WHEN we talk about wireless monitoring solutions in Australia it’s almost exclusively GSM/GPRS we are talking about, which is generally deployed as a secure comms path with a high poll rate for a fixed cost. But given all that’s required by a wireless reporting unit is power, it’s easy to see that there are plenty of opportunities for growing the recurring revenue in areas like monitoring of cars, boats, caravans, industrial equipment, electronic devices and other high cost goods. 
Vehicle tracking and recovery remains the major application area for wireless M2M communication in the security industry, using devices that combine GPS and GSM/GPRS technologies. The main markets in terms of units and value include tracking of sports cars, luxury passenger cars and commercial vehicles. 
However, there are also several emerging niche markets such as construction equipment as well as leisure vehicles and boats. Today, luxury car owners are frequently advised to install security systems that take advantage of wireless communication and satellite positioning when applying for an insurance policy. 
It’s not just Australia that is experiencing the wireless move. Worldwide, adoption of GSM/GPRS technology is also increasing in the intrusion alarm systems industry. Insurance companies are now encouraging the use of dual fixed line and wireless signalling solutions in monitored alarms in commercial and industrial premises. 
Use of a single landline connection between the alarm system and the alarm receiving centre is no longer deemed sufficient for medium and high security premises. By adding a secondary wireless link, communication becomes more reliable, cannot easily be disrupted and can be proactive in reporting connection failures.  
And opportunity is knocking. Once the European eCall initiative to equip all cars with GSM/GPS technology (enabling automatic 112 emergency calls in case of an accident) is in place, this will certainly drive adoption of stolen vehicle tracking services that can piggyback on the same technology. Extrapolated to Australia, where around 20,000 cars are stolen each year, this is a major new market for monitoring providers. 
The overseas wireless market is also growing exponentially. 
Shipments of wireless M2M modules for security applications in EU27+2 are forecast to grow from 2.4 million in 2010 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 55 percent to reach 21.4 million in 2015, according to a new research report from the analyst firm Berg Insight. At the same time, the number of tracking devices and wireless alarm systems monitored from an alarm receiving centre and similar will grow from 7.0 million in 2010 at a CAGR of 41 percent to reach 39.2 million by the end of 2015.
“There is still a significant untapped potential in the residential market segment for monitored alarms”, says André Malm, senior analyst at Berg Insight. The latest generation of monitored alarm systems with GSM/GPRS is well adapted to the residential market as many households abandon PSTN services. Berg Insight anticipates that there will be over 4 million alarm systems connected to cellular networks in Europe by 2015.
Back home, the advent of the fibre-based NBN is likely to alter alarm monitoring technology by bringing the days of PSTN to an end. What this will mean is that alarms will become wireless with an internet backup or internet-based with a wireless backup – the former being far more secure, the latter being cheaper. 
While this in itself will push customers to wireless, the central element of serious growth in wireless monitoring is its ability to extend monitoring from traditional areas like commercial and residential property and push into monitoring of commercial and industrial vehicles including trucks, trains and buses. Boats which are expensive and are generally unattended for long periods of time are another vertical market perfectly suited to the new generation of wireless monitoring solutions. 
Also relevant will be the acceptance of video verification, an area of monitoring it seems clear will come into its own with the completion of the NBN. Thanks to low cost hardware there’ll be nothing stopping business and households installing solutions that allow remote guard patrols, guard tours and alarm responses. Combined with the flexibility of wireless, video verification will be real game-changer in the monitoring market, giving security people the ability to monitor anything, anywhere.

“At the same time, the number of tracking devices and wireless alarm systems monitored from an alarm receiving centre and similar will grow from 7.0 million in 2010 at a CAGR of 41 percent to reach 39.2 million by the end of 2015”