Cellular networks are used by mobile phones around the world, but many other devices use these networks for communication and data streaming.
Tablets, watches, medical devices, home security systems, or any device that needs a connection without a direct line can use an antenna to connect to a cellular network.
Most modern solar power systems use a cellular connection for system monitoring and reporting. In 2022 every major carrier, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, is shutting down their 3G networks.
This will significantly impact solar owners across the country that use 3G modems in their solar panel systems.
We’ll explain why this is happening and what you can do to fix it.
Quick Facts of Your Solar Panel Systems with 3G Sunset
- Your solar panels will continue to generate electricity normally.
- If your solar system uses a 3G modem, you will need to upgrade to a 4G modem, Wi-Fi, or a hard-wired connection.
- Without an upgrade, your system will lose monitoring capabilities, and you won’t be able to get updates on your solar performance.
- You should receive a notification from your solar installer or manufacturer if your system is affected. If you are unsure, reach out to your solar installation company to get more information.
Why Is 3G Shutting Down?
Before the shutdown began, millions of Americans were still using 3G phones and devices.
So why would we want to shut it down? Is it a forced upgrade to make more money? No, the answer is much more straightforward than that.
We’re running out of space! As our technology advances, we need to free up space on the existing infrastructure to support new devices. That means removing older services that are just not as popular as the new ones.
5G (or the 5th generation) networks provide many benefits over 3G and 4G. The data speed can be as high as 100 times faster and provide instantaneous response times. The expanded speed can be used by next-gen devices like virtual reality and self-driving vehicles.
Read More About Latest Solar Information:
How Does The 3G Shutdown Affect Your Solar System Monitoring?
Remember, even with out 3G network, your solar panels will continue to work normally. Regardless of what happens to the communication device on your solar panel system, it will continue to generate the same amount of electricity.
If we installed your solar power system with SolarEdge inverters, you might need to get an upgrade. Please note that this upgrade is not covered by your SolarEdge warranty.
Here are your options for upgrades directly from Option One Solar:
- We can easily install a simple 4G Cell Kit upgrade that will extend your SolarEdge communication plan for five years.
- We can hard-wire an internet connection with cat-5 cable directly to your solar panel system.
- A Wi-Fi extension can be installed to provide an internet connection from your LAN (Local Area Network).
- If none of the above options are available, we can install a connection using specially designed tech from Zigbee.
As stated before, these upgrades are not required for the normal operation of your system and therefore are not covered by the warranty.
Enphase & Other Systems
If you’ve purchased a solar panel system from Option One Solar and you are using Enphase inverters, then you should have nothing to worry about! We have not detected any issues with Enphase inverters at this time.
However, there are still some 3G networks still up until December 2022. So, keep an eye on your system and give us a call if you have any issues.
What If I Bought Solar From Someone Else?
If you are not an Option One Solar customer, your system may have been affected by the shutdown already. Contact your solar installer to get an update on your system performance and what your options are.
Can I Install The Upgrade Myself?
If you are more technically inclined and prefer just to connect your own system to the internet, you may consider this as an option. However, please be aware that if you open the box yourself, you will void your warranty!
Call Us With Your Questions!
If you don’t know what to do and need some advice, you are welcome to call or email us, and we will provide the best advice we can give you based on your situation.
If you are already a customer of ours, we can take a direct look into your system remotely and let you know your best options!
If you are not an Option One Solar customer, we suggest you contact your installer for information on your specific system. However, we can always provide information if you give us a call.