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2G Radio Sunset

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comments on 2G Radio Sunset from March 13m 2014 article
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Ken

re: 2G Radio Sunset

For some years, the radio manufacturing companies have been warning us about the “Sunset” of the G2 radio network in the United States. This should have given us ample time to swap everything out.

There are two frequencies in use in the United States for the 2G Band. One is 1900MHZ, and the other is 900MHZ. The sunset date is set at 2016, but ATT is shutting down the 1900MHZ portion of the service in the northeast at the end of this month. This leaves only the 900MHZ portion to handle all the traffic. Who knows how well the soon-to-be overloaded 900MHZ data band will function. As I understand it, when ATT did the shutdown of the 1900MHZ band in New England, they also knocked out the 900MHZ band for 60 days.

What is a Dealer to do? One option is to run out and change the radios at your cost. The second option is to inform your client of the necessary equipment upgrade and to make the changes. The third option is to wait and do nothing!

Doing the change at your expense can cost thousands or hundreds of thousand of dollars. Notifying the client and doing the change over in a timely fashion is good; but as Steven Pagliaro mentioned, you may lose the account. (The only caveat of the previous) is who will put in a $250+ radio (with labor) for free? The third option (“do nothing”) is an interesting choice. In this situation, the client will call you to tell you their system is displaying a communication failure. At this time, you can make the repair. Some of the 2G radios are used as backups and may never display any problem at the clients, but the central station should notify you of the problem.

One of the disturbing fact is as of last year, Honeywell, as well as other manufacturers, were still selling 2G radios. One of the models was the UL Listed Fire Radio, IPGSM-DP, with a replacement cost of over $600.00+ (with labor).

One other item which should be of extreme concern for central station and radio manufactures is that now the dealer is faced with replacing multiple radio communicators at the same time. This gives the dealer the opportunity to shop for a less expensive radio and service provider.  With the radios ranging from around $100.00 and the monitoring ranging from around $4.00 you need to take a hard look at which manufacturer you will select and who will provide the service. Switching from a $160.00 radio to a $100.00 radio can save thousands.

What are we to do? That is a business decision we will all have to make.

Mike Zemering, President
FM Systems
Plainview, NY|
President, Metropolitan Burglar and Fire Alarm Association of NY

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Ken,

In response to Steven Pagliaro’s email about the 2G shutdown, I wanted to remind dealers that there are “sunset-free” alternatives to cellular, namely radio networks such as the ones sold nationwide by CRN Wireless and AES.  By way of example, the NearNet UHF radio network has been operating for 29 consecutive years without a sunset.

Richard Moreau
CRN Wireless
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