GSM Network Reporting

GSM is the acronym for the telecommunications network called Global System for Mobile Communications. It is the second generation of digital technology used for mobile communication but with the added capacity to send data services.

In the Security Alarm Industry it is used to transmit digital alarm signals as a backup to, or to replace, the PSTN Telephone Digital Dialler.

Use of SMS as a method of transmitting alarm signals is rarely used as a "Store and Forward" method with no time requirements for message delivery is hardly the right choice for security alarm data transmission.

A GSM module containing a SIM card is included in or added to a security alarm panel to allow reporting over the GSM Network. Depending on the carrier and the plan chosen for the SIM card this could be a service shared with mobile phone voice services or a dedicated data network. Ownership of the SIM card is also a consideration of the quality and availability of the service.

As dedicated data networks are now provided by GPRS Networks (General Packet Radio Service) it is likely that a GSM device is shared with voice calls with the inherent cell swapping, overloading and data corruption of alarm signals, jamming and messages lost.

Where GSM is used it should be realised that on most occasions it shares the network with voice communications which contain many users, a voice priority on demand, a complicated switching between cells, and variance in signal strength.

As a backup service to a PSTN Dialler, there should be interconnection between the two devices so that each monitors the availability to report for each other and therefore increases the availability but generally remaining a Class 2 Dialler service.

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 or later IP network option. These systems have the added benefit of a fixed operating cost.

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