Alarm and Security Services Stay in the Middle in the 5G Race


In the alarm industry, the biggest companies like ADT seem to be coping best with the challenge of meeting the sunset date set by AT&T.

In a statement to the government, AT&T cited comments from ADT’s CEO to Wall Street analysts in which he said the company was “on track” with transformations from 3G. Of the 2.9 million alarm systems that need to be upgraded, about 800,000 remain. But in a standard quarterly filing to the government, the company warned that the pace of the upgrade program could vary depending on Covid trends and access to customer sites.

Brian Ruttenbur, alarm industry analyst at investment bank Imperial Capital, said ADT has the purchasing power to buy chips and equipment before others, and its clients are more likely to be in larger cities than small operators.

Custom Alarm, which has 66 employees in Minnesota, cannot enjoy such benefits. Due to equipment shortages, Ms. Brinkman shut down a text messaging program to notify customers of the need for an upgrade for several months this year. As famines subside, this education effort will continue next month.

Ms Brinkman estimates that her company is behind schedule 60 percent of the required upgrades, but continues to move forward. “We will do our best,” he said. “I’ve lived here all my life. I take that very personally.”

In its joint filing, Public Knowledge urges the FCC to play the role of “honest broker”, gather facts, encourage reconciliation, and take action if necessary.

“Companies are not in a position to make these decisions,” Mr. Feld said. “It’s the FCC that should make them.”


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