Cellular Communicators — What are they and does yours need to be upgraded?

If you have a Security System, or are thinking of installing one, here’s what you need to know about cellular monitoring and its benefits.

What is the difference between a Wireless and Cellular Security SystemWhen you investigate purchasing or activating monitoring for a security system, you will hear the terms wireless and cellular used. So what is the difference? 

Wireless refers to the wireless connection between the security system sensors and the control  panel. Instead of wires, the connection is through radio waves.

Cellular refers to how the control panel communicates to your security monitoring company as well as your cell phone, tablet, or computer apps. In other words, a cellular-based security system uses the cellular network to connect to the monitoring station in case of an emergency. 

Cell Phone Technology Keeps Advancing: It is important to remember that home security is only as effective as its weakest link. While cellular alarm monitoring requires that you have a cellular communicator in your security system, the technology offers significant advantages over landline-based systems. Advantages include:

  • Cellular communicators are more stable. Cellular communicator-based systems use the same reliable network of cell towers as your mobile phone to communicate with the monitoring center. Security systems that rely on an internet connection lose monitoring communication in the event of an internet outage to your home. Landline-based home security systems have a physical connection which can be vulnerable to burglars, power outages, construction, and the elements (heavy snow or storms) that can sever the connection to your phone provider.
  • Remote monitoring – A great advantage of cellular communication is the option to monitor your home or business remotely. With an app you can add to your monitoring, you will be able to arm/disarm and manage security alerts, and the status of your secured property, even while you’re away.

Are you thinking about dropping your home phone line? Secur-Tek recommends using a cell communicator.  Cellular technology has progressed to the point where it is more secure than the traditional phone line. Additionally, it is more reliable than a digital Internet phone service or VOIP (Voice over Internet Phone Service) that requires constant power and is susceptible to network outages. Cellular monitoring works by installing a “cellular chip” or “module” connected to the Control Panel of the alarm system. This cellular device acts as the communicator between your alarm system and the monitoring station – that is why it is called a cellular communicator.

Cellular communicators function much like a cell phone that is specifically dedicated to your security system by communicating via cellular network data channels. In essence, the cellular communicator installed into the Control Panel of your alarm system acts as a connection to the “outside world”. Cellular communicators are dedicated solely to the security system, so they are not shared with any other service.

Do you need to update your current Cellular Communicator?  A cellular communicator connects with a specific cellular network. Cellular service providers are in the process of shutting down their older, non-LTE networks. As such, the new LTE cellular communicators will only connect with an LTE network tower. This cellular network is expected to remain active for many years. Companies such as Secur-Tek, Inc. that operate alarm monitoring platforms are aware of this. We are currently switching customers to LTE communicators for monitoring. While you can temporarily continue to use an older, non-LTE system  for alarm monitoring, once the associated cellular network is put out of service by the cellular service providers, the module will no longer work. So, the answer to the question above is YES — if you are using a non-LTE communicator, the clock is ticking!

We at Secur-Tek, Inc., have been working to keep our customers up to date.

All of our cellular customers requiring the upgrade should have received notifications with their monitoring invoices. Additionally, when a customer calls in for service, Secur-Tek, Inc. staff are reviewing the customer’s security features and recommending the communication upgrade be completed at the time of service. 

If you have any questions concerning your cellular communicator, we urge you to please contact us by website request or call our office at 919-387-1800.

Secur-Tek, Inc. is locally owned and operated in Apex, NC, offering home and business security and monitoring. Secur-Tek also provides automation, audio, and central vacuum systems to customers in the Apex, Cary, Fuquay-Varina, Chapel Hill, Clayton, Garner, Holly Springs, Durham, Raleigh, Morrisville, and Pittsboro areas.

Security & Home Automation