New challenges in signaling
Due to the various ways alarm codes are received, central stations have receivers to interpret all the timing and signals, but this is not without its problems. "With the rise of popularity in VoIP and digital phone line usage, this caused problems for receivers as the signal output gets manipulated and the alarm system receives a signal that cannot be read because the timing and pulses are off," said Bosch's Mechler. "This has been a big problem with VoIP and digital phone lines-the solution was the use of cellular or IP formats but this increased costs as equipment needed to be added at the central station to accommodate this change." Bosch, he added, created a processing adjustment in their D6100 and D6600 alarm receivers to compensate for the changes in timing.
Until one format of transmission takes hold the competitive edge lies in offering the ability to monitor all signals without error and increase efficiency. "Because each manufacturer requires a different IP receiver, we have invested a considerable amount of time and money in order to make sure we have all the IP receivers that our dealers need," said National Monitoring Center's Valle. "This gives us a competitive edge as well because we are able to receive signals from a wide array of IP panels."
As the method of alarm signal transmission continues to change with the times, software and virtual receivers will make inroads into the space formerly commanded by the public switched telephone network.