I've just returned from a trip to Sydney where we are setting up WebWay Australia. The market for Alarm Transmission is reportedly in the region of a million monitored systems, however unlike the UK they are not driven by Insurance nor strict adherence to standards compliance. There is the Australian & New Zealand AS2201 standard, their equivalent to EN50136 (in some respects). At present there is no concept of a confirmed event and Police response is on request of the Keyholder or Guarding
If you have been in data communications as long as I have you will know that remote diagnostics and maintenance are nothing new. I remember back in 1992 watching in awe as our technical director (Phil Meredith) was stood next to some ISDN Back-up kit hooked up to a monitor running a windows application.
On the screen, a cursor flicked over the menus and it was obvious somehow the system was being configured. “How are you doing that Phil?” I asked.
“I’m not, its one of the support guys in Germa
Last week I was involved in a product refresh with the senior engineers of one of our UK National security companies. We covered off our new SPT.6 hardware in both its “Pro” and “Mini” versions which was all very nice, but it was the 3G capability of the new devices that drew much attention and I thought it would be useful to share some of the topics we covered.
When you are in the business of data communications you have to constantly revisit and re-evaluate the old technologies, how they comp
Interesting that the Risco cloud service was disrupted by a problem with the Microsoft Azure cloud service and so I thought this would be an opportunity to describe what we as Alarm Transmission Service providers (ATSP) “do” and how we got here.
An ATSP is not just about providing a piece of hardware that attaches a fire or intruder system to a network. It’s also the receiving equipment at the ARC, redundancy and resilience of that equipment, the provision of suitable SIM cards for radio networ
I recently read that the rise in mobile connections is growing at a much faster rate than landlines. It was suggested that mobile comms have been proven as a replacement for a landline connectivity and this trend would continue. I think this is a huge generalisation.
Let me take a typical household. There are 5 mobile devices in my home and one Broadband circuit. I would suggest that my families’ use of the available networks is fairly typical in that when at home (or at any opportunity), they
For those of you not connected to either me or Chris on Linkedin, I have reproduced our SPT.6 release text here...
Today we're solving the price performance problem that plagues installers of monitored connections.
"Cheap products are attractive, but can lock us into old retiring technology. The lack of productivity features make the end user ask for lower prices, squeezing our margins. Buying cheap means we end up paying twice to get out of the problem."
To break the cycle we took a differen
We should be utilising Dual SIM card devices to improve security and resilience...
As anyone in the Electronic Security industry will be aware, there have recently been many reported intermittent failures across all of the current Major Network Operators (MNO's) such as T-Mobile and Vodafone
Some of this has been the result of MNOs upgrading their services to support 4G signalling (In some cases re-purposing 2G bandwidth for 4G services). Other outages have been due to planned maintenance w
...Is 2014 the year when we will see the death of the remote control and the introduction of 24hr monitoring inside every living room?
For many years TV manufacturers have made the bulk of their profits from the selling of increasingly minimised hardware at reasonable profits. This has been supported by innovations such as increasingly larger screens followed by LCD,LED,HD,3D and 4K providing yet another “next new thing” to allow them to sell a combination as yet another new TV to those who alw
Are we ready for the next generation networks?..
In some ways the traditional notions we hold of privacy are currently holding us back. They are preventing us from taking full advantage of the possibilities that technology is making available to us right now.
I genuinely foresee a point in time where we will overcome such social stigmas (this really is all it is) and experience the benefits that will come, only from truly embracing all that technology can offer us.
So how do we get from point
Change is coming, like it or not...
There is currently a movement by many businesses within our industry to get involved with much more than just 'vanilla' alarm installations. What does the near and distant future hold for those involved with service delivery, manufacturing, installation or the monitoring of such systems? Are we truly on the way to Security 2.0?
It is a clichéd term, but we are currently on a one way street towards our industry either embracing other technologies and service
Do we give thoughtful technical consideration to the future when
providing customers signalling?
Digital communicators are becoming a less utilised method of alarm transmission
thats true but do we need to give up on the Dinosaur?
With manufactures developing more intuitive devices and offering additional added
extras such as, Remote Maintenance, meaning you can omit 1 of your 2 maintenace vists,
UPDL for remote diagnostics, visual verification for intruder and HUA without costly DVR's
Is an unregulated industry the future?
Companies that operate outside the parameters of the BS & EN standards but attempt to offer services within its scope are on the increase...nothing new you say....
...yes thats true, what is new though is that growing sympathy is swelling for the unregulated and possibly these companies are even seen as forward thinking by some rightly or wrongly, although this debate will certainly cause conflict it does raise an important issue of how and why these
I don’t think that anyone would disagree that the security industry has changed significantly over the last few years. In the intruder alarm business, the revenue focus has shifted from profit on the supply and installation of equipment to profit on the life of the contract or take overs. CCTV is heading down the same path so how can CCTV manufacturers help facilitate the “recurring revenue” business model?
The Key for me is the DVR. (The target market for this are End Users that would typicall
Its been a while since my last blog.
My last blog was on direction and position for us as an industry and those involved in it. Nothing has changed imo from that entry.
Today id like to talk about more basic things. Things we do day to day, regulations we operate under etc.
On the approved side we have various rules and regulations we must all operate within. If we risk asses a site as needing, or we are requested to design a system that requires a police response then we do.
Currently if a
Ghost in the machine...
With around three quarters of remotely accessible CCTV systems allowing intruders free access to invade privacy and compromise entire corporate computer networks, is it time to say 'enough is enough' to manufacturers and insist upon firmware changes to improve security control?
This is not isolated to consumer level CCTV platforms only. Many 'professional' DVRs & NVRs are installed with default administrator accounts unchanged or additional accounts created and syst
Some of you may be aware that last year there was some exposure given to a vulnerability in Trendnet camera firmware allowing access to their consumer webcam devices despite password protection being enabled.
They claimed to have released a patch within a month to solve the issue and to have contacted every customer to advise them to update their devices.
This is (despite the assurances of Trendnet) still a common issue, to help highlight it a real time map was produced showing
Bigger = Better?
Many barriers currently exist for businesses which are planning to run their own Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC).
In the coming months we could potentially see some of those barriers crumble and a whole new way of doing business materialise.
Winners & Losers
Traditionally setting up an ARC from scratch has been an expensive and time consuming process, which can rely upon expertise in the field to implement and is surrounded by very little shared information or open
Crossing of paths...
Alarm Transmission Systems (ATS) are increasingly adding capabilities that would traditionally have been performed by dedicated devices, for example CCTV verification.
At the same time Control and Indicating Equipment (CIE, or control panels in plain English) feature built in IP communication functionality and are giving us access to Home Automation integration and more.
This type of blurring of what would previously have been clear and distinct roles that equipment play
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
Some press exposure was given recently to the news that Secom are actively looking to utilise ‘drones’ for the private security market on a rental basis. 
This appears to relate to the American market with the rental price given in dollars, yet is the UK market also ready to consider the possibilities?
The usage of drones, also referred to as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (‘UAVs’), in the military sector has been known about and discussed widely for quite a while now. H
I have a friend of many years who was/is a master trades person.
Some bad luck for him and he sought a diffrent life, first in Ireland and by chance he is now in Thailand.
i know he wont mind me blogging his letter here, it has a very strong message about being content.
Hi Jeff and Ger. HAPPY CHRISTMAS.
I hope you are well, Thank you for your mail, Sorry for the late reply. As you know we have no internet on the farm, so I typed all this onto "Word" so I could send when I got chance. Firs
Our current generation is without doubt the most "connected" generation yet. We have numerous tools available which allow us to convey our thoughts instantly in every possible media format and yet we still occasionally struggle to communicate with each other effectively.
I want to look at some specific examples of platforms for collaboration and see how our industry might be able to put them into useful practice as well as considering our motivation for contributing towards
The recent launch of the Windows 8 operating system has become the flagship of a new thrust in technology culture that is here to stay if we like it or not.
Windows are trying to push their desktop experience into the App based smartphone sector whilst at the same time crossing paths with Google who are busy working on selling their App based platform to desktop users.
At the same time Apple is looking to futher improve communications between their many available device