The 3G sunset is imminent. Beginning on February 22, AT&T will no longer support 3G (and older) devices on its network. The other major telecommunications carriers are following suit in waves throughout the rest of this year.
By the end of 2022, the 3G sunset will have impacted more than just cell phones. Among the more than 20 million impacted devices are smart-home and medical devices, electric vehicle charging equipment, and the modems and meters that monitor and report solar system output.
William Weisbecker, 365 Pronto’s Vice President-Sales, Solar and Battery Storage Solutions, cautioned solar system owners to make sure they are navigating the 3G sunset with seamless connectivity in mind.
“Solar owners should know that the only way to ensure seamless system monitoring and reporting is to replace your outdated 3G equipment with models that operate on 4G/LTE/5G networks,” Weisbecker said.
“Cellular towers are part of our core infrastructure and have fail-safes in place to maintain continuous connectivity. Relying on WiFi and ethernet connections drastically increases the risk of interruptions in monitoring and reporting.”
While homeowners may elect to link their equipment to their home WiFi or connect their system to an ethernet connection, these options have limitations. If customers change internet carriers, reset their routers, or change their passwords, they must reconnect their system to their WiFi—all of which could lead to interruptions in monitoring.
Running a hardwired ethernet connection also presents some challenges for residential customers, as most home routers are centrally located. Cable runs over 328ft run the risk of deteriorating signal strength reducing the overall reliability and speed of your network connection. In addition, running long ethernet cables externally around a home typically involves the use of a conduit to help the cable withstand the outdoor environment. If poorly installed this can lead to unsightly, uneven conduit running around the external perimeter of a property, something that most homeowners may want to avoid.
Weisbecker, who has 15 years of experience in solar energy, noted that 365 Pronto’s full-service 3G solutions have helped businesses, solar renewable energy credit (SREC) aggregators, and residential and commercial solar owners navigate the 3G sunset. The wraparound service includes:
- Customer outreach
- Equipment order and shipping logistics
- Equipment replacement by a 365 Pronto provider
- Disposal of outdated equipment
Increased demand for equipment, paired with pandemic-related workforce shortages and shipping delays, have created a long waitlist for some solar modems and meters. Weisbecker cautioned businesses to plan ahead and prepare customers now for the 3G sunset.
For more information about Weisbecker, 365 Pronto, and the platform’s 3G sunset solutions, contact email@example.com.