A Grande effort

NextAlarm heads south of the border with a new partnership
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Saturday, September 1, 2007

OJAI, Calif., and GUADALAJARA, Mexico--NextAlarm announced in late July it is making its first foray into Latin America by partnering with Megacable Communications and IP Monitor, both of which provide services in and around Guadalajara, Mexico. Together, the three companies will be offering the first bundled broadband services package in that area, which will include alarm monitoring as well as cable TV, Internet and phone service.
Alarm monitoring became available to subscribers on July 1.
"Megacable is the cable provider in Guadalajara and one of the largest in Mexico," said Alex Elliot, president and chief executive officer of NextAlarm. "IP Monitor is an alarm provider in Guadalajara and surrounding cities. We have teamed up with both companies to use our patented ABN technology." NextAlarm will use its Alarm Broadband Network adapters to allow IP Monitor to communicate with the Megacable subscribers' alarm systems over broadband.
"We've installed servers in IP Monitor's central station and they're providing the service to Megacable's customers," Elliot said, adding that Megacable is handling much of the marketing for the package, including running TV spots on their cable station. According to Elliot, IP Monitor found NextAlarm as a result of the consumer electronics show in Las Vegas "and the press we got there."
Ciro Castrejon Cardenas, general manager of IP Monitor, added, "We've been trying for some time to offer our clients something with value added, something different. Most of the companies down here offer the same type of systems regarding alarm services. We researched several companies and found that NextAlarm was the best option available out there. We think that it's going to be a very successful partnership." According to Cardenas, in Mexico the market is about 80 percent commercial and 20 percent residential, which is the market his company will primarily be targeting.
Elliot said that many customers in that region of Mexico are getting cable before they have landline telephones. "There's a growing group of customers there who have cable and VoIP who are using a slice of the cable bandwidth even though the customer does not use the Internet at present. In the U.S., the customer buys cable and we piggyback VoIP onto it. But in Guadalajara [most of Megacable's customers] do not have computers--the wire lines are not good down there, so these guys are running fiber faster than copper can be run for landlines ... Cable and fiber are really leapfrogging over copper."
According to Elliot, as a result, customers are signing up for cable service to use entertainment and phone services, as "this market segment has no need for Internet yet as they do not have computers." This allows Megacable to generate additional revenue by monitoring the alarm system over the broadband connection at less cost to the customer than conventional Internet service.
"As far as we know, we're the first to do this--this alliance is the first," said Elliot.