The dreaded AMPS Sunset is upon us. The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) ultimately denied extensions sought by the security industry and other entities such as OnStar whose products rely on AMPS infrastructure. This represents an immediate crisis since security industry sources calculate that of the 950,000 analog alarm radios yet to be replaced, there would only be time enough to swap about 400,000 between now and the Feb. 18,2008 AMPS Sunset.
While drivers who have conventional OnStar in the vehicles are getting a letter advising them that their service is about to cease, alarm customers with AMPS backup, and those switching their homes over to VoIP, aren't as fortunate.
The responsibility for advising clients and transitioning backup reporting off AMPS, as well as the task for determining if a VoIP switchover is going to work with an existing alarm panel, falls on the shoulders of the alarm dealer.
It also is reported that 35,000 homes convert to VoIP each month, a trend that will continue to escalate. With these rapid transitions in alarm communications currently going on, let's examine some products and solutions that could be useful to security dealers.
Active Response Monitoring
Active Response Monitoring is powered by SecureNet, an innovative monitoring, notification and video services platform that will enable security dealers and other service providers, such as telecommunication companies, with additional revenue opportunities. Active Response Monitoring provides real-time information and the ability for end users to remotely manage and monitor their security system. The service is provided by VOXCOM Inc., a security provider that currently monitors more than 122,000 homes and businesses across North America .
Active Response Monitoring provides immediate access to security data and surveillance footage, enabling consumers to take control of their security through a PC, mobile phone or PDA.
For example, homeowners or business owners can receive instant notification via email, SMS text message or via automated phone call to their mobile phone and understand all alarms, events and alerts regarding their system. They also can view live or archived video from surveillance cameras, showing exactly what is happening at their location.
For more information on this system, visit www.activeresponsemonitoring.com.
Another transition in alarm communications technology is the ongoing effort to reduce false alarms. As such, the new patent-pending Cancel/Verify feature from DMP allows a user to cancel or verify an alarm right at the system keypad, eliminating guesswork and delays at the alarm monitoring station. Verification of an actual alarm can be obtained immediately, allowing a verified response to be initiated while preventing a false dispatch if an alarm is cancelled.
“We applaud DMP for its commitment to fully embrace the false-alarm-reduction issue by making all their panels CP-01 compliant,” said Stan Martin, Executive Director, SIAC. “DMP's new Cancel/Verify feature is an extremely beneficial and user friendly enhancement to the existing CP-01 standard. It's this type of innovation that is helping the industry reduce invalid dispatches while addressing end-user safety.” For more information, visit www.dmp.com.
AHEAD of the AMPS Sunset
Telular Corp. has taken a leadership position in launching digital technology for the replacement of analog cellular communicators by introducing and delivering product in the marketplace very early in the process (April 2005). Telular has been emphasizing the need for the customer base to upgrade to digital technology before the FCC Sunset Clause date of February 18, 2008.
Using Telular's patented technology, Telguard Digital provides primary and backup alarm communication solutions for home VoIP, commercial and fire system markets over the nationwide GSM digital cellular network.
All of the Telguard Digital solutions are UL listed and transmit data from virtually all security and fire systems to central stations using the cellular GSM network. Telguard systems transmit alarm signals over the cellular network when the telephone line has been compromised or if no wireline phone service is used.
Telular provides economical and seamless connectivity between the GSM digital cellular network and the central station. The Telguard Digital model TG-1 is connected to the alarm panel and is used as the primary communication path to send alarm signals to the central station. The unit is UL listed for Household Fire Warning Systems and Household Burglar Alarm Systems.
For more information, visit www.telular.com
ALARM REPORTING PIONEERS
For years, when alarm dealers thought backup reporting, they thought RADSCAN. Now Honeywell enables alarm dealers to address the challenges of VoIP and cell phone-only residences and businesses, opens new opportunities to dealers to increase RMR by offering their customers tools and services which report over the Internet, PDAs and cell phones as well as remote surveillance video cameras.
Total Connect consists of many basic and enhanced services that allow dealers to offer whatever service combinations they choose. Basic services include SMS and Web-based remote system control and e-mail notification of non critical events. Once logged onto a secure website, consumers can control their security systems and perform other tasks via a virtual keypad using any web browser on a PC, compatible PDA or web-enabled cell phone.
With enhanced services, consumers can receive video notification of system events. When adding cameras to the system, a picture or series of pictures can be sent to a PDA, cell phone, etc. For more info, visit the www.honeywell.com.
For premises equipped with POTS, DSL or no communications lines at all, the Uplink solution can serve as a primary or backup reporting solution.
Uplink is a powerful cell phone connected to your security system and the largest wireless data network in North America . A dedicated wireless line to your monitoring service that is always on, even if there is no phone or the phone service is out. It is just that simple. If there is an alarm or status message, Uplink delivers the message over a dedicated cellular link to a central station monitor selected by the alarm dealer.
Newly released digital GSM units are available now.
• Pennies a day for dedicated wireless monitoring and protection.
• No phone line required. Could be used for home, business, beach, barn or cabin.
• Alarm events delivered via telephony, Internet Protocol, email, pager,or text messaging.
• Half-hour installation.
• Delivers alarms to a monitoring service, email, pager or cell phone.
• Over 250 industry leading monitoring solutions partners.
Uplink is Powered by CellemetryXG, a wireless data network dedicated to the delivery of data communications such as alarm messages.
For more information, visit www.uplink.com
AMPS Program for GMS Dealers
• AES- IntelliNet offers the following bullet points for AMPS site conversion planning:
• How many existing installed AMPS sites do you have?
• How many installers do you have available?
• What is today's date?
• AMPS Sunset Clause Conversion
Completion deadline - 02.18.08
• How many business days remaining?
• How many AMPS replacement units to install each day?
• How many AES- IntelliNet replacement units do you need to order through 02.18.08?
The 7450 Series smart transceiver unit sends alarm signals from an alarm panel to GMS, your alarm monitoring central station. This is a 2-way transmitter, receiver and repeater in one:
• supports a range of inputs such as NO /NC/ EOL and direct voltage
• senses phone line cuts and antenna cuts; and monitors battery and AC power status
AES-IntelliNet is offering Instant $50.00 Labor Credit.
To receive your ‘Instant Credit,' call AES to find a GMS representative near you at 1-800-237-6387.
For a list of AES-IntelliNet contract monitoring stations, visit http://www.aes-intellinet.com/ContractMonitoring