Chances are if you have a cellular phone or a smartphone—and these days, who doesn’t?—then you’ve seen a little 2G (or perhaps more likely 3G or 4G) logo up in usually the top right-hand corner of your phone. You probably even know that those symbols have something to do with your cellular service. What you may not know is what those numbers and letters stand for, and what they mean for your commercial security in Kansas City.
2G stands for second generation, and refers to the wireless technology used to provide your cellular signal. While 2G is still the most common type of wireless cellular communication, it is gradually being replaced with more advanced and efficient 3 and 4G options, which have data rates ranging from hundreds of kilobits per second to hundreds of megabits per second.
Recently, AT&T has provided notice that they will be decommissioning several of their 2G sites in Missouri and Kansas starting August 15, 2016 in order to upgrade to 3G and 4G networks. Called “2G harvesting,” the process involves re-purposing 2G frequencies to handle 3G and 4G traffic.
So, what does that mean for your commercial security in Kansas City? Well, it could mean quite a lot. Some older residential and commercial security systems use 2G cellular communicators, located inside the alarm panel itself, to communicate with your commercial or residential security provider, or with 24/7 monitoring.
It’s possible that even if you do have an alarm system that uses 2G communication, it could be what’s called a “dual-frequency” unit, allowing it to automatically default to another frequency in the event of an outage like the one that AT&T’s 2G harvesting may cause. Many other systems, however, will need to be upgraded to a 3G-compatible system or face outages, potentially losing connectivity completely.
If you’re in an affected area—or think that you might be—your best bet is to get in touch with your Kansas City residential or commercial security provider to evaluate your system and make any needed updates. Periodic evaluations of your commercial security in Kansas City are always a good idea anyway, and a switchover like the one that AT&T has announced is a good time to get your system looked at to make sure that everything is performing up to snuff. Maybe you’ve already got a system that won’t be affected by the loss of 2G service, but having a commercial security professional take a look at it might find other shortfalls that can save your business time and money in the long run.
So if you think that your commercial security in Kansas City might be affected by AT&T’s 2G harvesting, then there’s no better time to contact A-TEC Security. We can look over your current system, let you know if it might be affected and how, make any needed updates, and suggest upgrades or other commercial security solutions that might better serve your needs.