How to move forward instead of sideways when migrating your 2G systems
The announcement of the 2G Sunset is the biggest thing to hit the US alarm monitoring industry in a long time and it is not really
ethical to install 2G transmission equipment from this point on. New connections aside, there are around 3 million 2G systems out there
that need to be upgraded before the end of 2016. That's a big task to undertake, especially with the much better equipped Telco's looking
over our shoulders.
Notice that we used the word UPGRADE. The reason we stress this is because the cellular providers would have you migrate your systems to a 3G network, which is sidestepping the issue rather than confronting it and turning it into an opportunity to improve on the services you provide to your 2G Customers today.
The definition of an upgrade is "To raise to a higher grade or standard". The only thing that migration to 3G accomplishes, is that it takes your Customers past the 2G sunset date. That hardly qualifies as an upgrade.
Unfortunately, many Alarm Dealers will only understand 3G as a replacement for 2G without realizing that it is actually an IP based network. With slick marketing campaigns from Cellular providers keen to hold onto their RMR and even keener to steal Customers away from competitors slower to react than themselves, many Dealers will fall for the spin and follow blindly. Don't be one of them.
There are many reasons why migration to 3G might not be the best option for your business:
1. Cost. Given that 3G is simply a wireless Internet connection, many of your Customers will surely ask why they should pay for a second Internet connection when they already have one in place.
You should be able to justify the cost of a backup cellular Internet connection for a dual path upgrade if it could be used by your Customers for their computers and other networked devices, but cellular alarm providers "lock down" their networks so that they can only be used by the alarm system. As much as the cellular providers will try to defend this approach on the grounds of increased security, most Customers will realize that a second, proprietary network is not a cost effective use of resources.
2. Bandwidth. You already know that verified policies are sweeping the country and that video verification will go mainstream soon, so why migrate to a network like 3G that is simply not up to the job? Even if it were up to the job, the cellular providers would get to decide if they will allow video over their networks or not.
You need to take this opportunity to ensure that your Customers are upgraded with equipment that is "video-ready" and future-proof.
3. Remote programming and two-way voice. If these are important to your business, then you need to pay particular attention.
There will be many discussions over the coming months and years about the various ways to migrate your systems away from 2G. Keep in mind that your POTS based systems will likely need to be migrated too, so this makes your decision even more critical.
Do your homework thoroughly and be sure you make the right decision for the future of your company.