What if you could save time and money with a more reliable emergency monitoring technology?

Landlines are becoming obsolete, which means it’s time to upgrade your fire monitoring system to a more reliable, updated technology. There’s a clear choice for network dependability and cost-efficiency: mesh technology.

WATCH NOW

What You’ll Learn in This Webinar:

  • What is mesh technology and how does it work?
  • Which is a better option: mesh or cellular?
  • The benefits of switching to mesh technology
  • How to upgrade your system

Check out our on-demand webinar for insights into the best fire monitoring solution to protect your buildings and your budget.

It’s Time to Cut the Cord… and Rely on Meshwrx for Your Fire Alarm Monitoring Systems.

Hard-wired telephone landlines have been around for more than 100 years. In fact, they are referred to as “P.O.T.S.” lines which stands for Plain Old Telephone Service. As their name suggests, they are old and outdated. Originally designed for telephone communication, they do not meet today’s needs for our data-driven communication technologies.

 

Deteriorating Landline Infrastructure

Phones aren’t going away, but the landlines used to support them are. The voice communication technology being used today is significantly different from the early copper telephone lines implemented by Bell Technology Company. New technologies such as high-speed internet connections via cable, VOIP, mobile phone networks, and fiber-optic cabling are replacing the outdated, inefficient copper phone lines of the past.

 

When in it comes to phone service, more than half of all families—57.1 percent of the population—no longer have landline phones. Households that have both landlines and wireless phone service total 34.4 percent, and only 5.3 percent of households have only landline phone service1.

 

As fewer people rely on landlines, the existing providers do not have the income from subscribers to support and maintain the existing infrastructure. The FCC has approved both AT&T and Verizon to end landline phone maintenance service altogether. In a 2013 letter to shareholders, AT&T announced its efforts to phase out landline phone service2. At that point, it was estimated that the total expenditure by phone companies to maintain lines was $13.5 billion3 per year.

 

Landline service deregulation has been spreading. In 2017, pending the FCC’s approval, Illinois legislators voted to allow AT&T to disconnect the state’s 1.2 million landline customers, but Illinois is not the only state where deregulation is happening. All across the country legislators “have voted to allow AT&T to end landline service in order to invest more in wireless or internet-based phone networks,” according to CBS News4.

 

All of these changes are taking place in the telephone industry yet when it comes to fire alarm monitoring, more than 90% of all fire alarm monitoring systems still rely on these outdated phone lines to communicate with call centers. Building Owners and Property Managers are spending too much on outdated, expensive and unreliable technologies. It’s only a matter of time before all building owners will be forced to find an alternative solution.

 

What is the Alternative?

Mesh Radio Technology is a great alternative to replace these outdated phone lines on existing fire alarm monitoring systems. Mesh Radio Technology is not a new technology. Originally developed for the military, mesh technology has been used in fire alarm monitoring systems for more than 30 years. It’s the only technology specifically designed for Fire & Life Safety systems and has proven to be a better and more reliable service. It is also extremely cost-efficient.

 

Consumer adoption to new technologies is rapidly growing leaving landlines as a thing of the past and MeshWrx is here to help you cut the cords.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Be proactive and upgrade to MeshWrx today for your fire alarm monitoring systems.

In our previous blog post (Mesh vs. Cellular – Obsolescence), we identified a problem that building owners and their managers are facing –the outdated, inefficient and unreliable phone lines required for monitoring fire and life safety systems.  We introduced the choices available in the market today –Mesh Radio vs Cellular Technology.  In this blog post, we continue the comparison and focus on the issue of Total Cost of Ownership.

 

Total Cost of Ownership for MeshWrx Solution

The MeshWrx solution is built to do one thing – alarm monitoring communication.  Alarm signals transmit data that communicates information in a very simple format.  This format uses very little bandwidth to transmit these signals.  As a result, the technology used to communicate is very stable and there is no need to update the technology to take on additional functionality.

 

In addition, one of the unique aspects of using a wireless mesh network for alarm transmission is that in doing so the user becomes part of the network service provider.  Each device on the network acts as a receiver, transmitter, and router of signals.  Unlike other networks, a mesh network’s performance improves as more users are added to the network.  The cooperative nature of the network gives participants more control over the network, and more importantly, it lowers their cost.

 

A major benefit of using wireless mesh for alarm communication is that there are no requirements for future technology upgrades so it dramatically lowers the total cost of ownership (TCO).

 

Total Cost of Ownership for Cellular Solutions

Cellular solutions compete for space on the cellular network.  The cellular network is always evolving and expanding to accommodate more traffic and data.  The network is based on the “G” platform which is updated every 2-3 years.  With each evolution, the existing technology becomes outdated and it’s only a matter of time before users are required to upgrade to current technology.  Investing in a cellular solution requires equipment upgrades every few years just to maintain existing functionality on the network.  There is no added benefit to the subscriber other than basic connectivity.

 

For more info, watch our video (Why Meshwrx) or give us a call at 855-MESHWX or contact us here

Cut the Cords….to Your Fire Alarm Monitoring.

In our previous blog post (Cellular vs Mesh – performance), MeshWrx identified a problem that building owners and their managers are facing –the outdated, inefficient and unreliable phone lines required for Fire Alarm monitoring systems. We introduced the choices available in the market today – Mesh Radio Technology vs. cellular. In this blog post, we continue the comparison and focus on the issue of obsolescence.

Mesh Vs Cellular Obsolescence

Obsolescence of Cellular

The cellular platform is an evolving, changing technology. In just over 20 years, cellular technology has evolved from analog to digital to 2G, 3G, 4G and now 5G. With each technological leap, customers are expected to invest in the latest technology, even if they don’t need it.

With each evolution of technology, eventually, users will be forced to upgrade to the new version in order to maintain their service. This requires subscribers to pay for new equipment and the cost of installation. However, alarm signals don’t change. The signals transmitted are small data packets that don’t benefit from an improvement in technology. You are just paying to access the technology – not take advantage of it.

 

Obsolescence of Mesh Network

Mesh technology is designed to do one thing and only one thing – transmit alarm signals from fire or security panels to a central station. Mesh technology does not attempt to provide expansive data services such as phone calls, emails, videos, games, etc…

Because of this focus, there is no need to expand or upgrade the technology to provide improved performance. Once you install the MeshWrx solution, you will not be required to upgrade this technology in the future. Set it and forget it. You can focus on more complex issues knowing that your alarm monitoring solution is working – and will work in the future.

For more info, watch our video, Why MeshWrx, and give us a call at 855-MESHWX or contact us here

Cut the Cords….to your fire alarm monitoring.

Performance of Radio Mesh vs Cellular

We began this series a few weeks ago to compare alternative solutions for upgrading your alarm monitoring systems from traditional phone lines to wireless technologies. Most people are familiar with cellular as a wireless alternative and may assume that this is the logical next step when upgrading your alarm monitoring system.

There is another alternative—mesh technology which fewer people know much about. Over the past several weeks we have been comparing the two technologies focusing on different features to consider when upgrading your alarm system. You can reference past articles here:
Part 1—Reliability
Part 2—Reliability (Continued)

In this month’s article, we compare on the topic of Performance.

Performance of Cellular Systems

The Cellular device “dials” in to establish a connection so that it can transmit data on the network. When it comes to speed, Cellular dial times average 45 seconds to establish the connection to the network, which is relatively slow for emergency communications. Once the connection is established, the data is prioritized and packaged on the network. In addition, since they use public networks in which public safety communications must share the available bandwidth with other types of traffic (voice, data, video, etc.) cellular often suffers from network congestion problems during times of heavy usage (e.g. during a natural disaster). This could adversely impact response times when fast replies are needed most.

Performance of Mesh Systems

In contrast, wireless mesh networks are always on, so there is no dialing required to establish a connection. Network traversal times are on the order of 1 to 3 seconds. Each device is actively communicating with other devices on the network, eliminating the need to connect before sending a signal. In addition, wireless mesh networks are dedicated solely for the purpose of transmitting alarm data. There is no competition for signal strength from competing data sources like those impacting cellular platforms.

Keep in mind that a fire can double in size every 30 seconds if left unattended. When seconds count, choose MeshWrx solutions for maximum performance.

In our previous blog post, Mesh Network Vs. Cellular Alarm Monitoring, we identified a problem that building owners and their managers are facing—the outdated, inefficient and unreliable phone lines required for their monitoring fire and life safety systems. We introduced the choices available in the market today—Cellular vs Mesh Radio Technology. In this blog post, we continue the comparison and focus on the issue of system reliability. We begin with a brief overview of how each communication system works.

Reliability of Cellular

When it comes to system reliability and performance, cellular systems suffer from a couple of significant issues. The first issue is that the cellular system is used for a variety of different activities. An increase in traffic can cause the cellular system to slow down or fail. We have all experienced the problem of a dropped call. When this happens, there is no way for alarm signals to be prioritized above any other type of signal. If the system is busy, your alarm signal may be the call that is dropped.

Another significant issue with cellular systems is the single point of failure. In a cellular system, if any part of the communication chain (cellular base station, backhaul link, gateway, or internet service provider) goes down, the communication link is broken and there is no workaround.

Reliability of Mesh Network

At MeshWrx, our network is designed to do one thing and one thing only—transmit alarm signals. Our mesh network does not transmit any data but alarm signals. The data packets transmitted on this network are small and there is no chance that the network will be too busy or crash due to overuse.

Unlike cellular, there is no single point of failure on a mesh network. As new devices are added, the network gets stronger and system performance and reliability increase. If a single point of communication fails, the system simply reroutes the signal around the downed unit.

Don’t you want the most reliable system when you do need it? If that’s the case, then MeshWrx has the solution for you. For more info, watch our video and give us a call at 855-MESHWX or contact us here

How the Cellular System Works

Cellular/IP uses local cellular service to relay the fire alarm signal wirelessly from the building to the nearest cellular tower. From there the signal is relayed to an internet gateway either via point-to-point microwave or over fiber optic cable. Once on the internet, the signal gets routed to the central monitoring station via IP protocol.

Radio Mesh vs Cell Alarm Monitoring

How Mesh Network System Works

In wireless mesh networks, a collection of wireless routers is used to provide network access to wireless clients deployed in commercial buildings. Multiple mesh routers within the network serve as gateways to the central monitoring station.

Mesh networks work similarly to the way the internet works, in which internet routers use multiple hops to send information from one point to another. The only difference with mesh networks is that the signals are routed wirelessly, rather than over fiber optic cables.

Just like internet routers, wireless mesh routers have multiple paths to choose from to get the information to the end destination. They dynamically adapt to changing environments and essentially self-heal in case of a node or link failure. If one mesh router becomes obstructed or otherwise unavailable, traffic is automatically redirected via an alternative path.

Reliability of Cellular

When it comes to system reliability, cellular/IP suffers from one vulnerability: a single point of failure. In the cellular/IP system, if any part of the communication chain (cellular base station, backhaul link, gateway or internet service provider) goes down, the communication link is broken and there is no workaround.

It is not at all uncommon for a backhoe to accidentally cut a buried fiber cable.

Reliability of Mesh Network

When it comes to reliability, wireless mesh networks have a benefit that unmatched by either of the other communications technologies: path redundancy plus gateway redundancy.

With path redundancy, wireless mesh networks can survive a mesh router going down. The system simply reroutes the signal around the downed unit. The real unmatched benefit of wireless mesh networks though is gateway redundancy. Within the mesh network, there are multiple gateways connected to the central monitoring station. In the event that one of the gateways goes down, the system reroutes the signal to another gateway.

There is no single point of failure anywhere in a wireless mesh network.

The Problem

Since the very beginning, fire alarm monitoring systems have connected to Call Centers via traditional phone lines. In order to ensure that there wasn’t a single-point-of-failure when an alarm was activated, the authorities required each system to have two dedicated phone lines. This system worked fine for decades largely due to the fact that there weren’t any reasonable alternatives.

Proven Alternative Solutions For Cellular Alarm Monitoring

In the mid-1980s cell phones entered the market and slowly began to change the way people communicated with each other. By 2011 it was estimated that there were more calls made on cell phones than on wired devices. As users migrate away from traditional phone lines and switch to cell or VOIP for their communication systems, the amount of money paid to maintain the system began to shrink. The pool of users paying to support this technology today has shrunk so much that they can no longer support this network of outdated equipment.

Building owners and property managers are looking for alternative solutions to replace their unreliable and expensive phone lines for their fire and security alarm monitoring systems.

Many users assume that the only viable option is to switch to cellular communications as their alarm monitoring backbone. We present to you an alternative solution—mesh radio. In this upcoming series, we will compare the features and benefits between cellular systems and mesh radio systems.

How Mesh Radio Works

Mesh radio technology is conceptually simple. Signals that need to get from a monitored alarm panel to the Central Monitoring Station may either go directly from the smart subscriber at the alarm panel to the receiver in the Central Station or it will “hop” through other subscribers along the way via multiple paths until it gets a confirmed delivery at the Central Station. Protect your most precious assets with leading-edge alarm communications.

Proven Mesh Radio Technology

Our networks are built using patented mesh radio technology that was originally developed for rigorous military installations and designed solely for alarm communications. Over 100,000 new installations have been deployed worldwide since the early 1990’s and over 95% of those systems are still fully operational today.

Reliable, Better

Mesh Radio Technology will never sunset or become obsolete like AMPs, VoIP, or POTs. Our private wireless networks are proven to withstand even the most challenging conditions such as earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, superstorms, and wildfires. When other alarm communication alternatives fail during power outages, mesh network radio signals keep operations running at peak performance

Wireless alarm transmission stands up against the elements with no telephone service, cabling, or generators needed. We own and operate our private networks with complete control of services end-to-end.

Fast, Faster

A fire can double in size and intensity every 30 seconds. When seconds count and lives depend on it, the choice is clear for life safety and security. Our privately owned and operated networks provide the quickest response time possible delivering critical event alarm signals in just 1-3 seconds compared to the Internet at 4-6 seconds or Telephone up to 45 seconds or even longer. Multiple paths provide the shortest, most reliable route possible for alarm signals to get through.