Subscribe to RSS - Security Systems News

Security Systems News

Cox to expand home security

 - 
Wednesday, August 22, 2012

First, Cox Communications began trialing its new home security/home automation in Tucson, Ariz. last summer. Then, it expanded the service to customers in Phoenix this April. Now, the Atlanta-based cable company announced yesterday, the pilot project has been such a success that the company plans to launch Cox Home Security—which is professionally installed and monitored by a third-party provider the company has declined to name—to other markets later this year.

Where? That’s still anybody’s guess. Todd Smith, director of media relations for Cox, told SSN that the company "plans to expand its Home Security service to several additional markets later this year, following a successful pilot over the last 12 months in Arizona. We’ll announce specific markets as we get closer to launch.” The company also is not saying exactly when that will be.

But Cox did say that it has appointed a new general manager for this new growth area: Vince Groff, formerly the company’s director of video product development.

Here’s more from a company news release:

“Cox Home Security provides advanced features not found in most traditional alarm systems with time-saving, cost-saving, and worry-saving features to help customers manage their family’s safety. The reliable, 24/7 secure monitoring systems feature: intrusion and home safety monitoring (includes fire, gas and flood); remote access so the system can be controlled away from home via a secure online site or Smartphone app; email/text alerts to notify customers of occurrences at the home; safety sensors to detect hazardous conditions such as carbon monoxide and smoke; secure video monitoring available via smart phone or a web browse; [and] control of home functions such as lighting and temperature.

One of Cox’s competitive advantages with this product is the ability to offer to customers through a Cox bundle. With the addition of home security services, all of a customer’s Cox services will appear on one bill …
 
As Cox moves to the next stage of deployment, the company has appointed Vince Groff to the new role of general manager of this new business. Groff led the initial Cox Home Security development and trial execution and will now be responsible for the broader rollout and ongoing management of this new business.

Groff joined Cox in 2000 and was a director of video product development before his promotion to executive director of new growth and development. Vince began his career in systems engineering at Delta Air Lines, and also spent time in strategy consulting and venture capital before coming to Cox.

Cox’s launch in 2011 made it a leader among the telecoms and cablecos entering the security market. Check back here for more developments on this new industry player.

 

Department of Redundancy Department: Five for COPS

 - 
Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Make it five for COPS.

The wholesale monitoring company, headquartered in Williamstown, N.J., has opened its fifth central station, an 8,000-square-foot facility in Lewisville, Texas. The new center will share live alarm traffic with the company’s centrals in New Jersey, Florida, Arizona and Tennessee.  

Four-year COPS veteran Derek Kopko will manage the new facility, which has 26 employees. Kopko relocated to Texas from COPS’ headquarters in December 2011 and has been hiring and training new dispatchers for the past seven months, the company said in a prepared statement.

Gene Reed, an industry veteran and COPS’ newest account executive, will oversee sales in the region.

David Smith, director of marketing and communications for COPS, told Security Systems News that adding central stations benefits the company in two key ways.

“First, because all five of our central stations are hot-redundant and actively share the signal load of the entire company, each central station we bring online reduces the probability that adverse local conditions [such as weather] will affect our response times,” he said. “Second, we believe that each geographical region presents its own benefits and challenges to alarm dealers. By operating central stations and having employees in these different regions, we have the opportunity to become more involved with our dealers and better understand how we can support them and help grow their business.”

Smith said the commitment to redundancy proved its worth last August during Hurricane Irene.

“When (Irene) went up the East Coast and actually hit our New Jersey headquarters, it only added about a second to our response time because we were able to overstaff all our other central stations,” he said. “The more we do that, the more that we diversify our staff, the more stable and dependable our fast response times become.”

Integrator options at ASIS

A special track geared to the physical security integrator will be included
 - 
08/21/2012

PHILADELPHIA—For the second year in a row, the educational program at the ASIS International Conference will include a special track geared to system integrators. The conference will take place here Sept. 10-13.

Remote monitoring market exceeds $29 billion in 2011

 - 
08/20/2012

WELLINGBOROUGH, England—The world market for remote monitoring services was worth more than $29 billion in 2011, equivalent to $2.4 billion in recurring monthly revenue over the course of the year, according to a new report by IMS Research.

Ruling in Illinois fire alarm monitoring case ‘positive’ for industry

But decision in lawsuit brought by ADT over public entities monopolizing fire alarm monitoring will be appealed
 - 
08/15/2012

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill.—The latest decision in a lawsuit brought by ADT and other alarm companies over public entities taking over fire alarm monitoring in the state contains “a lot of positive things for the alarm industry," according to the executive director of the Illinois Electronic Security Association.

ASSA ABLOY buys Alarm Controls

Alarm Controls valued for customization, price point of products
 - 
08/15/2012

STOCKHOLM, Sweden and DEER PARK, N.Y.—In acquiring Alarm Controls Corp., ASSA ABLOY is gaining a company that has the “ability and willingness to do custom work,” said Scott Baker, president of ASSA ABLOY Electro-Mechanical Specialties and OEM Group.

Verint to become independent, public company

Deal announced to ‘buy out’ parent company in share exchange
 - 
08/15/2012

MELVILLE, N.Y.—If the merger deal with its parent company, Comverse Technology Inc. (CTI), goes through as planned, video surveillance provider Verint will be a 100 percent independent public company as early as February.

AMP: Former Platinum space good fit

‘We kind of moved in like a hermit crab does to a new shell’
 - 
08/15/2012

AMERICAN FORK, Utah—The large, dramatic letters emblazoned across the top of the imposing new office building here used to read “Platinum.” Now they say “AMP”—because financially beleaguered Platinum Protection has vacated the space and it is now AMP’s headquarters.

AT&T: 2017 end of the line for 2G

Cell carrier’s ‘sunset’ for GSM will force upgrade to 3G and 4G radios
 - 
08/15/2012

YARMOUTH, Maine—AT&T will phase out its 2G networks by 2017, setting a long-anticipated timeline for the “sunset” of the technology and giving the alarm industry a target date to upgrade cellular equipment.

3G vs. 4G: AT&T’s ‘sunset’ fuels debate

 - 
Wednesday, August 15, 2012

While AT&T has finally set a date and ended the discussion over when it will push 2G into the sunset, the points of contention grow sharper over 3G versus 4G and the merits of each for cellular alarm communication.

Boiling down the argument to its simplest terms, this much is clear: Technology touted as 4G is faster and more expensive. But is that extra speed worth the money, and more importantly for alarm dealers, will it contribute to longevity in the field? And what is “real” 4G anyway?

On Monday, I talked with two industry experts who couldn’t be further apart on the issue: Gordon Hope, general manager of AlarmNet at Honeywell, and Shawn Welsh, vice president of marketing and business development for Telguard. Both made what seemed to be valid arguments, although I confess I’m not qualified to comment on the technical merits of each. What I can do is define HSPA (High Speed Packet Access), HSPA+ (evolved HSPA), and LTE (Long Term Evolution), and offer a bit of what each man had to say:

Hope: “I don’t know whether it’s accidental or intentional, but it seems like our industry is mixing 3G and 4G together in one sentence. In reality, there’s clearly a difference—the carriers delineate it. HSPA+ and LTE from AT&T’s perspective are legitimate 4G technologies, and everything else isn’t.”

Welsh: “At a recent webinar, AT&T and Qualcomm both basically reiterated this statement: 4G is the same as 3G, it just costs more. To get down to the letter version of that, HSPA+ is the same thing as HSPA as it relates to longevity, it’s just that HSPA+ costs more.”

Hope: “We believe the best thing to do is to move up and provide a 4G radio, not stopping at 3G. HSPA+ is a 4G technology … it’s just plain faster. In AT&T’s announcement [about 2G], they even made statements that a third of their postpaid subscriber base is already using 4G technology, not 3G. That speaks to the fact that if you’re not thinking about 4G, you’re probably going to leave yourself shortchanged if you stopped at 3G network capability in the radio module you chose. We went through the additional expense to include HSPA+ 4G technology in our radio. We believe it’s going to directly translate into longevity on the wall.”

Welsh: “There’s a thought that 4G is somehow better than 3G and that somehow it will be around longer, because certainly each generation will be around longer than the previous generation. In this case it’s a misnomer, because 4G as it relates to HSPA+ is really a marketing trick, unfortunately. … What happened was that AT&T and Verizon both went out and bought up spectrum in order to deploy real 4G called LTE. And 4G LTE got a certain level of throughput—it was really fast. Well, T-Mobile did not get spectrum, so they were stuck having to advertise 3G when their major competitors were going to start advertising true 4G LTE. So they simply did what a marketing organization might do. They just said, ‘Hey, you know what? This new 3G HSPA+ is so fast it goes just as fast as that LTE they’re going to deploy, so you know what we’re going to do? Let’s just call ourselves 4G. All that really matters is the speed anyway.’ So overnight they rebranded themselves as 4G in order to compete with the marketing term of 4G LTE. And literally that’s what happened. AT&T was forced to start calling their HSPA+ network— which was really just a 3G network—a 4G network in order to compete with the marketing spin T-Mobile was putting on things. And that’s how we got 4G as it relates to HSPA+.”

Hope went on to say that while speed traditionally hasn’t been important to the alarm industry, it will play a bigger role in attracting future generations of consumers who will be loading their tablets and smartphones with security applications and a whole lot more. Welsh reiterated that longevity will remain the top priority for alarm dealers, and “from a cost standpoint, HSPA+ is a more expensive solution for the exact same longevity.”

For the record, the International Telecommunication Union states on its website that the only “true 4G technologies” are LTE Advanced and WirelessMAN Advanced, neither of which has been deployed on a large scale. The ITU goes on to say, however, that the term 4G may also be applied “to the forerunners of these technologies, LTE and WiMax, and to other evolved 3G technologies providing a substantial level of improvement in performance and capabilities with respect to the initial third-generation systems now deployed.”

That sounds like a gray area open to commercial and consumer interpretation, but there's no arguing this point: Alarm dealers with radios on AT&T’s 2G networks will have to upgrade by 2017 or they’ll be left in the dark. The fadeout due to spectrum harvesting will accelerate before then, so sooner is probably better than later. Then it's just a question of sorting out the Gs.

Pages