IMS Research: Alarm POTS Use to Drop 20 Percent in the Next Five Years

According to a new report from IMS Research, monitored alarm accounts using plain old telephone lines (POTS) transmission accounted for nearly 90 percent of recurring monthly revenue in North America in 2009. However, this is forecast to decrease to nearly 70 percent by 2014. Similar declines are forecast throughout Europe, although there is a great deal of variation from country to country.

IMS Research's latest report on the remote monitoring industry predicts that by 2014, only a half of the monitored alarms in France will have a landline connection. “This contrasts with the Spanish market that is predicted to show only a drop of a few percentage points in market share for landline connections,” said Market Analyst and Report Author Ewan Lamont.

“It's interesting how each market is responding differently to the decline of POTS,” Lamont said. “Whilst it is widely accepted that the use of POTS for alarm communication will come to an end sometime, the lack of a definite end-game reduces the pressure on dealers to switch. Also, there are still questions over what will successfully replace it, and until these issues are resolved the market will be slow to move to an alternative.”

“Each market has very different drivers behind the change, with some riding the emerging wave of IP, such as Germany, whilst others, such as France, prefer the wireless convenience of GSM. On top of all that, there is radio to consider too.” Lamont said: “timescale is also important to consider. Each country is progressing at a different rate, making planning for the future very difficult.”

The alarm industry is heavily dependent upon communications networks to provide an acceptable level of service, but with all the recent talk about the end of POTS, it is hard for dealers to know what to do. The Americas and EMEA markets for remote monitoring services feature data on communication methods for all the major markets.

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