ADT Security Services, best known for its business and residential alarm systems sales, called upon the Federal Communications Commission today to extend the analog (a.k.a. Advanced Mobile Phone Services, or AMPS) sunset date that would essentially phase out support for older, analog cellular systems.
The company said that the current sunset date (Feb. 18, 2008) is an unfeasible target, considering the technology available and the number of systems that would need to be updated or replaced by that time.
"While we understand the need to migrate to digital services, doing so in the deadline timeframe is unrealistic given the lack of adequate equipment supply from manufacturers," said Phillip McVey, vice president of business operations for ADT North America. "This limits the ability of security companies to begin the aggressive scheduling of swap-out installations required to meet the 2008 deadline."
The company's call for an extension mirrors requests made by the Alarm Industry Communications Committee, which requests a two-year extension on the sunset date.
ADT said that the challenge is that while current cellular phones have switched to digital, and use a variety of digital communications standards, the alarm industry has really only been able to offer GSM products (a digital standard for cellular communication). While the GSM products have been a good answer to the AMPS sunset, the GSM technology does not yet work in all areas of the U.S., and other digital communications network standards like CDMA are also not yet available.
The company also requested that "The FCC and the cellular industry should take steps to ensure that analog service is not degraded before the sunset date." According to ADT, the company has already seen such disrupting of the analog networks that many alarm back-up communicators rely upon.