AICC AT&T 3G SUNSET UPDATE
Saturday, February 26, 2022
We reach out today to share updates on this important week. AICC continues its significant efforts to ensure a safe and reasonable sunset of the AT&T 3G network.
Over the past year, AICC has gained support from the White House, many members of the US House and Senate, and various influential public interest groups including AARP and Public Knowledge. All these parties shared their concerns over the need for a safe and prudent shutdown process of AT&T’s 3G network.
FCC Petition for Emergency Relief
AICC submitted a Petition for Emergency Relief to the FCC asking it to extend AT&T’s 3G shutdown from February 22, 2022, to December 31, 2022 (which is the date Verizon will sunset its 3G network). Many stakeholders filed comments with the FCC on our petition. Every comment, with the obvious exception of AT&T’s, supported AICC’s request for an extension of AT&T’s deadline. Our supporters included several public safety entities.
AICC’s petition remains pending without action for the reason that the FCC commissioners remain unresolved on our petition. Unfortunately, we have been unable to obtain a resolution on our petition because the current Administration has been unable to gain confirmation of a fifth Commissioner by the US Senate.
AICC estimated that as of December 2020 there were 6 million alarm systems with 3G radios that needed to be replaced. We currently estimate that the alarm industry has managed to replace approximately 4 million of those 3G radios. This was accomplished by the industry despite multiple challenges it faced, including the severe pandemic, a chip shortage, and multiple supply chain obstacles.
T-Mobile Roaming Solution
Among AICC’s multiple extensive advocacy efforts, we have been in dialogue with the FCC Chairwoman and others diligently attempting to find alternative avenues to mitigate the impact of the 3G sunset.
AICC’s extensive efforts to raise awareness of this issue and to advocate on behalf of the industry helped to spur action. Recently, the FCC Chairwoman and her staff showed leadership by helping to broker a roaming agreement between AT&T and T-Mobile. This arrangement was publicly announced by AT&T on February 15.
The T-Mobile roaming solution is only available to a certain subset of devices that are in areas where T-Mobile has coverage and have AT&T SIM cards which are both on the Cisco Jasper platform and configured for roaming.
T-Mobile will not shut down its 3G service until July 1, 2022, and therefore this roaming option could make it possible for several hundred thousand alarm systems to maintain connectivity past the AT&T shut down.
AICC appreciates the efforts of all parties involved in generating this creative partial solution.
Please note, this roaming solution is not automatic, and companies must proactively arrange for it. Alarm companies should reach out to their relevant provider of AT&T connectivity to determine which, if any, of their customers’ 3G radios can roam onto the T-Mobile network.
Current Status of the AT&T Sunset
AICC has learned that AT&T is implementing its 3G shutdown in stages. Based on their current plan, certain areas of the country may still have AT&T 3G connectivity for several weeks. However, AT&T has been explicit that the shutdown will occur, and thus alarm companies should continue their aggressive efforts to replace as many 3G radios as possible.
AICC remains fully engaged on this issue and is still in active discussions with AT&T, the FCC, and legislators to provide as safe an environment as possible in which to complete the sunset.