Monitronics embraces Wi-Fi for IP alarms

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

DALLAS—Monitronics International has begun accommodating Wi-Fi for IP alarm communications, paving the way for what the company says will be easier installations and lower service costs for customers and dealers.

Bruce Mungiguerra, vice president of Monitronics’ sales and dealer program, said that since more than 60 percent of U.S. homes have wireless broadband, it makes sense to use it for alarm signals.

“It should reduce the overall cost of service because IP communication is a lot less than cellular communication, and the cost of the IP wireless connection is a lot less than a cellular radio,” he told Security Systems News.

The Wi-Fi capability will also save time and labor during installation because it eliminates the need for the CAT5 wire used to connect alarm communicators to the Internet.

“It makes life a whole lot easier for the technicians in the field,” Mungiguerra said.

The Monitronics initiative currently involves only the LYNX Touch 5100 from Honeywell, the security industry’s first system to provide Wi-Fi alarm communications. It was introduced at ISC West in March and released marketwide in June.

Mungiguerra said the Touch 5100 and other Wi-Fi-enabled systems could help break down the reluctance of many alarm companies to embrace IP.

“I think a big piece of why they haven’t wanted to tie into IP in the past was having to run that CAT5 wire,” he said.

While there are also dealers hesitant to adopt Wi-Fi because of router issues, Mungiguerra said the concerns are unfounded if the correct procedures are followed.

“Part of it is they’ve been afraid that if they tie into a customer’s router and the Internet goes down, now it’s seen as the installer’s fault and they’d be getting a lot of unnecessary support calls,” he said. “As long as they put in a separate router, they’re in great shape. If they try to connect it to the customer’s router, then that may cause some additional challenges.”


Being a Monitronics dealer, I am excited and proud that we are again on the forefront for changes in the alarm industry. While, switching over to Wifi IP alarms sounds like a great idea in theory in practicality it might cause some serious problems.  First, being the sensitivity of routers in places such as our location in Atlanta, GA where one cloudy day can  interupt all wifi signals, let alone the constant lighting storms that zap routers dead in an instant.  Plus, there are so many great alarm products available such as the 2 GIG product that isn't currently using this style.  There just aren't enough products currently available using this capability for our dealership to jump on board immediately.