Most security alarm panels have a digital dialler built in as a standard feature. A digital dialler uses the conventional telephone service or pstn (public switched telephone network) to transmit signals to the monitoring centre.
It is estimated that with over one million alarm panels communicating by dialler most of the Security Industry is based on this product. The Client pays the cost of a phone call every time the alarm panel communicates to a Monitoring Centre.
The digital dialling formats are now very efficient and in Australia the Contact ID Format is the norm. It is a DTMF format and has worked very efficiently over the analogue phone service traditionally available in this country. This is now changing. CMS has a fully duplicated network and equipment to provide dialler services. The alarm panel at the Client Premises is programmed with a dedicated Securidial 1345 number to a dialler receiver at CMS with a dedicated group of multiple pstn numbers attached. Should the panel be unable to receive the verified code to transmit information to CMS then the panel switches to a second 1345 number which dials a different receiver with an alternative multiple group of telephone numbers on an alternative technology network. The two 1345 numbers are also engineered to backup each other.
CMS provides an extremely high availability on this service but there still has to be a pstn line available at the Client Premises and a working panel to ensure the monitoring service.
CMS recommends that the panel be programmed to send regular tests on a daily basis. Should the Client understand the risk and require a less frequent test activity this is also an option for a lower risk domestic application.
CMS also recommend that the alarm panel be programmed to send one alarm per Zone per armed period. This is called lockout and ensures the client does not incur excessive phone charges. All system management are sent and monitored as well as security alarms.
The use of a dialler as the Class 1 or Class 2 transmission system should be based on the risk assessment for the premises and the Class of alarm system installed as per Australian Standard contained in the AS/NZS2201:1-2007 Systems Installed in Clients Premises and AS/NZS 2201:5-2008 Alarm Transmission Systems.
A higher security option may better suit the premises and consideration should be given to other products provided by CMS with a Class 3 or higher option. These systems have the added benefit of a fixed operating cost.
From 2009 onwards the Telecommunication Companies commenced introducing digital IP services. The pstn diallers may have difficulties working on the new networks, or when VOIP services are used by the client or when no copper is available.
Diallers have been the backbone of the Security Industry but the future is in the new technologies as installed in the UK, USA and NZ. The copper network traditionally used by Telstra and some Telecommunication Companies is a very small part of their future plans. Fibre networks and Wireless networks are the future now with wireless requiring less capital commitment and maintenance.