SAN DIEGO - Ron Rothman, president of Honeywell Security and Custom Electronics, sat down with Security Sales & Integration at the recent ASIS expo for an extended discussion about the company’s new Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) products and the phasing out of ALARMNET-C radios.
The introduction of the new technology comes at a time when manufacturers are phasing out products affected by the Sunset Clause, the FCC ruling that requires cellular companies to continue offering Advanced Mobile Phone Services (AMPS) at least until Feb. 18, 2008, after which they are free to cease support.
“This is the Y2K of the alarm industry,” Rothman said, referring to the mass upheaval the computer industry experienced leading up to the turn of the century. “Twenty to 25 million systems will need to be upgraded. The move away from land lines marks the end of an era for alarm dealers.”
In place of the ALARMNET-C radios, Honeywell is implementing a new series of cellular-based products. This will include a GSM digital radio communicator that will use General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) data transport and Short Message Service (SMS) backup for redundancy and enhanced services. “Customers will use a Web-enabled PDA or a cell phone as a remote keypad to control their alarm box by sending a text message,” Rothman says. “You’ll be able to send a SMS message and view a camera shot inside the home.”
Dealers will have full upload and download capabilities via GPRS or the Internet, Rothman says. GPRS is widely used in the cell phone market. It has a higher priority in the cellular network to minimize transmission delays and increases the amount of data that can be reliably delivered.
The multipath communication technology allows for new alarm service capabilities, Rothman says, offering dealers a great opportunity to attract new customers, upgrade existing customers and increase recurring monthly revenue (RMR).
“There has never been a better time to be in the alarm business,” he said.