As part of issuing its 10-Q filings with the SEC, AT&T Inc. formally announced its plan to sunset 2G technology: “We expect to fully discontinue service on our 2G networks by approximately January 1, 2017.” - ATT.com
For many years, cellular 2G data services have been used in M2M applications such as Point-of-Sale, Digital Signage, Managed Network Services, SCADA, Environmental Monitoring, Remote Sensors, Data Access, etc. Now, with the oncoming sunset of the 2G cellular networks, these M2M applications can maintain connectivity by upgrading to cellular 3G or 4G LTE data services.
Why is a USR 3G or 4G LTE Cellular Modem/Gateway an ideal replacement for 2G solutions?
- Easy replacements — The USR cellular modem or gateways can usually be configured for the same functionality as the 2G modem or gateway being replaced.
- The USR3500 3G cellular modem’s embedded application provides high-level programming capabilities that streamlines duplication of the 2G modem’s required operation.
- The USR3510/USR803510 3G cellular gateway supports functionality common to most 2G gateways, allowing duplication of the 2G gateway’s required operation.
- The USR3513 Courier M2M 4G LTE Cat 1 Cellular gateway also supports functionality common to most 2G gateways, allowing duplication of the 2G gateway's required operation.
- Backward Compatibility — System software that works with 2G cellular modems or gateways typically won’t need replacement when upgrading the devices to 3G or 4G.
- Broad Coverage — Mature 3G networks provide cellular coverage nearly everywhere. 4G LTE networks have also matured providing expansive coverage.
- Flexible Installation — Durable, easy to mount, industrial aluminum and steel housings.
- Cellular Sales & Engineering — project developer assistance available from USR.
Things to take into consideration:
- Application Interoperability – Some M2M software applications send setup commands to the cellular communications device in real-time, while some others expect the communications device to be pre-configured.
- The AT commands needed to operate the USR3500 may be different than the commands that operate the 2G modem, so if your application sends commands in real-time, check your application software to see if you can change the commands used in the modem interface protocol.
- Cellular gateways generally are not configurable with modem-type AT commands, so software applications that interoperate with a cellular gateway would expect the gateway to be pre-configured.
- All of the USR products (USR3500, USR3510/USR803510, and USR3513/USR803513) can be pre-configured for use with M2M software applications that expects the communications device to be pre-configured. The USR3500 would be pre-configured via AT commands, the USR3510/USR803510 and USR3513/USR803513 would be pre-configured via its Graphical User Interface (GUI).
- Antenna – Custom 2G antennas may need upgrading to 3G/4G LTE.
Wide Cellular Coverage
Agricultural monitoring systems that rely on cellular communications require wide cellular coverage in remote rural areas. For several years the 2G cellular network has offered wide coverage, but 2G coverage is now shrinking because networks are steadily converting to 3G. Unfortunately the 2G cellular modems used in these agricultural monitoring systems are not forward-compatible with the 3G networks! To keep the agricultural monitoring systems operational, their 2G cellular modems must be replaced with reliable 3G modems.