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Clarify Advanced Mobile Phone System deadline with clients

ImageSo you alerted your clients of the impending cellular network changes and proactively got on them to change their transmitters. Our good friends at Rogers decided to pull the plug before the Feb. 18, 2008 date established by the FCC in the U.S.. Then Bell Mobility is now delaying implementation until Nov. 1 2008 in many parts of Canada.


March 13, 2008
By Ivan Spector

I don’t know about how you interact with your clients, but I get the
sense that there is certain amount of skepticism by those clients at
these dates which now resemble moving targets more than anything else.
And if the rumours are true, there are apparently a whole lot of units
that are still left to be changed south of the border.

The lesson to learn from this is that we have been granted a reprieve
so if your clients are not switched over yet in many parts of the
country you now have a bit of breathing room and have bought some time.

While on the subject of communication, apparently up to 35 per cent of
all U.S. households do not have POTS (plain old telephone service) at
their homes, condos and apartments. We are the last generation in North
America, and maybe even the world, that will be using land lines to the
extent that they are currently in use. This is already having a huge
impact on our industry. If you do not have a plan for this, move over
fast.

While most panel manufacturers are scrambling for solutions (so what
else is new?), some panels have imbedded modems included. While this
solution appears to have legs, consideration needs to be given to the
ways in which you program the polling, which I am assuming you will be
using and the expectations on delivering the bad news when the Internet
fails. Tread carefully on this potentially disturbing and false
dispatch-generating issue for your clients.

There are also two additional things to consider: first, we now need to
wire to a router or the entry point of the Internet modem, which may
very well reside in an office or den or kitchen rather than in the
basement where we have long been locating our master control panels. So
now we get to invade spaces that are not the most receptive for
hardwiring. Watch for a wireless interface device to come out in the
not too distant future. And second of all, consider this as well — the
CA38A allowed a quick disconnect from the telco lines.

We had better have the same or better technology available when we
direct clients on some diagnostics when we are now transmitting over
their IP lines and networks. If you think people get touchy when their
phone lines don’t work, wait until we get the blame for the Internet
and the cable.


Ivan Spector is president of Sentinel Alarm in Montreal, national past
president of CANASA and a member of the Central Station Alarm
Association’s board of directors.