Security Partners adds radios, grows Centras Network footprint

'In the next three to five years, we'll have the whole mid-Atlantic area covered'
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Thursday, June 2, 2011

LANCASTER, Pa.—Security Partners—the UL-listed/FM approved/CSAA 5-Diamond certified central monitoring station collocated with Select Security—announced recently it had added more radios and more Internet connections, called IP-links, to its AES Intellinet wireless mesh network, which it has branded Centras. Security Partners began deploying an AES mesh network a year ago and switched to the Centras branding in January of 2011. According to company president Patrick Egan, the growing network is a sign of the times.

"This is a no-brainer. Anyone who's not doing this is a little behind the 8-ball," Egan told Security Systems News. "It's game changer … Dealers are asking for this."

According to a release from Security Partners, Centras is powered by AES-IntelliNet hardware, and works via a self-healing wireless radio mesh network that allows for multiple redundant communication paths, eliminating the need for POTS lines, and third-party GSM devices and the costs related thereto. Each Centras connection runs on Security Partners’ secure radio frequency that is dedicated solely to alarm communications and does not get shared with any other voice or data stream.

Egan says that dedicated reliability makes expanding the network much more affordable and sensible than trying to expand via traditional communications pathways.

"We started out strictly in Lancaster County and we started building out west towards central Pennsylvania and north into the Reading and Berks County and now we've built a really good site right on the edge of Chester County, which gets us most of Chester and gets us towards Philadelphia County," Egan said. "But we also have other networks linked through IP links. We're monitoring AES radio networks from Delaware, Florida, New Jersey and we've recently received licenses for western Pennsylvania, so we're going to be expanding this to support my company Select Security, in addition to other dealers, expanding it throughout Maryland and the rest of Pennsylvania … I would expect that in the next three- to five years we'll have the whole mid-Atlantic area covered."

Egan said Security Partners was monitoring more than 2,000 accounts already and was ready for more through IP-linking, which links geographically disparate mesh networks together across the Internet.

AES-IntelliNet president Mike Sherman said the self-healing and long-range monitoring possibilities make mesh radio the way of the future for any security company looking to escape POTS ties and expensive carrier fees.

"Dealers and central stations own this. They're not beholden to the phone companies, who do what's good for them, not the industry," Sherman said. "An Intellinet system's a little like a funnel with a marble. No matter where you throw the marble into the funnel, it will eventually come out the bottom. So what do you do in a situation where you've got a central station in the East with a strong customer in Dallas? What we've come up with is MultiNet. It uses IP-links as radio points of presence in a locality" that tie the remote radio network via the Internet to its central station.

Security Systems News has written at length about the demise of POTS lines, the advent of GSM as a replacement, problems with VoIP, the potential answers mesh networks provide, as well as some of the potential problems they face.