Remote monitoring market exceeds $29 billion in 2011

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The world market for remote monitoring services was worth more than $29 billion in 2011, with the North American market accounting for about 45 percent of revenues, according to a new report from IMS Research.

The global total was equivalent to $2.4 billion in recurring monthly revenue and involved 54 million accounts, IMS reported. Remote services included alarm monitoring, video monitoring, physical access control, fire detection monitoring and Personal Emergency Response Services.

Niall Jenkins, an IMS analyst and author of the report, said PERS is one of the fastest-growing segments of the remote monitoring market.

“The popularity is being driven by the increased independence that the system allows for the user, as well as the peace of mind it offers to their relations,” Jenkins told Security Systems News. “Another major driver is that the cost of the system is a fraction of the cost of other care options, such as care homes. The drawbacks for service providers are that the staff training costs are higher, to reflect the extra responsibility and skill needed to respond to the range of serious situations that would require action.”

In North America, the market is also being driven by the popularity of home automation and home energy management, according to the IMS report. A thermostat, installed with a security system, connects to the alarm panel and can be pre-programmed or controlled remotely by smartphone.

“Each of these services also provides a positive interaction between the customer and the central station, unlike the typically negative interaction following an intruder alert,” Jenkins said.

Central stations increasingly perceive remote video monitoring as an RMR generator, he said, but market acceptance has been slower than expected during the past five years.

“Despite many central station operators identifying remote video monitoring as the fastest-growing service type, a common theme identified throughout IMS Research’s analysis was that many customers remain unsure of the benefits it might bring to their security system,” Jenkins said.

The United States leads the world in demand for remote monitoring services, with the penetration of residential and commercial accounts in the existing building stock much higher than in other regions. Other notable markets are Canada, the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Japan, South Korea, China and Australia.

“For example, the residential market in the U.S. has a 20 to 25 percent penetration of homes, whereas in the U.K., the penetration is closer to 5 percent,” Jenkins said. “That being said, there remains a significant residential [segment] that is not provided with alarm monitoring, and the growth of a number of central stations over the last couple of years highlights the potential still available in the market.”