In January 2017, the 2G standard for digital cellphone communications will be sunset under orders from the FCC. The retirement of the standard will make a considerable number of alarm installations obsolete overnight.
Change happens. The original 1G analog cell standard was retired in 2008, taking some alarm systems with it. As long as the radio spectrum assigned to cellular networks is limited – and the technology used to access it advances – old cellular standards will occasionally be declared dead. Disruption will happen, bringing trouble and expense for alarm operators with it.
Crisis or Opportunity?
For the alarm operator, there’s a way to avoid this churn and come out on top. It calls upon a technology developed as a defense project and designed to allow communications to continue through a nuclear war. It’s called IP (internet protocol) networking, and it’s almost everywhere today. It’s the technology delivering the webpage you’re reading right now, and it has been called the new common language of the world.
IP is a universal open standard that won’t change. Devices from 30 years ago (or more) can still connect and communicate on IP networks. Although speeds have increased and features have been added to the networking standard, IP equipment has retained its functionality. IP connectivity remains the best bet for future-proofing alarm systems.
Harden Your Systems While Easing Administration
As critical assets, alarm systems shouldn’t have single points of failure. If your system has only one means of communication, it must be considered at-risk. Just as battery backup is always specified in case of a power outage, communication must have a fallback plan in case of a cellular outage (or the sunset of a networking technology).
IP communication offers many benefits beyond redundancy. Suddenly, you’re able to manipulate the system remotely. It’s just as easy clicking on a secure web page. Programming, software updates, and many service calls no longer require a truck roll. Your efficiency, labor utilization, customer satisfaction, and RMR increase at once.
When you compare these benefits to those of a simple, “safe,” old-fashioned landline used as a communication backup, you see there’s little comparison. The benefits of landline-based telephone service are becoming fewer and fewer, and in a strange twist, that landline might not be as reliable as an IP network. Vendors sometimes neglect landlines. Copper-based landlines can be down for days without anyone noticing. Thanks to our modern addiction to smartphones and data communication, any disruption in IP service is noticed (and reported) by users almost immediately.
As an important bonus, IP communication over Wi-Fi can easily be configured using the WPS feature built into most modern Wi-Fi routers. It’s a plug-and-play configuration in most situations and even easier than provisioning and connecting a copper phone line.
Ride the Future Wave with IP Communications
ipDatatel offers a solution that will future-proof your alarm systems, improve accessibility, and lower servicing costs. It’s an easy-to-install, simple four-wire connection to most alarm panels. It supports multiple vendors and facilitates easy and secure access to all of the system’s programmable features.
IP is the way of the future for alarm communications. Keep cellular components current but be sure to leverage the help of fast, efficient, and future-oriented IP communications