Circuit Switched Data (CSD) service on 2G to be terminated in the Netherlands

Per 1 October 2021, KPN will terminate its CSD service on the 2G network in the Netherlands. Vodafone has also announced to her users it will no longer support this service on its 2G network as of 1 Januari 2022. Maintaining this complex and outdated network technology no longer fits within the strategy of these organisations and it will therefore be terminated shortly. No official phasing out data has yet been released by English providers such as BT, Vodafone, EE (BT), O2 and Three. We recommend you to contact your provider for clarity in your 2G data delivery guarantee.

CSD stands for Circuit Switched Data, which is also known as GSM data. It is the traditional form of modem communication at 9,600 baud, as used for data transfer via the GSM network with dial-up connections. CSD is the predecessor of GPRS and EDGE, which are both internet-based connections. In the past, GSM data connections were commonly used to facilitate data transfer between technical systems.

Effects of phasing out the CSD service

GSM modems with KPN SIM cards that transfer data via the 2G network using a dial-up connection will no longer function from 1 October 2021. Examples of such GSM modems include:

  • Severa GSM modems
  • Siemens TC35T

If data transfer is still needed, such modems must be replaced with GSM modems that support internet-based data transfer via GPRS, 3G or 4G. Since the 2G and 3G networks will also be shut down, 4G modems are recommended.

What this means for the applications in the field

Data connections are generally established between a central system (SCADA) and local applications, e.g. pumping installations with PLC operation in the field. These systems are set up to facilitate the use of dial-up modems to establish the data connection. There are a few points of attention regarding the transition to 4G modems:

  • What connections does the local PLC have (RS232 and/or UTP)?
  • Can the central SCADA system establish a connection with a 4G modem in the field?
  • Can the application function with a 4G connection in terms of timing?

Easy transition to 4G connections

Generally speaking, it is not possible to modify the PLC to allow for a different type of connection. Instead, the solution involves connecting a 4G modem to the PLC's existing RS232 port and having this modem simulate the behaviour of a dial-up modem on said port. This is also known as modem emulation. With Adésys’ modems, the transition from a dial-up modem to an internet modem is made very simple. After the transition, the local application can no longer be accessed via a telephone number but via the 4G modem's IP address.

Consequences for the SCADA system

A SCADA system that still uses dial-up connections via GSM modems to applications in the field uses the telephone numbers of the objects in question. In the new situation with 4G modems, these telephone numbers will be replaced by IP addresses. It is important to determine whether the SCADA system can establish IP connections.

Assistance with the transition from GSM data (CSD) to 4G

As a modem manufacturer, Adésys has in-depth knowledge of and extensive experience with migration projects from old to new technology. The 4G modems of the SV product line offer a solution for the phasing out of the CSD service on the 2G network. These modems offer a future-proof solution for the communication between central SCADA systems and technical applications in the field. Our Sales department is happy to help you choose the right product to suit your needs.

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