Over the next 18-24 months, Ofcom has announced that 2G & 3G networks will be switched off. However, it’s not just your mobile phone that could be affected; your commercial security could also leave you vulnerable.
What’s actually happening?
Over the past few years, the prevalence of 4G and 5G has dominated the technology space. As a result, mobile network providers have gradually been phasing out older technologies such as 2G and 3G devices. The final stage of this process is the complete decommissioning of these networks, in which mobile providers will switch off the 2G and 3G services completely.
The move to 4G and 5G networks is already providing the public with better, faster and more reliable services than ever before. So as mobile network providers continue to focus on improving these services, they can no longer support the delivery of 2G and 3G.
Three of the four major mobile network providers in the UK have already announced when they will begin to switch off their 3G services:
- Vodafone is starting its switch-off in early 2023.
- EE plans to start its switch-off in early 2024.
- Three expect to switch off by the end of 2024.
- O2 has not yet announced any switch-off plans.
This switch-off will prevent devices that still utilise 3G from accessing data services such as the internet or email. However, they may still be able to make calls and send text messages through the 2G network. Nevertheless, this will also be short-lived, as the 2G network will cease operation before 2033.
But, it’s not just mobile devices that utilise the 2G and 3G networks; other devices such as security systems, alarms, and even payment terminals may be affected.
Why will this impact commercial security systems?
Some older commercial security systems utilise 2G or 3G networks to send signals to alarm receiving centres (ARCs) or monitoring stations. As a result, those systems that are not 4G or 5G enabled will no longer be able to communicate with monitoring stations and cease to provide the same level of protection.
The UK is also preparing for the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) to be terminated by 2025, which means old analogue networks will also cease to operate. Therefore any commercial security systems which still rely on phone lines will also become obsolete by 2025.
Newer commercial security systems which are 4G or 5G enabled will be unaffected, but some earlier models may require a software update. It’s best to check with your manufacturer or security system provider if this may be the case for your system.
What should you do next?
The first step is to check if your equipment still relies on 2G or 3G networks. If you are unsure if this will impact your commercial security systems, we are more than happy to provide a free audit to check your equipment. Simply contact us today to arrange a visit from one of our expert commercial security experts.
If you are impacted by the decommissioning of the 2G and 3G networks, it’s time to plan to upgrade your equipment. Here at JKE Fire and Security, we have independently tested the latest commercial security technologies so that we can provide you with the most suitable recommendations for your business. Contact us today to arrange a free consultation and quote.