Sten Olsson, Chief Business Development Officer, AddSecure, believes that society must take greater responsibility for updating outdated communications systems and connected devices. Furthermore, without immediate action, many crucial communications systems will become redundant.
Here, we talk with Sten about the upcoming challenges during this sunsetting phase of the telecom networks, and how organizations should prepare:
1. Why is this an urgent issue?
The sunsetting of these networks is an urgent issue because regardless of whether we are prepared to adapt or not, the networks will close down. If you want to avoid the risk and secure your critical communications systems and devices, you must ensure you take the necessary actions to update certain systems now.
2. Please explain the sunsetting of copper, 2G- and 3G networks.
While the decommissioning of old copper networks and 2G and 3G networks is necessary for improved functionality and progression, it means all legacy technology connected to these infrastructures will cease to function.
3. What is the main concern of communications systems and connected devices becoming outdated as the network technology changes?
We are already seeing the consequences of older devices’ communications transfers not reaching the recipient. It is becoming increasingly common, and the shortcomings are extensive.
So far, the issues have occurred mainly with older elevator alarms, but also with other alarms and connected devices. As you can imagine, no one wants to be stuck in an elevator with an emergency alarm that does not work. The old technology is beginning to put communications systems and connected devices, and therefore people at risk.
4. What part is 5G going to play in the coming years?
5G is the future and offers enormous potential and will allow IoT communications to become more reliable. When it comes to socially critical services, these communications systems can be optimized, making a big difference in the event of fires, or for ambulances for example.
Additionally, the 5G roll-out will give IoT a huge boost, as it is a big step towards a future where more or less everything is connected.
Across Europe, an enormous change is underway with the expansion of 5G. Vodafone, Three, and Telenor are some of the operators that are now marketing their 5G networks and using new technology. Also, mobile giant Samsung have announced they are already beginning to investigate 6G, the network of the future.
5. Between now and 2023, what should be the priority and focus?
Firstly, companies, organizations and authorities must be informed about the importance of replacing old communications systems and obsolete connected devices.
Second, obsolete equipment and technologies for communications need to be updated, to prevent the risks of critical communications not being delivered.
Finally, organizations must see to it that their communications systems and connected devices are compatible with 4G and later 5G, and therefore have some longevity in their functionality.
Knowledge is the key to make higher demands on manufacturers and system suppliers. To avoid falling behind in development the technology shift needs to be recognized and supported by society, authorities, and companies.
Digitization adds many new opportunities for communications systems and connected devices. However, without the necessary updates to infrastructure, there are many systems that will ultimately fail. With the closure of copper, 2G-, and 3G networks impending, now is the time to upgrade those systems and prevent crucial systems and devices from falling off the grid.
The Technology Shift Guide
To help companies and organizations get a better understanding of the sunsetting of the networks, we have created a Sunsetting Guidebook.
You can learn how you might be affected and what you need to do to make a smooth transition to the new technology, including a step-by-step checklist.