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Is the 2G sunset causing outages?

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Friday, September 27, 2013

AT&T’s 2012 announcement that it would phase out 2G service left most in the alarm industry, well, unfazed. With wireless technology, such changes come with the territory. Moreover, it’s not the alarm industry but the mobile phone industry that dictates network “sunsets.” As Lou Fiore, Chairman of the Alarm Industry Communications Commission, put it in a recent conversation: “As long as you go cellular, there is no endgame here.”

A few months after the initial announcement, AT&T attached a deadline (Jan 1, 2017) to its 2G sunset. Since that time, the AICC has established a regular line of communication with AT&T, which sends a representative to attend the organization’s quarterly meetings.

AT&T informed AICC that, while interim changes would take place in advance of the 2G sunset, the changes would not affect the alarm industry. AICC members, Fiore said, were “skeptical.”

“We tried to impress upon [AT&T] the fact that our control sets hang on the wall, and if you change the operating parameters of that network, it may not work anymore,” Fiore said. “You can’t ask the homeowner to move the unit around to see if it works.”

Fiore, who is in the process of gathering information regarding possible outages for units tied to AT&T’s 2G network, said that in given locations, customers might still get 2G coverage but that there’s a chance it “won’t be as deep as it was before.”

Fortunately, there are some steps alarm companies can take to mitigate outages. Companies can switch to AT&T's 3G or 4G network by choosing matching hardware from a cellular alarm communicator, or to one of AT&T's competitors (the 3G and 4G networks of Verizon and Sprint are an option, Fiore said). Certain companies may be able to go with a wired network, but this is highly contingent upon business model, Fiore noted.

Still three years from the deadline, AT&T’s 2G sunset promises to be a story with several more chapters. I’ll be watching closely to see what kind of ripple effects it has on the industry.

Cernium launches CheckVideo dealer program

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07/28/2011

RESTON, Va.—Cernium this week launched a formalized dealer program for CheckVideo solution, its intelligent video alarm verification solution.

Cernium, Sprint announce technology partnership

First CDMA-based security solution aims to verify alarms
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06/09/2011

CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Video analytics supplier Cernium, whose CheckVideo solution has been making the case for proactive verification of alarms for priority response from municipalities along with RSI, on June 8 announced a technology partnership with wireless provider Sprint at the ESX show here.

Does AT&T’s purchase of T-Mobile threaten the industry?

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03/24/2011

YARMOUTH, Maine—Ever since rumblings of a POTS sunset began last year, the security industry has been concerned with where a dependable communications pathway would come from. Most eyes have turned to broadband and GSM as two alternatives. With the March 20 announcement of AT&T’s agreement to buy competitor T-Mobile for $39 billion, a new wrinkle to the communications pathway has been introduced with which the security industry must contend, assuming the acquisition passes muster with the SEC.