Alula, a leader in smart security and automation systems for professional installers, announced it will keep popular Simon panels by Interlogix operating far into the future with the introduction of a sunset fix that features the latest in cellular radio technology, Cat-M1.

Connect-XT upgrades Simon XT, XTi and XTi5 panels to a modern, interactive security experience, adding smartphone control to these legacy security panels. The Connect-XT replaces 3G CDMA or GSM cards that will cease to function with the pending 3G cellular sunset.

The new cellular card interacts with the Simon panel serial automation interface, providing full sensor status, system status and arming controls. Connect-XT features Cat-M1 LTE radio technology, which provides improved range from tower to panel over traditional LTE, allowing for more flexibility in difficult installations where cell signals struggle to penetrate.

“Like the rest of the industry, we were surprised by the announcement of the pending closure of Interlogix,” said Alula Vice President of Product Management Dave Mayne. “Our focus is on helping dealers impacted by this to have an elegant and cost-effective transition path going forward and offer them a solution for sunset and panel upgrades that will help them continue doing business smoothly.”

In addition to improved performance, Cat-M1 also brings the advantage of 5G compatibility. This means that dealers installing Cat-M1 cellular cards today can be confident that they will be supported by cellular carriers long into the future, the company stated.

Connect-XT communicates alarm signals over Cat-M1 via Verizon or AT&T, and is available in versions with or without Z-Wave automation. Customers with Simon panels installed can easily upgrade to a fully automated home with video monitoring, including the popular Video Doorbell, using the new card — even if they are still using landlines.

Alula’s sunset rebate program will apply to Simon upgrades as well. Eligible installers can receive up to $50 when they replace a sunset-prone Simon radio with the new Connect-XT, helping relieve the burden imposed on installers by the sudden shutdown.

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