A little over 40 years ago, I left a position at the largest, national full-service alarm company to start a long-range radio manufacturing business. I firmly believed wireless was the way of the future. The circumstances that led me to that realization are a story for another day. Certainly, the evolution of wireless technology is yet another story.

My work with wireless was directed toward UHF low-power radio for both one-way simplex and two-way polling for non-listed and listed fire and burglar alarm installations. All this was long before electronics, semiconductors and software evolved to make many things possible that I could have only dreamed about back then.

Some years later, when I was introduced to the mesh concept of wireless for alarm transmission, I was hooked. It could do more than I could do, and do it much more efficiently and securely.

First, we should consider the main reason to use wireless. Mainly, the reason to embrace wireless networks is to move away from the dependence on telecommunications carriers. Yes, there is a commonly used option that uses the internet to play a role in linking areas where mesh networks exist. But total independence is possible.

There are several advantages to using a mesh network. If a dealer owns the network, that dealer is in complete control with virtually no reliance on a third-party public infrastructure. The network can be configured to eliminate reliance on a third-party public infrastructure. All signals are acknowledged. Multiple signal paths are inherently available. There are never any costly infrastructure changes due to sunsets. No choke points exist because of damaged telecommunications towers or infrastructure due to severe weather or natural disasters. The more users on the network, the more reliable the mesh becomes.

There are several advantages to using a mesh network. If a dealer owns the network, that dealer is in complete control with virtually no reliance on a third-party public infrastructure."

Wireless mesh networks are certainly reliable. They are scalable and they can be massive. No matter the environment, mesh technology is by design able to find a way to connect your customers to the monitoring central station.

As a mesh network owner, you no longer must rely on third-party network management to maintain the health of your alarm communications network. Management tools are available to monitor the health of your network.

On average, mesh network accounts are valued at 75 percent more than cellular. You can, therefore, increase the valuation of an alarm business by reducing and even eliminating monthly cellular costs.

For example, AES Intellinet is a leading U.S. provider of mesh technology in the alarm industry. There are two ways you can become an AES dealer. The first is to start your own AES Intellinet network and the second is to join a shared AES Intellinet network in your area.

You can brand and market your private, wireless mesh network as your own. This allows you to stand apart from the competition with the guarantee of a secure, reliable network that supports your alarm communications.

AES provides technology that enables full visibility into your customers’ alarm communications status. AES technology gives you the tools needed to bring every aspect of network management in-house. This means that you can offer your customers the assurance of immediate response and a network managed in-house by your own staff.

I currently serve on a voluntary basis as one of several FCC coordinators. I concentrate mainly on the UHF voice and data channels that the industry garnered from the FCC. When the voice channels first came to us back in the late 1960s. In the 1980s, we expanded these frequencies to include the “offsets” in between the voice channels. These offsets proved invaluable to carry this alarm traffic and set up these networks. As part of a recent negotiation with the FCC, it is now possible to use the voice channels for alarm data on a primary basis rather than on a secondary basis.

In addition to being able to coordinate the offsets, we were able to gain certain concessions from the FCC, making these channels even more valuable. For example, even though these channels are used for fixed customer locations, these locations are considered “mobiles,” so no licenses are required for each customer with all units licensed by the network operator.