Video / Cameras, SmartHome, Environmental Monitoring, Video Alarm Verification, etc.
      • TC App / Awareness and notification.  “Get your home / business talking to you”
    • Ability to increase RMR
    • Opportunity to gather referrals / new client potential from existing customer
    • Ability for Sales Team to cloverleaf the neighborhoods your Technicians are working in
    • Leave a positive impression with your Customer Base
      • Always prepared
      • Always protecting the customer
      • Peace of mind