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2.3.21 – SSI –  Steve Karantzoulidis – NEW YORK CITY

After several delays, Verizon has cemented the date of its 3G sunset. Experts share advice for upgrading security customers.

The pending 3G sunset has left security integrators scrambling to upgrade the radios of its customers to prevent them from losing communication with central stations.

While Verizon (NYSE: VZ) previously said to expect its 3G sunset to be completed by December 2022, an executive recently told Mobile World Live that it now expects to complete its 3G network shutdown by Jan. 1, 2023.

A Verizon representative also told Mobile World Live that some customers may experience a degradation or loss of service as decommissioning continues, but said it won’t “shut any customer off without notice.”

Verizon has moved its shutdown date several times since its original Dec. 31, 2019 deadline. Verizon’s chief competitor, AT&T, plans to sunset its 3G network in February 2022.

With the clock ticking, it is integral for security integrators to upgrade their customers to 4G/LTE technology.

United Central Control Account Manager Sarah Salazar says the first step dealers need to take is to put together a complete list of all the 3G units that need to be upgraded. Then, create a schedule for your company to replace them.

“Since replacing all of your units in one month isn’t a goal most companies can accomplish while onboarding new business and maintaining service levels for existing accounts, you’ll need a plan. As they say, you have to eat the elephant one bite at a time, so make sure you realistically prepare your 3G upgrade schedule taking into account the difficulty of getting a hold of some of your customers,” she explains.

Security consultant and Monitoring Matters columnist Peter Giacalone says dealers and monitoring centers must look at the sunset as an opportunity to both assure their subscribers have the proper systems and, most importantly, standardize on a service and/or platform for servicing their clients.