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Circuit Switched Data (CSD) service on 3G to be terminated Australia.

Published, 31st May, 2021

Author: Jose Torres, IoT Solutions Architect at M2M Connectivity.

Australian Telcos are leading global efforts to decommission legacy cellular networks. They've already shut down 2G networks back in 2017 and have announced to do the same for 3G by 2024. This leads most industries to migrate to new cellular technologies. However, many have not and are still being powered by Circuit Switch Data (CSD) connectivity. CSD technology, otherwise known as dialup over GSM, will no longer work after 2024, so now’s the time to act!

How will CSD applications be impacted by the shutdown of 3G networks?

CSD is often used in many machine to machine (M2M) applications, especially across industry verticals such as Security and Utilities. Some examples of CSD powered connectivity include level crossings, industrial control, industrial systems, and SCADA.

You can think of CSD as a communication channel for industrial equipment. It provides communication from the field to acentralized locations. So, with the shutdown of 3G, it’s like removing the communication channel on the industrial system. The system will no longer be ableto extract data.

Therefore, as telecommunications carriers continue to decommission their 3G networks, connectivity services that use CSD technology will no longer work. Telstra announced a complete shutdown of 3G networks by 2024, giving businesses that use CSD around 700 working days to prepare for the change.

So, whats next?

Here are two solutions that will allow your services to continue operating:

Option 1: Upgrade to LTE

With the decommission of 3G, upgrading to LTE connectivity will ensure your services’ continuity. Your industrial equipment might not be ready for IP-native communication, so a complete upgradeto LTE might be the best option.

Option 2: CSD Emulation over 4G

A CSD Emulation over 4G, or CSD over IP(CSD/IP) solution is the other option.

A plug and play modem, such as the Sierra Wireless FX30, provides M2M connectivity with a built-in solution for the decommission of 3G. Simply connect the modem to your existing infrastructure and the device will do the rest. This will save you time and money from needing to redesign your industrial infrastructure on new SCADA system.

The solution is what we call CSD over IP (CSD/IP) as shownin the figure below.

CSD/IP | Sierra Wireless FX30 solution.

In our solution we deliver:

  • Certified hardware ready for deployment; Sierra Wireless FX30, antennas, and a power supply. All our devices are certified for local and global compliance
  • An M2M configured SIM card on anIP Private Network with several Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) for maximum security
  • One hour of full support to help you with the transition

Benefits of using the CSD/IP solution on the Sierra Wireless FX30?

  • Avoid the need to reengineer your industrial solution and replace your existing infrastructure
  • Simple integration of the FX30 withone hour of full support from our engineers.
  • Sierra Wireless FX30 uses cellular CatM1, which is part of the 3GPP 5G standard to provide longevity toyour infrastructure solution.
  • The solution is in privatecellular networks to provide maximum security. You’ll be completely protected from internet-based attacks.
  •  Convenient plug and play solution.
  • FX30 is designed from premium Canadian parts and has tested to with stand extreme environments
  • FX30 is competitively priced and will continue to be a global and scalable solution that manages expensive certifications

How do I know if I need this solution?

Here some questions to ask that will helpdecide whether you need our solution:

  • Does your system use serial port or communication anywhere in the solution? Do you use RS-232, RS-485 inyour industrial equipment?
  • Does your system use dial-up of any kind to extract data from your field devices?
  • Do you use PLCs, RTUs or SCADA systems?

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