Boldly Facing the ’2G Sunset’

Earlier this week, Connected World covered Telular’s new line of 3G-enabled wireless security solutions. As the editors spoke with Shawn Welsh, the company’s vice president of marketing and business development, about the announcement, it quickly became clear that however interesting Telular’s new products—such as its 3G PERS unit—were, the real conversation revolved around what Telular was describing as the so-called “2G sunset” related to IP-based security. We were curious, just how will OEMs and solution providers in the security space that have traditionally dealt in 2G make the switch to 3G?

The term “2G sunset” would lead me to believe this is an event, but one that will take place so gradually that, like a sunset, it will likely end with a pitter patter, not a bang. Essentially, the term refers to the point in time when 2G products will be forced to evolve to the next generation of cellular network—in this case, 3G.

For Telular, which provides M2M-enabled security solutions via its Telguard product line, this posed a problem. It had reached a point where it was no longer beneficial for its customers (primarily residential and commercial security dealers) to continue to install 2G GSM or GPRS products. Welsh says the question became: How do we make the company’s position on the 2G sunset clear to dealers?

While its announcement last week that the company will cease manufacturing of 2G products and move everything over the 3G (100% by April) may have come as a shock to some dealers, Telular also announced it will absorb all of the costs associated with the more expensive 3G hardware.

Not only is the company not changing its prices, its not changing model numbers, either. Welsh says the company decided to approach the issue as transparently as possible, making its strategy regarding 2G and the switch to 3G perfectly clear to its dealers and to all interested parties.

To do so, Telular offers an “impact calculator” on its Website (www.2Gsunset.com), which will help companies understand the switchover’s financial impact. Welsh says the impact will be equivalent to about one month of recurring revenue; Telular hopes that as a result of its efforts, dealers will be able to spread that amount over the course of five years.

While the end of the line for 2G is likely still a ways out, there will eventually come a time when the sun will set on 2G, and it will fully rise on 3G. Now, the question is, how long until the 4G sunrise?

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