In the race for 5G, alarm and security services find themselves stuck in the middle


In the alarm industry, the biggest companies, like ADT, seem to meet the best challenge of meeting the expiration date set by AT&T.

In its statement to the government, AT&T cited comments the ADT chief executive made to Wall Street analysts, saying the company was “on track” with 3G conversions. Of its 2.9 million alarm systems in need of upgrades, about 800,000 remain. But in a standard quarterly government filing, the company warned that the pace of its upgrade program could change. based on Covid trends and access to customer sites.

ADT has the buying power to get chips and equipment ahead of others, and its customers are more likely than smaller operators to be in metropolitan areas, said Brian Ruttenbur, alarm industry analyst at Imperial Capital, an investment bank.

In Minnesota, Custom Alarm, which has 66 employees, does not receive such benefits. Due to equipment shortages, Ms. Brinkman shut down a text messaging program to notify customers of the need for upgrades for a few months this year. With the shortages easing, this education effort will resume next month.

Ms. Brinkman estimates that her company has now completed 60% of necessary upgrades, late, but moving forward. “We will do our best,” she said. “I have lived here all my life. I take it very personally.

In its joint case, Public Knowledge calls on the FCC to play the role of an “honest broker,” gathering the facts, urging compromise and acting when necessary.

“Businesses are not in a position to make these judgments,” said Mr. Feld. “The FCC is the one who should be doing them. “


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