Transitions in Technology

With AMPS and Traditional Land Lines on the Way Out, Much is Changing in Alarm Communications


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.

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Alarm Verification

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.

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