Security Dealer & Integrator

OCT 2018

Find news and information for the executive corporate security director, CSO, facility manager and assets protection manager on issues of policy, products, incidents, risk management, threat assessments and preparedness.

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34 Security Dealer & Integrator / October 2018 With the 2G sunset now in the rear- view mirror for this industry, the next technology on the chopping block is Verizon's CDMA; in fact, the company has reportedly informed all of its deal- ers and vendor partners that CDMA will be decommissioned by 2020. "It will certainly have an impact, but as an industry we are getting bet- ter with these transitions," says Tom Mechler, regional marketing manager for Bosch Security and Safety Systems. According to SD&I's sources, com- panies that specialize in cellular alarm communications like Napco, Bosch and Telguard – just to name a few – have secured a commitment that the CDMA network will remain opera- tional until the end of 2022. "Verizon partners, such as Telguard, have negotiated a multi-year exten- sion of our CDMA devices beyond a general sunset date," explains Shawn for this upgrade over the next few years," Mechler says. CDMA Alternatives e most obvious replacement cellular communications tech- nology for alarm deal- ers and integrators is LTE. "LTE alarm com- municators give us both the large data transmission bandwidth and speed needed for viable IoT, video and security func- tions on a smartphone," Hevia says. Additionally, the looming CDMA sunset – much like the 2G sunset – is an opportunity for security integrators to remain in close contact with cus- tomers; and perhaps a chance to sell them on upgrades. duces new features so that the upgrade feels like a natural pro-customer event and not frantic, do-or-die chaos." e question is, can the security and alarm industry count on LTE for the foreseeable future? "LTE promises the longest cellular lifespan available over 10-plus years, so upgrading accounts (to LTE) will have the installed lon- gevity needed to keep them online for the long haul," Hevia says. Mechler fully expects that 4G LTE will remain for years. "It does provide a very reliable, fast communication path for the alarm industry; however, we should not be complacent. (LTE) will go away eventually, and that is why it is important to choose a product that makes future upgrades simple." Vendors like Bosch are preparing for this eventuality with "plug-in technol- ogy" that is designed to accommodate any new communication technology – even if it has not yet been invented. Telguard markets upgrade kits that enable a communications shi without having to remove the existing enclo- sure, antenna or power supply. Napco offers a "free for all" pro- motion for system upgrades and recently launched a full line of LTE communicators. For those customers/integrators who want to go away from cellular communications altogether, companies like AES Corporation offer the indus- try Mesh Radio technology to convert to wireless alarm communications. Knowing that a device may sunset during a contract term gives dealers the opportunity to plan a service call that introduces new features." — Shawn Welsh, Telguard Alarm service providers should communicate (the CDMA sunset) as soon as possible and encourage their customers to upgrade over time." — Tom Mechler, Bosch Security & Safety Systems Cover Story Welsh, Telguard's SVP of Product Management and Marketing. "We only put that date in writing with our customers because Verizon has authorized the disclosure of the sunset date directly to our dealers. I would encourage all security dealers to ask their cellular alarm communications partner to provide the date." Similar to the 2G sunset situation, Verizon's extension of functional- ity will give integrators years to plan and react; however, many let the 2G date sneak up on them. "We don't feel there is significant urgency to replace CDMA modules now; however, deal- ers and integrators should be planning "Alarm service providers should communicate (the CDMA sunset) as soon as possible and encourage their customers to upgrade over time," Mechler advises. "e change from CDMA to LTE does not, in itself, pro- vide any significant enhancements for the end-customer, but it does provide an opportunity for the service pro- vider to contact customers and dis- cuss upgrade opportunities, such as remote control and automation." Adds Welsh: "Every sunset should be an opportunity for dealers. Know- ing that a device may sunset during a contract term gives dealers the oppor- tunity to plan a service call that intro-

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