Feb 202013

Times are changing so rapidly it is often hard to keep up. One problem that the industry faces is the disappearance of POTS telephone service. As customers cut their traditional telephone service loose many of the technologies they select to replace it are not compatible with digital communicators found on existing security panels.

One of the main replacements for POTS being utilized with success is the cellular alarm transceiver or cell unit. But even this solution has its own potential pitfalls. Let’s consider a few…


GSM, a technology, not a Brand…

In our cellular world there are two predominant technologies utilized for this medium, CDMA (Verizon, Sprint) and GSM (AT&T, T-mobile). The majority of units purchased for alarms are GSM units regardless if they are branded as Uplink, Telguard, Alarm-net, or Connect-24. There are a few specialty units configured for CDMA transmission but they are typically much higher in cost than their GSM counterparts. But Uplink, Telguard, Alarm-net, or Connect-24 are brands and it is the brand not the technology we need to know in order to properly register your unit. Each manufacturer has its own online portal and informational requirements. Please be sure you know the unit’s manufacturer and serial number when you call for activation.


It’s just like a cell phone. Check for signal strength before you install it…

Sitting in CEU Classes it is easy to imagine simply walking in hanging a unit on any wall, in any house, anywhere and it working. But everyone who owns a cell phone knows how finicky this technology can be. Most cell units have ways to check for cell signal before installation and most of them recommend a minimum signal strength. Ignoring these requirements can cause failed signals, run-away signals, and/or excessive installation time or repeated warranty service calls trying to fix a problem that may be fixable by simply relocating the unit. Or worse case you may discover that it is not fixable at all.


Pay only for the service on the unit you are using…

Keep in mind the manufacture of the GSM units charge for their service so just because you down-power or remove a cell unit from service doesn’t automatically stop you from getting charged for the service. If you discontinue service on a cell unit, or if you change from one manufacturer to another, we recommend you send in a cancellation form to assure you don’t continue to be charged for an inactive unit. Due to the charges that we are required to pay we cannot issue credits for units not cancelled in writing. The cancellation form can be found, and downloaded, on the Dealer Forms page of the Dealer Log In page.


You know what happens when you assume…TEST

Cellular units behave just like POTS lines to your alarm control…somewhat. Just because some GSM units will clear your alarm panel is not always a guarantee that those same signals sent are making it to the account number where you are expecting them. We recommend you test all of your zones, especially on an account you may not have originally programmed. Then make sure you confirm what signals arrived to your account. Make this task quicker and easier by utilizing Sims-Web or Sims-Pocket.


Questions or comments? Feel free to contact us

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