Some installing security contractors embrace change while others resist it. Case in point: wireless technology. Like it or not we are migrating to a wireless world and savvy security professionals with an eye to the future are preparing to live and prosper in it.
Increasingly installing dealers and integrators are opting for wireless technologies in more and more security applications. The use of wireless in security systems and networks is being catalyzed by multiple factors. For one, the use of POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) in alarm monitoring is inevitably going to crash and burn in due course, sending traditional copper phone lines to the history museum. Another important driver is the onslaught of new technologies emerging that can significantly increase network bandwidth.
Transmitting video over wireless for surveillance applications is one area of opportunity, for example, that promises significant growth in the coming years. Consider the latest results from SSI‘s annual Installation Business Report (IBR), which will be published in the 2012 Gold Book, an industry resource guide distributed with the December issue. A survey of SSI readers shows that while coaxial cable continues to dominate, it has lost 17 percentage points since 2007 (2 in 2011). Wireless transmission methodology gained 2 points, which works out to a 40-percent rise. (Ethernet/IP network cabling exhibited the strongest growth, with a 5-point ascent. UTP declined the most with a deficit of 4 points. Fiber fell 1 point.)
Going wireless can represent substantial savings of time and money for installing contractors and end users alike. Wireless controls and devices are seeing excellent price reductions each year. Cost of manufacturing, raw materials and the demand of these products supports the manufacturers in reducing overhead and therefore the price to the installing security contractor. These cost reductions, speed of installation, reduced human resources and increased central station accounts all lead to increased profit.
Building recurring monthly revenue (RMR) with technology is what every company should be looking to achieve. Let’s take a closer look why implementing wireless technology into your portfolio of services makes good business sense and how this can be achieved with minimal organizational disruption.
Ease of Installation
Traditionally, deploying video surveillance systems can be expensive and time consuming given the difficulty of installing the wired infrastructure necessary to bring video feeds back to the recording location.
If cameras need to be located in out-of-the-way or hard-to-reach areas, direct cabling poses an obvious predicament, as digging, trenching and running expensive fiber-optic cabling is required. Also consider that customer workplace and family schedules are oftentimes demanding and therefore time is of the essence. A wireless solution can significantly reduce the amount of time technicians are on the premises and thusly lessen the interruption to a business or household.
There are plenty of WiFi enhancement products to make even the most difficult installation much easier. We do need to keep in mind, however, that WiFi is a shorter range technology. Copper and other conduits of data are expensive and require a human interface to install. Since employee costs continue to rise, and finding qualified IT personnel can be very expensive, solutions that cut costs inevitably increase profit. As long as robustness is assured, wireless technology requires less skill and considerably less time to implement and allows for protection in locations previously difficult or even impossible to hard wire.
Since wireless products are now as secure as a wire and have greater battery life than ever before, there is no reason an installer should feel hesitant to offer wireless solutions.
Increased Transmission Range
I like to think of wireless as a means to an end. Using wireless to accomplish five installs per day as opposed to five installs a week means more accounts on line. One solution recently brought to market, RealAlarm based on Visonic’s PowerG RF (radio frequency) technology and new PowerMaster alarm system, demonstrates the benefits of wireless in both residential and commercial applications.
Installing contractors need to provide their customers with a security solution that provides effective visual alarm verification and enables central stations to accurately assess the situation inside the premises in the event of an alarm. RealAlarm is an example of a wireless solution that delivers a much longer battery life, greater transmission range and safeguards from signal interferences. Two-way wireless Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum technology also provides robustness and reliability closer than ever to wired systems.
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