MAMA & AICC Work Together to Lobby Government and AT&T For
Delay in 3G Shutdown
“We’re not going to make it.” - John Brady, AICC Spokesman
In other MAMA news, as the only trade organization representing the needs of the medical alert monitoring and personal emergency response system industry, MAMA and the Alarm Industry Communications Committee (AICC) have joined forces to formally appeal to congress and AT&T through a petition filed with the FCC for a delay to AT&T’s planned 3G shutdown date – which is currently planned for February 2022.
In a showdown that’s been ongoing for over a year, AT&T is not backing down from its decision to move forward with the shutdown of its 3G network to make room for more 4G LTE and 5G devices.
Hampered by a double whammy of COVID and supply chain issues, member companies of the two trade organizations don’t see a path to successfully completing the transition before the rapidly approaching deadline – a failure that would have tremendous and cascading implications for the PERS industry and, of course, its customers, who could face a reality without functioning devices protecting them during emergencies.
The more than 30-page document filed earlier this year lays out facts surrounding the issue at hand, the plea to mandate that AT&T match Verizon’s December 2022 shutdown date, and what could happen if the transition goes down as planned.
MAMA President and CEO of Affiliated Monitoring Daniel Oppenheim spoke to Communications Daily about how he hopes the petition will appeal to the humanity of the FCC members. “The commissioners themselves are impacted,” said Oppenheim. “Their parents have medical alert systems. They go to work in buildings with fire alarms and live in homes with security alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. This is not an esoteric issue. It is easy to understand, and the consequences are real.”
AICC spokesman John Brady assures the commission that there will be consequences to not heeding the trade organization’s advice, “We’re facing the prospect of literally having to turn services off for these independent, elderly, living-at-home customers because we just can’t get to them,” he said.
“As much as we rely on AT&T and we understand the reasons why they’re working hard (to get to 4G and 5G), we face an insurmountable task trying to save and protect lives without 3G/4G units, and we really do need more time,” Brady said.
Holding firm to their position, AT&T puts the pandemic and supply chain issues aside while trying to assure the commission that they provided more than enough time to execute the transition, “Like others in the industry, we plan to end service on our 3G wireless network next year. This will help free up spectrum to better accommodate next-generation technologies and services. Since well before we announced the February 2022 3G sunset date three years ago, we have been working with our customers and business clients on this transition, and we will continue to do so,” said an AT&T statement provided to Fierce.
The impact of the lobby efforts as well as AT&T’s unwavering position remains to be seen – but the clock is ticking.
Let us know your thoughts on the impending transition. Will your company successfully meet the deadline, or will a delay be a welcomed respite? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know.