As the alarm industry has evolved, it has embraced wireless communications as a viable alternative to telephone lines. A significant number of alarm dealers, residences and businesses have come to depend on cellular communication networks – particularly the original AMPS (analog) cellular networks – for alarm communications. However, for technical, service and business reasons, the FCC recently established Feb. 8, 2008 as the date for the planned termination of the cellular carrier’s obligation to continue to provide their existing AMPS cellular service.

Cellular carriers are generally motivated to terminate their AMPS cellular service for cost, service and efficiency reasons compared to the newer digital cellular networks. However, there is uncertainty in the cellular carriers’ decision to continue to support the outdated technology. This will require alarm dealers to plan and implement a new alternative wireless communications solution in the next several years.

Companies like AES-IntelliNet, Pea-body, Mass., are establishing two-way, long-range wireless mesh communications networks jumping out ahead of the curve to provide communications solutions for those companies affected by the end of analog cellular service.