Competition for cellular alarm communicators heats up

Nashville, Tenn. -- Competition in the cellular alarm communicator market is ramping up, and the competition is evident at the ESX show this week in Nashville, Tenn. Telguard, a division of Telular Corproation, had the show hotels slip information under the doors of all ESX attendees announcing its new 3G/4G alarm communicator upgrade program.

The program is designed to encourage dealers to upgrade alarm panel communicators to Telguard's new products for 3G and 4G networks. The company has ended production of 2G communicators. As Telguard's Shawn Welsh explained it on the trade show floor to booth visitors, the 2G alarm communication technology (GSM & GPRS) will eventually no longer be supported by the cellular carriers, and smart dealers can make the switch for their customers' equipment now and receive up to $25 credit per customer switched.

The program, said Welsh, who heads up Telguard's marketing and business development, operates such that a technician would remove the old communicator (from any company) and replace it with one of Telguard's new 3G/4G units in the panel enclosure. The technician would then remove the SIM card from the old 2G cellular communicator and place it in a self-addressed stamped envelope and mail it to Telguard, which would then place the $25 credit on the dealer's account.

Telguard is hoping dealers will make the switch when they're already at the service location for a standard service call, and by encouraging a preemptive technology switch before the 2G sunset, the company says dealers are saved the cost of a dedicated truck roll.

As Welsh describes it, there have been three elements that have slowed the technology change: habit, price and procrastination. Welsh said the company has broken the "habit" by simply ending production of its 2G products and ended the "price" objection by making the 3G/4G units the same price as the old 2G units. Now, he said, the company is trying to remove the "procastination" objection by offering the instant incentive program.