Honeywell expands 4G to VISTA line of alarm panels

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

MELVILLE, N.Y.—Honeywell has expanded 4G alarm communications to its popular VISTA platform, which the company says will maximize equipment longevity and performance for dealers.

The company’s first 4G VISTA panels, the GSMX4G and the GSMV4G, were launched on Oct. 22. Like the LYNX Touch 5100, a self-contained 4G system that made its debut in March at ISC West, the new products are based on the HSPA+ network.

Gordon Hope, general manager of AlarmNet at Honeywell, said the decision to standardize Honeywell’s systems on HSPA+ has been validated by the positive feedback on LYNX in the field.

“Our choice to do it was twofold: One is our belief about longevity, and the second is the balanced issue of performance,” Hope told Security Systems News. “HSPA+ is three times faster than 3G alternatives, and therefore for services like [Honeywell’s] Total Connect, it just makes for a zippier interface.”

Hope said history has shown that faster networks get priority from cellular carriers, making the 4G technology “a smart investment in the future for a dealer’s business.” As the largest 4G network in North America, HSPA+ also provides superior coverage, he said.

“The problem most people have is that they’re reading LTE ads from Verizon, and LTE is not the only 4G technology out there,” Hope said. “HSPA+ is by far more deployed and has better coverage, which is vital to our industry.”

Regarding the confusion in the marketplace about what is 3G and what is 4G, Hope said the International Telecommunication Union recently confirmed that HSPA+ is a 4G technology. Honeywell’s education efforts have also helped provide clarity for dealers, he said, “and the performance of the network is beginning to speak volumes all by itself.”

“Any time there is change, there is opportunity,” Hope said. “We think this is an excellent opportunity for our dealers to increase penetration in their own customer base and expand it, and offer more RMR with value services like Total Connect.”

As with LYNX, Hope said Honeywell will phase out 2G versions of VISTA as it ramps up production on the 4G side. He said the cost of the HSPA+ units would be $10 to $15 more at the “street level” for dealers, but added that the capabilities were worth significantly more.

“The network’s performance has been outstanding,” Hope said. “There are pockets in the country where it’s just challenging to put in 2G radios. [Dealers] take our [4G] radio out of the box, stick in on the wall and it has been absolutely fantastic. I couldn’t be happier with the customer feedback on these radios.”

Hope said the carriers will determine the longevity of the network, but he expects HSPA+ to be viable “probably beyond 2020. It may last longer than that, but we feel comfortable based on what we know that it will be out there at least that long.”