Cellular Technology Upgrades Coming Soon
Cellular communication has evolved as the most efficient, most secure and most reliable form of data transmission for the alarm industry. For our equipment to operate properly, and provide emergency services when needed, we must stay up to date with current communication technology. Therefore, all burglary and fire alarm panels utilizing 3G cellular communication will need to be updated in the very near future. If you have received this letter, then your equipment is among the many which require an upgrade.
Cellular technology is constantly evolving to become faster, process more data, serve larger areas and perform more complex tasks. 1X and 2G cellular services are now a distant memory, while 3G service will be ending soon. 4G is now the standard service which is deployed by all major cellular carriers. 4G service is expected to remain in operation through 2028, before the next transition to 5G.
Major carriers Verizon and AT&T have announced that 3G service will be completely decommissioned by the end of 2021, meaning that all 3G phones, modems and communication modules utilizing 3G service will cease to operate. This includes the 3G communication module in your alarm panel. We have already seen some 3G services end in our state because the FCC does not require the carriers to repair legacy equipment. The carrier simply chooses to upgrade the equipment now, rather than repairing equipment slated for replacement.
With the upgrade to 4G, some services for your alarm panel may change. Text messaging for arming, disarming and alarm notifications will no longer be available. Text service will be replaced by the DMP Virtual Keypad App. The Virtual Keypad App provides access to a world of new features, including cloud video, video doorbell, door locks, and home automation, along with total control and real-time monitoring of your alarm system. Monthly prices for the App services will be the same or in some instances less, than the current text messaging services. Additionally, where text messaging was limited to 3 users, App services can have unlimited users at no additional cost. A brochure has been included with this letter to help introduce and explain these new features.
What do I need to do?
A representative from our office will contact you in the coming months to schedule an appointment for the upgrade. We will be on-site for about 1 hour to complete the upgrade.
What if my alarm panel stops communicating?
If a carrier prematurely ends 3G service in a certain coverage area, we will make every effort to expedite the upgrade for affected customers. We do not receive advance information from Verizon or AT&T regarding their service coverage or tower decommissioning dates. We do monitor your alarm panel’s test communication with the central station and will advise you if it fails to communicate.
What is the cost of the upgrade?
The cost of the new 4G cellular modem which needs to be installed and programmed into your alarm panel is $199 plus tax. To keep costs as low as possible, a flat $40 service fee will be charged for the service call, hardware upgrade, software upgrade and programming, along with activation of the Virtual Keypad App if applicable.
What if I want to add new features?
If you are interested in adding any of the exciting new products and features listed in the brochure, we will be happy to answer your questions and provide pricing.
We appreciate you trusting VEI Protective Services with your security and fire alarm services. Please feel free to contact our office with any questions or concerns you might have. Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Tim Wampler - Owner
VEI Protective Services