AT&T to Sunset 2G Service by 2017
Dealers advised to install current technology
Following several years of speculation, telecommunications giant AT&T recently announced in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it plans to stop supporting 2G service. The company said in its filings that its wants to “redeploy” the spectrum currently being used for basic 2G service to support mobile Internet service on its 3G and 4G networks. AT&T said that it expects to fully discontinue service for its 2G networks by Jan. 1, 2017.
The date shouldn’t come as a surprise to vendors in the industry, according to Shawn Welsh, vice president of marketing and business development for Telguard, Atlanta, who says they were advised of these plans as early as March 2011.
"We knew that date all along, but were under a gag order not to say it. The fact that AT&T is finally on the record should bring it home for the alarm industry; now it’s real."
Welsh estimates that the majority of alarm communicators use AT&T’s 2G network, and that there are probably around 3 million of the 2G cellular alarm communicators installed in the U.S.
Welsh’s advice to dealers is simple. He says they shouldn’t install another 2G unit unless they have no plans to be working with that customer in four years when AT&T’s 2G support is all but gone. But since the average account lives are over five years in the industry, it’s better to go ahead and put in current technology today, rather than to have to upsell that customer and roll another truck in four years.
Court Rules Against Ill. Fire District
Lisle-Woodridge barred from monitoring fire alarms
A federal court has issued a modified permanent injunction against the Lisle-Woodridge Fire District in Illinois, which prohibits the district from engaging in activities related to the monitoring of fire alarms. The ruling comes nearly three years after the district passed an ordinance requiring all commercial alarm system owners in the area to terminate their existing monitoring contracts and switch to a system owned and operated by the district. The following summer, five private alarm companies including ADT, Alarm Detection Systems, D.M.C. Security Services, Illinois Alarm Services and SMG Security Systems, filed a lawsuit against the district alleging violations of state laws, as well as federal antitrust laws.
The court initially entered a permanent injunction against the district in August 2011, but they appealed to the 7th U.S Circuit Court of Appeals, which issued an order staying the injunction. The case was later directed back to the U.S. District Court in Illinois where the modified permanent injunction order was issued last month. The district has been ordered by the district court to shut down its alarm board by Oct. 4. They have until Sept. 6 to appeal the permanent injunction. Lisle-Woodridge Fire District Bureau Chief Jim French said that the district could not comment on the case at this time.
LG Re-Enters U.S. Security Market
Company enlisting the help of new distribution partner this time around
More than a year after announcing a distribution agreement with now defunct security products distributor GVI Security, consumer electronics giant LG recently announced that it is launching a new line of surveillance cameras and DVRs for the U.S. market.
With its entrance into the market, the company is rolling out 14 new security products including both IP and analog cameras, as well as hybrid DVRs. LG is working with Observint Technologies, a provider of operations, finance, marketing, and other services for surveillance companies, to help build a distribution network for the company’s products.
According to John Taylor, a vice president with LG Electronics USA, the company is not new to security business and has done well selling its products in the Asian, European and Latin American markets. "The United States is kind of the last, untapped, major developed market for LG security products," he said.