When I first entered the security industry in 1973, alarm communications were performed by Direct Wire, McCulloh and some high security applications using voice-grade telephone lines configured in “open window” and later “closed window” bridges.
The digital communicator made a shaky entrance somewhere around 1975. Many old salts spurned it as un-supervised, as if it should be burned at the stake. But it caught on and somewhat revolutionized the security industry.
Early attempts at radio began circa 1970 when the early version of TMA’s Alarm Industry Communications Committee (AICC) was given several channels in the 450 MHz business band for voice and several channels up at 900 MHz, exclusively for alarm transmission. Since the alarm industry was slow to embrace the 900 MHz channels, the industry lost its exclusivity. Later, AICC made it possible for alarm companies to use the offsets between the main channels at 450 MHz for alarm transmission on an exclusive basis.
What followed those early days was an endless and accelerating stream of newer technologies such as AMPS, 2G, 3G, 4G and now 5G. Soon we will be looking to 6G. In the middle of it all entered TCP/IP and the Internet.
The digital communicator has run its course beginning with the breakup of AT&T and the following turmoil, leading to a sometimes unreliable transmission path.
AICC helped to make sense of it and guide the FCC and Congress in the Communications Act of 1996.
I love Moore’s Law: the principle that the speed and capability of computers can be expected to double every two years, as a result of increases in the number of transistors a microchip can contain. Some say this cannot continue forever. Engineers and scientists keep finding ways to make it work.
As 6G moves up higher in frequency, what might be the next leap? What might 7G look like? Eventually, the upper end of the electromagnetic spectrum yields to light. Can something happen there?
Perhaps the next generation will be a combination of the integration of smaller and faster computer chips, as Moore’s Law predicts, with innovative software and the practical limit of the radio spectrum.
If you are an installing or monitoring company, you should be aware how the FCC and Congress can affect your use of communications technology. If you are a manufacturer, you should be aware of what technologies are around the corner. You owe it to yourself, your company and your stockholders to stay abreast of communications technology and whatever pitfalls the FCC and Congress may put in your way.