What is 2G Network?

Communication tower during sunsetWhat is 2G Network?

Technology is moving at an incredibly fast rate, and you don’t have to be a tech-savvy person to reap the benefits of this. Many of the services you rely on everyday use this technology and while you don’t have to understand it, it helps to be informed of how it affects you.

When technologies become outdated and replaced by better, faster technologies, it means that new services become available, or current services become better. One downside, though, is that if you are using outdated technology, you may experience poor service that can cause you problems, sometimes serious ones.

What Is 2G Technology?

When you hear the term “2G” you may first think of your phone service carrier. You would be correct. AT&T and TMobile both use 2G, 3G and 4G networks to provide mobile service to their customers. This bandwidth was the first of its kind and replaced the older, analog technology several years ago. While analog is still in use, of course, a majority of people rely on 2, 3 and 4G services for their mobile phones, tablets, computers and more. The “G” simply stands for Generation.

In addition to phone service, though, there are other industries that use these networks. One of them may be your home security system.

As far as mobile phones are concerned, 2G is fairly outdated, having been virtually replaced by faster and more advanced 3G and 4G networks that you likely use everyday. 2G is still alive and well, however, and is relied on by many businesses.

All this is about to change in the next few years. The decision has been made to permanently retire 2G in order to free up network “space” needed by the faster networks. Over time, 2G will simply cease to exist.

How Does This Affect Your Security System?

Many security systems rely on AT&T’s 2G network for their radios to operate, to communicate between the customer’s home, the security headquarters and police and fire stations. Without the 2G network, service will cease to exist.

Of course, the shutdown is still a few years away, giving home security companies plenty of time to switch their networks over to the faster and more reliable 3G or 4G systems. However, even now towers are being converted to 3G and 4G to increase their service area. This means that resources are being pulled away from 2G in order to support the faster networks.

How does This Affect You Right Now?

The problem is, even before the shutdown, networks will begin to reroute and redistribute bandwidth, lowering the amount available for the older networks. What this means is that customers who use and rely on 2G will experience delays and drops in their service.

If your alarm company is currently running on this bandwidth, then there is a good chance their service is already being compromised. Their radios may already be experiencing slowed down response times or crowded networks. This means that your security service may fail you when you need it most.

So What Should You Do?

Before a problem happens, you should consult with your current home security system to find out if they have made the switch to 3G or 4G service. If they have, then you don’t have anything to worry about. If they haven’t, find out if they are in the process of making this change. Again, the final shutdown will not be taking place for about three to five years, so some companies may be waiting until the deadline is a bit closer in order to avoid the costs of making the switch. The danger here is that their service may be affected.

If you are informed that your home security provider is in the process of switching their radios to a higher bandwidth, be sure to ask them how long this will take, and if there will be any additional costs to their service.

If you find that your home security service is using the outdated bandwidth, it is best to switch over to a company that is using at least 3G service. By doing this, you are ensuring that your service does not experience any delays in the event of an emergency. For example, if someone breaks into your home, you want to know that the message gets to the authorities immediately, so that a car can be dispatched. A delay of even thirty seconds can make a huge difference should someone be breaking into your home.

The Outcome Is Better Security For Your Home

While this change can feel a bit alarming, it is ultimately a good thing. 3G and 4G networks are simply faster and more reliable. The sooner businesses switch to this, the better, especially when it comes to home and business security systems. At this point, it is no longer safe to have a security system that runs on 2G.