Wireless driving European home security sector

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Wireless driving European home security sector

Market has high growth potential, according to Frost & Sullivan.

The potential of the European home IT security market has not been fully exploited because of issues related to the vagaries of false alarms, perceived high prices, and a lack of awareness about security products, industry experts report.

Frost & Sullivan said that the European residential security market, which has "high growth potential", was worth €1.6bn in 2005 and will jump to €2bn by 2012.

"Using mature technologies such as wireless, market participants have been able to successfully reduce the number of false alarms and provide equipment and services at competitive prices," said Frost & Sullivan research analyst Shailaja Pradhan.

"The availability of technologies such as IP offers immense possibilities to security companies as well as end users.

"These factors, together with heightened awareness about residential security and increasing confidence in security products, are supporting market expansion. "

Pradhan added that wireless technology has found wide applications in voice and messaging (including mobile phones and pagers), handheld and internet-enabled devices (web-enabled mobile phones and PDAs) and data networking (wireless Lan, broadband wireless and others).

The most critical market restraint identified by Frost & Sullivan is the lack of education among end users, most of whom do not perceive the need for a security system in their premises.

Security companies are trying to change this "mindset" and have found it extremely challenging.

"In the residential sector, security remains a 'grudge purchase' and therefore a speciality product," explained Pradhan.

"A security product is usually purchased by the owner of valuable property, or due to perceived increase in crime or sometimes on the recommendation of an insurance company."

This attitude is proven by the fact that only 5.5 per cent of homes in Europe have an intrusion alarm system.

Unless end users are educated about the benefits of security systems and encouraged to willingly invest in them, security is likely to remain a speciality product.

"Security companies should invest in end-user education to overcome these challenges," said Pradhan.

"This could be achieved in partnership with security associations and local authorities by promoting the use of security as a necessary part of everyday life and not as a low- priority adjunct."
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