ADT, CellBounce unveil solution to 3G network sunset

Partners say plug-and-play solution could be ready by late summer as ADT completes acquisition of CellBounce
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Monday, May 11, 2020

BOCA RATON, Fla.—ADT is developing a solution for the home security industry’s need to adapt to the 3G sunset, which is scheduled for February 2022. Through a strategic partnership with technology startup CellBounce, ADT anticipates a user-installed, plug-and-play solution for the 3G-to-4G conversion will be ready by late summer 2020. 

The technology and product could apply to most of the 6 million 3G-powered home security systems in the United States.

“We believe CellBounce is the most cost-effective solution we’ve seen for the security industry’s need to convert millions of customers before the 3G sunset date,” ADT President and CEO Jim DeVries said in the announcement.  “There’s been a tremendous collaboration between ADT, CellBounce and AT&T’s engineering and development teams to enable this technology to work across platforms, serving not only ADT customers, but the entire home security industry operating on AT&T’s network. We’re fully committed in ensuring CellBounce’s success.”

CellBounce is a plug-and-play conversion technology designed to solve one of the home security industry’s biggest logistical and financial challenges in the next year and a half by eliminating the need to send a service technician into customers’ homes, in most cases, to perform the required radio updates to systems which currently rely on 3G. Instead, home security customers with 3G radios in their security panels can receive the CellBounce device, similar to a smart plug, and perform a simple DIY upgrade enabling continued cellular connection through the 3G sunset.

The technology operates by converting 3G signals to communicate on AT&T’s 4G network, and the device can be plugged into a standard home power outlet. Once active, the device extracts the Mac ID and cellular serial number of the existing 3G alarm device and handles the transfer of data. CellBounce's module instantly attaches to the 3G alarm device and transmits data from it to the AT&T core network using a Qualcomm Femto chipset. Once the CellBounce module is present, the panel will locate it and reside on it for the life of the device. The CellBounce unit is equipped with a UL compliant battery back-up, that provides continuity for up to 24 hours in the case of power failure.

CellBounce is in late-stage testing and has been proven to work end-to-end in laboratory settings. ADT engineers are in the process of developing the tools necessary to use the CellBounce product and certifying it for use across ADT’s platforms and products.  Deployment of CellBounce is also contingent on the completion of additional external certification processes.

“The innovative CellBounce solution has the potential to enable a longer life for millions of legacy home security systems across the U.S.,” said Chris Penrose, Senior Vice President, AT&T Advanced Solutions. “The simple, self-installation that automatically connects them to our LTE network can be a win-win for everyone.”

ADT has been working in partnership with the CellBounce engineering team for over a year to ensure the solution works seamlessly with AT&T and has applicability across the home security industry. At ADT, nearly 1.5 million customers could benefit from this 3G-to-4G upgrade solution.

ADT intends to complete its acquisition of CellBounce and its proprietary technology subsequent to the final certification of the CellBounce solution.