Gregory added that on the cellular side, the trend is a move to 'universal' equipment. "Most of the new devices have a universal application that allows it to connect to any type of alarm system. Same is true on the other end; central stations don't need special receivers."
This month at the ESX Show, Telular(r) Corp., Atlanta, was set to launch and kick off the Telguard Advantage Program (TAP), a new dealer program to help systems integrators get their share of this growing market. It features an extremely low-minimum purchase at its most basic level (there are four diffent levels) and targets the smaller and mid-sized integrator who might not normally have the resources to learn how to position this offering, according to Shawn Welsh, vice president of Marketing and Business Development.
"When a customer is wirelessly protected, it's really a higher level of security than over a landline and we need to raise awareness of this to the consumer so that they know they have something special with cellular technology. VoIP is designed to compress voice signals, but it's not very good at compressing modem tones and that's the tone that comes out of the alarm panel. So just plugging into VoIP is opening the system up for the potential for lost signals. VoIP is not reliable for alarm systems. The instability of VoIP for alarm transmission and the need to have a robust path for communication will drive customers to cellular," Welsh said. He added that cellular products for a basic primary monitoring with no landline adds about $10 to RMR to the dealer.
And for the integrator, cellular has to be easy to install and not time consuming.
"We are looking to take the companies who want to make that leap. TAP is about making it so that through training and support we can help them offer cellular. The smaller integrators are the guys who are getting hit the hardest, so we are preparing them for the future."
Terry Day, operations manager for Powell Protection Systems in Carrollton, Texas, said the company began using the Telguard system several years ago. Powell said the company liked the reliability and low-entry cost to the unit as well as its ability to send full data signals to the central monitoring station.
"We've had a lot of interest in cellular lately; it's really picked up," he continued. "A lot of people don't have landlines anymore and the husband and wife are cell phone only. People want to save money and they are cutting back on phone lines in residential." Day said the radio has been extremely reliable and the only minor problem he experienced was quickly fixed by changing out an antenna because of poor reception. "But the fact that we can send full data, that's how we are differentiating ourselves from the competition."
Ricky Jackson, owner and president of A&R Security in Kingwood, Texas, is using Honeywell's GSM radio as primary and backup signaling to cell-only and VoIP customers. "If they have no landlines or VoIP, we tell our customers that it's the only way to go," he said. "We help them understand the importance of cellular signaling. A lot of people think it has to do with their personal cell phone and we have to educate them on the technology." Jackson said he likes the two-way voice over GSM and said the sound quality is better than landlines. "Now I'm prepared for any installation and there's nothing I can't do for the customer, especially where they have VoIP only or no landlines and I had to pass at business in the past. I can maximize my RMR with the service and it makes for a 'stickier' customer. The more remote capabilities the customers have, the more they want," he said.
VALUE ADD TO CELLULAR
Everyone can benefit from cellular alarm communicators as part of their security system. Here's why:
1. Reliable: Cellular is the most reliable form of security because it cannot be cut by either savvy intruders or inclement weather.
2. Cost-effective: Your customers can finally disconnect their traditional phone line, eliminate a recurring monthly bill and still have a dedicated cellular security system that's ready 24/7 in case of an emergency.
3. Secure: As the cell-only household trend continues to grow, cellular technology is an ideal, robust security solution which can be installed without the expense of requiring a landline.