Mobile connections ring alarm bells

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Makers of burglar alarm security systems are turning away from landlines and using mobile telephony to pass information from the alarm panel to a central monitoring facility..

ABI Research forecasts that wireless security alarm connections will increase to more than 7.5 million in 2013 from fewer than 2.5 million in 2007.

Sam Lucero, senior analyst at ABI, said that analogue wireless security alarms are seeing a major shift to digital cellular services in North America.

"The continuing decline of landline voice services, and the increasing use of second phone lines for DSL broadband services, have made cellular connectivity more attractive, and even necessary, for security alarm connectivity."

Other factors promoting cellular security backhaul include the general trend for cost-optimised alarm systems to rely on wireless connectivity exclusively, particularly in Europe.

Lucero also said that wireless operators and broadband service providers are increasingly entering the security alarm service industry and are using wireless as a primary or back-up connection to a broadband line.

Unlike wired connections, cellular connections cannot be cut and current cellular module technology includes anti-jamming features.

Lucero warned, however, that there are challenges to the adoption of wireless technology by the security alarm industry.

"Wireless is a relatively new option and many security alarm dealers have to be trained in the installation process," he said.

"In addition, the relatively high cost of modules, particularly CDMA modules, is an inhibitor."
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