Stealth makes headway

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Monday, August 1, 2005

CALGARY, Alberta--Building on experience in the installation side of the market, industry veteran Brad Morrison, president of Stealth Operations, launched a manufacturing division to produce a product called Tela-Link and brought it to market earlier this year.
Tela-Link, a wireless communication system, is designed to be used as a back-up to traditional, telephone-based alarm systems. It attaches to an alarm system and can either be used as a alternate method to a phone line or as the primary line of communication between the system and the central station via a long-range radio network.
Morrison said the system eliminates problems associated with other communication methods, such as cell phones, traditional phone lines and high-speed broadband networks. He also noted Tela-Link can be a solution for the Voice over Internet Protocol issue the industry has been debating. But he said the system truly comes down to providing an extra layer of safety.
"If something really terrible was happening to a family and the alarm doesn't go off because the telephone line was cut and the cell back-up doesn't work, that is something that concerns me," he said.
Morrison said the product--currently being offered in the first version, which includes four zones--can plug into any alarm system. To complete the system, the company built a network of radio towers across North America. Morrison did not disclose how many towers have been erected.
"The idea from the systems came from saying, 'Why can't we put radio towers all over the place that are dedicated to the system," Morrison said. "There are not a billion people on our towers."
Morrison said the company was able to build the Tela-Link brand after it sold the Alberta operations of its alarm division, Stealth Alarms, to Voxcom in December of last year.
He said the system actually sends a signal to a monitoring station 30 to 60 seconds faster than a conventional telephone system and can be installed within minutes.
At this juncture, the company was debating whether the product would be available through distributors or through dealers. An upgraded second version, which adds Bluetooth technology, rolls out at ISC East in New York in August.
According to Joseph Freeman, principal with J.P. Freeman Co. there is a market for wireless back-up systems.
"If you are concerned about a prospective robber cutting the phone line, than you might take a step to protect yourself further," Freeman said.
Freeman noted that a back-up is especially useful in areas that are prone to extreme weather conditions, such as earthquakes and tornados, and is also an option in case of a fire, which may melt alarm wires.
The idea of a back-up for a security system is not a new idea. In fact, Ademco offers a product called AlarmNet, although that system is different from Tela-Link because it is a cellular back-up system.
According to Scott Simon, Honeywell's business leader of AlarmNet, the product has been extremely popular on the residential and commercial side since its inception in 1986. He said there are currently one million AlarmNet subscribers.