The transition from 3G to 4G+ network technology is underway. US mobile network carriers like Verizon and AT&T have announced the planned decommissioning of their respective 3G cellular infrastructures over the next 18 months as they upgrade to 4G and 5G standards. That means that 3G devices, such as smart meters for residential PV, will no longer be able to communicate to the internet once the network transitions begin. Companies who own and service residential solar fleets must plan now to replace 3G meters with newer devices that support 4G LTE network communications. Meter swaps must be completed before your carrier’s deadline to avoid disruptions in customer billing and SREC credit collection.
The two carriers that cover most of the 3G smart meters currently deployed for residential solar fleets in the US are Verizon and AT&T. The 3G sunset deadline for Verizon is Dec 31, 2020, meaning that any customers using the Verizon 3G network have only a few months left to complete meter swaps before service is discontinued.
AT&T will continue to support their 3G network until February 2022 giving customers on their networks more time to plan for the transition. But now is the time to prepare for meter swaps in order to ensure sufficient time for deployment, installation, proper configuration and successful commissioning.
For companies rolling trucks to service residential deployments, the best meter swap is a quick meter swap. You can manage risk by working with an experienced solar PV specialist such as AlsoEnergy, offering meters that have been configured for plug-and-play functionality to minimize installation time on site. As an independent software vendor, AlsoEnergy provides the only solution that can aggregate data from all types of inverters and meters into a single, enterprise-level platform, including data from commercial and utility scale PV assets as well. This gives our clients a key strategic advantage, helping them optimize operations and standardize administrative work across the entire fleet.