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Comment on cellular radio issue  / comment on is it greedy to enforce contract
August 22, 2019
Comment on cellular radio issue
            I feel compelled to comment on all the banter over cellular radio conversations, much of which you have printed is factually incorrect and based on additional conversations and emails I have been involved with is getting read as factual and needs to be cleared up. I know this is long but its needed to have clarity.
            Lets start with some of the  realities we face, the first of which is that we(the alarm industry) is at the mercy of the carriers (ATT, Verizon, TMO etc) if you compare the $2.00 a month they get from an alarm system or vending machine and compare it to a handset phone averaging a $100.00 a month the economics are such at the business levels the carriers are making decisions based on the high revenue for handsets not IOT/M2M devices in the field, while it may feel good to unload on Honeywell or DMP or (name the manufacturer) they really have little influence on how long a service is going to last.
            We also must acknowledge that technology and the need for more and faster data will be never ending so you are going to continue to see cellular networks upgrading generations for the foreseeable future with no end in sight, if you don't like that 5-7 year cycle invest in something like AES / KP networks. There are pros and cons to do this but that is the alternative, leaving panels on POTs line is not only a bad idea but many would consider this irresponsible considering how unsecure and unreliable with todays PSTN VoIP networks.
            Virtually all the vendors, Alarmnet, Connect24, Napco etc have all been publishing Sunset Dates supplied by the various carriers for years now, if you are not getting them or for some reason all this is a surprise I don't even know what to say other then get connected to the industry as this has been a hot topic for at least the last 15 years.
            Today we are in the process of several sunsets that apply to virtually all non-LTE radios. I believe the following dates to be accurate in the United States. While most of the conversations have revolved around AT&T and Verizon there are radios that are on the other two networks or could potentially be roaming.
AT&T  2/2/2022
Verizon CDMA 12/31/2019
TMobile CDMA 12/31/2020
Sprint 2G 12/31/2021 3G 12/31/2022
            I also think that it’s important to understand how Sunsets work with cellular networks.  The Sunset date will be the day the last tower gets cut over to the new network. This means that between now and then all the towers will be in a transition process and during the time between now and then things are going to be very squirrely.  What most carriers are doing is cutting over one band at a time and thus supporting both 4g and LTE at the same time during the transition and then as we get closer to the sunset date all band’s will eventually get moved over.  The results of this is why you see things like 4G having a stronger signal than LTE, once the tower get completely cut over that will calm down but for now you are going to see strange things not only with signal strength but also capacity. BTW voice has priority over data so if a tower maxes out the voice channels like during drive times or an event data will stop, I see situations all the time where every morning and evening panels drop out, all of this will smooth out once the towers have completely cut over and everything is on LTE. Additionally there are areas today where only LTE is working and legacy support is completely gone. 
            Another complaint I hear all the time is the radio registration lockouts, the carriers not the vendors have created deadlines where older technology radios cannot be registered after a specific date, this is not a ploy to sell more hardware it's a way to slow the addition of legacy radios to a network that is going to be shut down in the coming months. I saw these dates get issued as far back as a year or more ago and its all over the various management portals so if you are caught off-guard get connected so you are getting these because they are going out.
            I also wanted to touch on the 5G and what that is and what it means to the world and why its going to be here quickly. 5G will bring gigabit speeds to wireless, not only is it going to support incredible speeds its going to be incredibly low latency, so things like driverless cars can stream info to AI clouds and get it back so fast the cloud is actually driving the vehicle.  Its also going to be a way for carriers to provide not only internet and voice but entertainment, the possibilities are endless when you really look at it. One thing for sure 5G is not only coming but its already here a few dozen markets in the United States so just about the time you are all settled into the LTE conversion you are going to be looking at 5G migrations.
              My suggestion to installers that are using contract central stations would be to start working when them to help you identify all the legacy radios you are going to need to replace. Most centers have been doing this for the dealers for a long time and there are nuances with some of the providers as they get moved from one technology to another rates and options are changing.
            There are also some options out there to help you with this, there are a few organizations that are poising themselves to project manage conversions, there is also some technology companies that are making bridges to allow the existing radios to talk to LTE networks via some hardware so if that's of interest check it out. 
            You need to plan this out now if you haven’t already and you need to start swapping radios because as I said before towers are changing now and what you don't want is to get caught with your pants down when a large part of your customer base goes off line and you are now in emergency mode.
            As always thanks for all you do in the alarm industry
 Morgan Hertel, VP of Technology and Innovation 
Rapid Response Monitoring Services
Syracuse NY | Corona CA
            Thank you Morgan for another comprehensive comment on a hot topic.
more radio comments
When a communicator loses contact with the cellular network a 6150 keypad will not show a dF, it will show a bF, which stands for backup failure.  Originally radios were put in as a backup to the phone line, hence the “backup” part of the description.  Today most alarm systems use the radio as the primary and usually the only transmission to the central station.  
Bruce from Florida
    A likely correction to Dimitry Boss's note on Honeywell Alternatives. 
    Verizon FIOS provides internet over fiber optic cables, not wirelessly over a Verizon 5G network. The FIOS---5G network from the "new FIOS router" is 5GHz WiFi, not 5G wireless. The other WiFi network is the 2.4 GHz WiFi network. The 5GHz network can transmit data faster than 2.4 GHz, but the higher frequency signals attenuate more when traveling through materials (i.e. walls and floors between levels). This is why the tech support agent recommended the 5GHz network for devices requiring large and stable bandwidth and 2.4GHz for devices more likely to be over a wider range of locations. 5GHz also has the advantage of having more available channels, which reduces the likelihood of conflicting routers/access points creating WiFi interference that destabilizes the network connection. 
    Due to the combination of greater data speeds, more isolated channels, and shorter coverage range, 5GHz WiFI networks are best deployed either as part of a mesh network with multiple access points or with WiFi repeaters. 
Best regards,

comment on is it greedy to enforce contract
            In response to "Is it greedy to enforce monitoring contract" 
            Its a business contract not a greed contract. Unless I am mistaken, the Kirschenbaum contracts,  most all of use,  don't mention the word greed in them.  Would it be greedy for the bank not to understand that you do not want to pay off the last one or two years of house payments? It depends on what it costs to chase after the money. Remember an old saying,  Don't throw good money after bad money, meaning it will cost you to hire a Lawyer to chase after the unpaid balance. It might be better to ask for at least half the unpaid balance. It might also be better to contact the new owners and continue the service with them. It just depends on how much is owed and how difficult it is to chase after the outstanding balance.
Another comment on greed and radios [unedited]
            This may not be nice, but I have say it.
            I think you are really interest in selling contracts, not really helping the alarm industry.  I have written to you before and received a wimpy answer.
            1.         Verizon and Optimum constantly disconnects alarm systems. There is no way the client knows this unless they have radio back up or daily test. why can't a law be passed that any telephone company who works on a persons phone be liable if they do NOT RECONNECT THE ALARM SYSTEM! My fear is that someone is going to die in a fire because Optimum disconnected the alarm system. It happens all the time. Optimum refuses to ask the client if they have an alarm system. I just had a client call me up so frustrated because Optimum would not connect the alarm system to the modem. They don't even know what LINE SEIZURE IS!
            2.         Contract. Impossable to enforce. In Westchester, NY can't have a five, three year contract. Most towns won't help enforcing it. Its a joke!
            3.         Licence  So many alarm people are not licence for Ct from NY. And vise a versa. No one checks .
             Something maybe you should help.
Name withheld to protect the innocent
            Well, I was pretty sure that it was an industry secret that I want to sell contracts.  Cats out of the bag now.  Thing is, the use of standardized contracts is in the industry’s best interests, and up to date contracts serve to protect the industry and the alarm companies using the contracts.  There are many reasons to use the standardized forms and no reason at all not to.
            Sorry, I can’t help with the phone carriers.  I have my own problems with them.
            Licensing is an issue that is topical on this forum often.  I can lead a horse to water, but I can’t beat it until it drinks.  If you’re an old mule or a stubborn as a mule, keep trying to bang that square peg into the round hole.

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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301