The 3G Network Shutdown Is Coming… Are You Ready?

A village manager is the definition of a person who wears ‘many hats.’ From facilitating requests, organising activities, connecting over a ‘cuppa’, and supporting when a helping hand is needed. Jobs are varied, and often time is short. However, an unwavering commitment to the wellbeing of residents will always be a village manager’s top priority.

At Eevi, we feel privileged to see this every day in communities we work with across Australia. Currently, there is a looming challenge facing the wellbeing and safety of residents who have 3G medical alarms installed in their homes. This challenge relates to the impending shutdown of the 3G network and its associated threat of signals linked to emergency devices potentially unable to transmit. Ineffective signal transmissions could impact the effectiveness of emergency devices; therefore, it is vital to address this issue, understand its impact and prepare villages for the 3G shutdown.

It’s estimated that there are currently over 150,000 devices still operating off the 3G network and already some of these devices urgently need to be upgraded. Fortunately, with the right product knowledge, transitioning to a medical alarm upgrade could revolutionise your village’s level of safety.

What is the 3G network shutdown?

For a quick recap, 3G is essentially a version of mobile technology. In 2019, Telstra announced a decision to decommission coverage of their 3G networks, switching to the much faster and more popular 4G and 5G compatible technologies.  It’s happening because 4G and ultimately 5G are a much faster version of mobile technology than 3G; in fact, it’s been said that upgrading from one to the other is like going from a horse and cart to a Ferrari or from dial-up internet to broadband. Less frustration with faster access to content.

Whilst not officially shut down until 2024, the industry body Personal Emergency Response Services Limited (PERSL) has already raised network congestion issues across Australia.

“Medical alarms which operate through the 3G network should be used with care. 3G medical alarms should be upgraded or replaced as soon as practicable and, in any case, well in advance of the 3G shutdown, (PERSL, 2020).

What does this mean for Village Operators?

In many areas, the 3G shutdown is causing congestion of existing networks. This can mean delays in wait times, blocked connections, and even data loss for a village manager. And it’s being felt around the country by village managers who lose blocks of time in their day trying to work out the problem.

An assistant village manager in one community we serve recently shared her experience:

We can go for periods with no issues, and then when there’s congestion; I can spend 3- 4 hours going around and manually trying different scenarios to reboot devices and get them back online which can be quite a time-consuming process. I’m happy to do it because I’d do anything for the residents. This is, after all, a life and death scenario potentially, so it absolutely must be up and running,” said Dawn, Assistant Village Manager.

Why it’s important to look at your options now…

With over 150,000 3G devices in Australia no longer work after the shutdown, many retirement village residents are potentially at risk. Additionally, the sheer size of technology upgrades requires time for village managers and operators to research, select, vote and implement new systems.

Importantly for village operators, there’s been some impressive changes in technology since previous upgrades. Hence, it’s worth taking the time to upskill on what’s possible through smart based personal emergency response systems that work more like today’s computers.

3G, 4G… 5G

Unlike 3G, the 4G network is expected to remain compatible with 5G for much longer. In fact, 5G mobile networks can technically remain backwards compatible with 4G networks for many years, in a way that is not possible for 4G to 3G. According to Telstra, 4G IoT (Internet of Things devices) will have continued support until 2030.

Get informed and stay ahead

At Eevi, we know technology and telecommunications well. In the hope of sharing our knowledge, we’ve prepared a list of signs to watch out for in your community that could indicate it is time to upgrade.

If you’re experiencing even just one of these signs on your devices, it may be due to network congestion. Our customer service support team is available to talk to you in more detail, with a 15-minute consultation available to book here to help diagnose your village.

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The solution to the 3G network shutdown?

What does this mean? Upgrade to 4G compatible medical alarms.

The good news is that the Eevi Gateway 4G VoLTE medical alarm represents a new age of smart assistive technology, giving valuable real-time insights regarding device health and connectivity at a moment’s notice. Our Village Managers see the installation of Eevi’s Gateway 4G VoLTE device as an easy process that doesn’t require hours of manual testing and rebooting. It doesn’t require a complicated installation.

Hear a testimonial from Village Manager Mandy on her experience with the Eevi device and service team…

Want to find out more?

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If you have a 3G device, please feel free to give us a call, and we’ll be happy to talk to you about options that could be suitable for you.

 

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