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3G Sunset Date For Cellular GPS Medical Alert Systems

3G Sunset For Medical Life Alert Systems

The 3G sunset for cellular medical alert systems on the AT&T network occurred on Tuesday 2/22/22. See if yours is affected on our list below



If you have a personal emergency response system (also called an PERS device) using cellular communication to the monitoring center, you’ll need to make sure it still works when AT&T, Verizon, and other cellular carriers discontinue (“sunset”) the current 3G network.

Most Medical Care Alert clients have already had their 3G-based cellular medical alert systems replaced with our new 4G-LTE systems which should last for the next 10 years or so. We’ve put this guide together to help folks with other systems know what is happening, and what to do next.
 
If you still have any of the following systems, please call Medical Care Alert customer service at 877-913-3680 to order your free replacement cellular medical alert system:


HOME & AWAY ELITE GPS Medical Alert SystemHOME & AWAY PRIMO medical alert device GPS 3GHOME-3G Medical Care Alert System

 

 

HOME-3G Medical Alert System
HOME & AWAY PRIMO mobile Medical Alert System with GPS
HOME & AWAY ELITE mobile Medical Alert System with GPS

 

Frequently Asked Questions About The 3G Sunset Date:

Q. When is the 3G sunset date for AT&T?
A. AT&T will completely shut down the national 3G cellular network on February 22, 2022.

Q. Why do I need to do something before the 3G sunset date?
A. While the official 3G sunset date for AT&T is February 22, 2022 that is the final cut off date for the network. Prior to that date, AT&T is quietly decommissioning 3G cellular towers, reducing bandwidth, reallocating bandwidth, and not repairing failing 3G towers. This means you can suddenly lose service without notice, and be without your life saving cellular medical alert device able to communicate to the network.
 

T-Mobile will finish shutting down Sprint’s 3G network, also known as CDMA, on March. 31, 2022, and retire Sprint’s LTE network by June 30, 2022. T-Mobile also plans to shut down its 3G networks by July 1, 2022, and will retire its older GSM 2G network, but no date has been set.

Verizon said it would finish decommissioning its 3G network by Dec. 31, 2022.


Q. Which cellular medical alert systems are affected, and what should I do?
A. Below is a list of systems that are impacted – you should contact your provider, but if you’re not sure or would like to upgrade to Medical Care Alert’s service, please call us at 855-272-1010. Use promo code “SUNSET” to get 10% off your order when you switch to Medical Care Alert. Not all systems are listed, and any trademarks are the property of the respective medical alert companies:
 
      • Bay Alarm Medical
        • MXD-3G
      • Connect America / Medical Alert
        • MXD-3G
        • Mobile Elite
        • Home Cellular 3G
        • Mobile365 (Numera Libris)
      • Great Call
        • Jitterbug 3G
        • Splash 3G
        • Lively Mobile + 3G
      • Medical Guardian
        • Mobile Guardian 3G
        • Active Guardian 3G
        • Classic Guardian 3G
      • MobileHelp:
        • MobileHelp Solo 3G
        • MobileHelp Duo 3G
        • MobileHelp Classic 3G
      • Various resellers:
        • Belle 3G
        • Belle + 3G
        • Numera Libris
        • Brighton Sky 3G
        • SkyAngel 3G
        • Securus 3G
        • Freeus 3G
        • Essence 3G
        • iHelp 3G
        • Life Alert Help Phone 3G
        • ADT
        • Philips Lifeline
  • Your cellular medical alert device not listed? Call 855-272-1010, use promo code “SUNSET” to save 10% and upgrade quickly.
 
Q. What is an mPERS device?
A. A mobile Personal Emergency Response system is basically a miniature cell phone that calls an emergency response center. mPERS devices have built in GPS to find your location and allows the emergency response center to send help to your location.
 
The mobile cellular medical alert system is perfect for active seniors, lone workers, real estate agents, or anyone who may need to summon help outside of the home. Widely introduced in 2013, mPERS mobile medical alert systems have become very popular and saved many lives.
 
Q. What is the 3G Sunset, and why is it happening?
A. All major network carriers in the US, including AT&T and Verizon, have announced they will soon discontinue 3G services and transition to 4G LTE networks. Carriers are not allowing any 3G activations or re-activations and are strongly encouraging users to upgrade their devices before 3G service is discontinued. For AT&T, the sunset of 3G service is expected to happen as early as February 22, 2022, with Verizon no later than December 31, 2022.
 
While previous PERS devices communicate using CDMA and 3G (GSM) technologies, 4G LTE is the higher performance next generation technology offering faster, more efficient, and stronger broadband services consumers have come to demand. This 4G network provides infrastructure that allows PERS devices to interact with emergency services through the emergency response center). 
 
Even though this 3G shutdown has been reported on in the news, many folks are unaware their cellular medical systems running on 3G networks will stop working in 2022.
 


Q. What happens if I don't upgrade my 3G device?
A. It won't work. The official last day to “sunset” the network is February 22, 2022. But cell towers are being quietly decommissioned nationwide when they need service, or are being replaced with 5G bandwidth. This means any 3G device is at risk of not being able to communicate without any warning or advance notice. The network plays an essential role in the ability to send push fall detection and other alert notifications, firmware updates, and device information needed for emergency services.
 
Q. What do I do now?
A. First of all, don't panic! Just call our customer service team at 877-913-3680 and we can explain your options and get you a new system that will last for many years to come!
 

To help you prepare for the upcoming AT&T GSM/3G/4G Sunset, which is scheduled to occur on February 22, 2022, below are some notable items to be aware of. For clarity, any device designated as “GSM” or “3G” must be replaced by this date, as functionality will be impacted and life safety signals will not be communicated.  Some devices may communicate via "roaming" through July of 2022 but don't count on it.

 

There are other resources to help seniors prepare for the 3G cellular shutdown that can help you make the transition.


Your 3G and 4G GSM cellular devices may experience the following conditions after February 22, 2022:


Communication Failures

  • Communication failures may occur depending on the programmed supervision rate of the account (typically Daily or Monthly). A communication failure message will be generated to the Central Station if that supervision period has expired, and the device has not checked in during that time.
  • You may also have accounts that are programmed as unsupervised. For those accounts a communication failure will not be generated.
  • For UL Mercantile and Commercial Fire accounts, a communication failure will be generated to the Central Station depending on the account’s programmed supervision rate.

Communication Failure Reminders


Reminders are generated to the Central Station based on the programmed supervision rate of the account:

  • “Daily Supervision”, reminders are generated daily
  • “Monthly Supervision”, reminders are generated weekly
  • “Unsupervised”, will not generate any reminders
  •  For all other supervision levels, reminders are generated daily

Panel/Keypad Faults

    • You may also experience a local audible annunciation and fault condition that would be displayed on the systems keypad or touch screen. That local annunciation is dependent on how the system is programmed. Typically, that programming field is called “Cell Fault Time” and is defaulted to “60 minutes”. The fault will occur if the communicator can no longer communicate with the cellular network and the 60-minute time period has expired.


Dual-Path Communicators (IP and 3G/4G)


Prior to February 22, 2022, any Dual-Path account should be reprogrammed to ensure that the IP path is the primary and sole communication path, providing there are no agency type restrictions.

When IP is connected and active, those accounts will continue to communicate via IP. You are responsible for changing those accounts to IP only.  If this is not done, you  may experience the local fault conditions and corresponding audible annunciations as described previously. These accounts will no longer have dual path communication after February 22, 2022. Your communicator upgrade to LTE for those accounts can occur after the AT&T Sunset date.


Account Cancellations


Due to the timing and ambiguities of the specific shutdown processes around the sunset, companies will will not be unilaterally cancelling any accounts after the AT&T sunset and you will remain liable for all account fees.  Please note that any GSM/3G account that remains active will continue to be billed at their normal rates.