It won’t happen to me is a typical, almost daunting, phrase most people say after they’ve just been admonished. In fact, dealers know all too well what it means to forewarn clients of the importance of safeguarding their homes and businesses, only to be turned down by a flat out No. But if people have qualms about owning a security system, what obstacles do you face when trying to sell them alternative transmission equipment?
First of all, you need to allude to the obvious: The phone line is what keeps your premises in contact with the central station. If at any time the phone lines are tampered with or damaged, your alarm system becomes paralyzed.
The next step is to illustrate the various types of equipment that will back up the client’s existing system, such as long-range radio, cellular and derived channel. Some dealers also are incorporating cellemetry technology and global satellite systems (GPS) into their alternative transmission services.
Once it’s out on the street that you can cut phone lines and disable the alarm system, most smart crooks can cut the phone line, break in, find the inside siren and disable it, says John R. Jennings, president of Safeguard Security Services in Phoenix, Ariz.
Lower Cost Makes Radio More Accessible to Clients
In a standard alarm system, digital dialers transmit an alarm signal via a phone line to a digital receiver located at a central monitoring station. The signal then is transferred to automated software. Once the dialer captures the line rather than permitting it to travel to a telco line, it seizes the entire message.
Long-range radio, on the other hand, bypasses phone lines by transmitting the line message through a radio frequency (RF) broadcast back to the base central station. Radio networks integrate radio technology with microcomputers to create this type of system. With the aid of radio antenna towers and repeater stations, long-range radio allows the network to communicate via RF signals to central stations. The RF signals are transported to a receiver and a digital transfer is finished with an interface cable to the computer.
Cellular Picks Up Where Phone Lines Leave Off
In high risk situations, such as a fire or a break-in, customers can’t risk the chance of an alarm system being sabotaged. That’s why many installing companies are turning toward cellular equipment as a backup solution.
When a phone line is down or out of service, the cellular network takes over by transmitting alarm signals through the air waves. A customer pays for the cost of installation as well as a monthly fee and airtime charges.
Some Dealers Favor CDPD In Areas Where It’s Available
Installing companies that prefer cellular transmission should be familiar with the Cellular Digital Package Data System (CDPD). CDPD gathers several wireless network technologies and protocols into a single, connectionless, wireless data system. The technology permits data files to be divided into data packets and transferred across the cellular network independently.
Derived Channel Depends on Second Channel to Transmit
Derived channel gives dealers another means of backing up damaged, disabled or cut phone lines. Although it’s not an alternative signal transmission method, it acts as a supervisor of the phone line. The technology employs an existing line to “derive” a second communication “channel” throughout a voice band, bypassing the phone service to avoid tie-ups. Derived channel can provide two-way communication - much like long-range and cellular.
Cellemetry Integrates Cellular, Telemetry
Another form of alternative backup transmission more dealers are exploring is cellemetry. This technology combines cellular transmission and telemetry. Telemetry is the exchange of short-coded messages between remote equipment and a central station. This type of equipment transforms to wireless (cellemetry) once a cellular phone system is utilized as the transport medium.
While some dealers have conflicting views on what types of alternative transmission are best, most probably would agree with Jennings’ contention: “You can give [your salespeople] the best equipment in the world, but if they’re not convinced that it’s something they can sell, they’re not going to present it.”