The Advantages of Cellular Communicators for Commercial Fire

The Advantages of Cellular Communicators for Commercial Fire
ESA — October 1, 2019

As the month of October draws the general public’s attention to fire safety nationwide, commercial fire integrators should also take note of new technologies that could streamline their offerings and more effectively protect their customers.

We spoke with Telguard President George Brody about the increasing popularity and viability of cellular communicators for commercial applications. He addressed the benefits of cellular paths, the state of property owners’ perceptions and the way forward regarding LTE upgrades.

George Brody George Brody – President, Telguard

How can commercial fire integrators benefit from using a cellular communication path to alert the Central Station of a fire signal the control panel has detected, instead of using land lines (POTS)?

There are numerous benefits for the integrator to use sole path cellular communications, specifically the Telguard TG-7FS-LTE series for commercial fire that is listed with UL864 and compliant with NFPA 72. Sole path cellular communication provides a recurring monthly revenue stream for the integrator, eliminating the telco from the business model. Also, it puts the integrator in full control of the end-to-end panel communication for management, installation and inspection of the system.

In addition, cellular is more reliable, so the integrator is providing a better, higher-quality solution. With landlines, the telco connections used to communicate critical information come from the same location and from the same telephone company, providing no diversity. When these lines are damaged or inoperable due to fire, vandalism, weather, construction, or any other type of telecommunications failure, the critical information cannot reach the monitoring center. Telguard Sole Path Cellular technology offers more frequent and consistent supervision of the fire system communication path.

Typically, an integrator can offer a property manager more than a 50% reduction in the monthly cost for monitoring a commercial fire system using cellular technology vs. POTS.

What are commercial property owners’ perceptions of the new technology, and the need to upgrade?

For HVAC, lighting, energy systems and building controls, new technology is being adopted to improve performance. Commercial property owners are very open to new technology that provides more value, lowers costs and provides an ROI. The Telguard cellular communicators hit the mark on all these key elements.

Typically, an integrator can offer a property manager more than a 50% reduction in the monthly cost for monitoring a commercial fire system using cellular technology vs. POTS. The property owner gets a better system, eliminates the telco cost and reduces their operating expenses.


The 3G sunset is coming in phases, and will be complete for both AT&T and Verizon in 2022; why should integrators start upgrading to LTE technology now as opposed to waiting?

The AT&T 3G Sunset is scheduled for February 2022 and the Verizon CDMA Sunset is planned for December 2022. Both carriers have already put a stop on any new activations of 3G and CDMA devices on their networks. Telguard has been delivering a complete portfolio of both AT&T and Verizon LTE cellular communicators for the past 3 years, taking a first to market and leadership position in providing the newest cellular technology for maximum longevity.

We recommend integrators start now in updating 3G and CDMA devices in the field while they are at the facility for service or maintenance to minimize the resources and provide enough runway to migrate before the sunsets. Telguard also has an LTE network upgrade board for the TG-7 series 3G/CDMA devices in the field allowing for an easy, affordable upgrade. The integrator does not have to remove the existing installed enclosure, or power supply, and the system maintains the site’s UL certifications.

In addition, Telguard is offering instant discounts on cellular communicators at participating distributors to help integrators manage the migration costs. Instant savings are available starting October 1, 2019.


What are the advantages of LTE cellular communicators for commercial installations?

There are numerous advantages for using LTE cellular communicators for commercial installations. First and foremost, Telguard commercial LTE cellular devices reduce the communication cost from the premise to the central station. Signal reliability is improved with Telguard sole path cellular technology offering more frequent and consistent supervision. The integrator is in full control of the end-to-end communication for management, installation and inspection of the system. Cellular is more reliable, so the integrator is providing a better, higher quality solution.


How should integrators prepare before replacing existing cellular devices with the new LTE communicators?

Partner with a cellular communicator provider to make the upgrade to LTE as efficient as possible. At Telguard, we provide the most complete line of professional grade universal cellular communicators for security and fire applications, both commercial and residential markets. Also, partner with a vendor that is recognized in the industry by AHJs for commercial fire systems. AHJs and Fire Marshals across the country approve the TG-7FS LTE which is made in the USA.

Telguard communicators connect to virtually any panel providing a better, more reliable and more cost-effective solution for security and fire systems. They are easy to install and activate, reducing the integrator’s installation time. Standardization of operations, auto-set up features, templates for registration, and new product features are all targeted on making the installation faster and convenient for the integrator. Apps, like Telguard Tools, allow the installer to essentially register and activate a Telguard unit on the spot. And if you ever need to talk to us, we provide a talented team of technical and customer support specialists who provide instant personal service to assist or resolve any concerns.

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