December 23, 2010
Wireless Home Alarms – Still Searching for the Price of ADT Pulse
People continue to search out information on the release of ADT’s new Pulse platform, and I continue to report my findings here, since there is so little information available from ADT by phone or on their web site. There is clearly plenty of buzz, as I can see by the remarkable number of folks finding my posts by searching on terms such as “ADT Pulse pricing.” What amazes me is that it hasn’t gotten any easier to extract from ADT the things that people seem to want to know.
Here’s a reprint of the chart from my most recent post on ADT Pulse, with the pricing that is available from other “unofficial” sources I’ve found on the web:
Surprise: Pulse is Cellular!
One of the most important aspects of the Pulse platform is that the alarm monitoring communication occurs over a cellular link. While ADT has offered cellular monitoring as an expensive upgrade for some time, what stands out about the way they are selling Pulse is that they are really pushing cellular as the only safe and reliable way for an alarm system to communicate. While this is not a new concept to FrontPoint, since our systems have been based on purely cellular monitoring since our inception, it puts ADT in a difficult position.
ADT – Between a rock and a hard place
How do you tell millions of your alarm customers, the homeowners that have relied on you for peace of mind (and paid those monthly bills) for years, that the phone line-based system they have in place is actually not that safe after all – when cellular monitoring has been around for more than 10 years? I think it’s a tough sell, and I know how I would feel as a customer in that situation. But ADT seems to recognize some harsh realities that even they are finally addressing with the Pulse product:
- Phone lines as we know them are going away at a breakneck pace.
- People realize how vulnerable phone lines are: intruders regularly cut them to render traditional system useless.
- Internet-based monitoring is no safer than phone line-based monitoring – and maybe less so.
- People want a full range of interactive services (remote control, notifications, and more), and it’s easier to provide these over a cellular link.
Pulse is clearly an improvement over the traditional ADT system, representing a potential (albeit expensive) upgrade for the millions of homes where today the alarm system requires a vulnerable phone line. But there is something important still missing, and I’ve pointed this out before: ADT does not have a solution for the “Crash and Smash” intruder. That’s the intruder who breaks in and is able to disable your alarm system before it can communicate to the monitoring center. Smart crooks know this, so it’s happening more often.
When it comes to Crash & Smash, there’s only one technology that is virtually undefeatable, and it was developed and patented by Alarm.com, the leader in interactive alarm monitoring. And as the leader in wireless, interactive home security, FrontPoint uses Alarm.com technology in every system we sell - so yes, we do provide Crash & Smash protection. And yes, we think that’s a huge difference (in our customers’ favor), so it’s hard for us to imagine anyone paying the prices we have seen for Pulse, and not getting that level of security (here’s a link to my post on Crash and Smash).
As we’ve said before, it’s exciting when the 800 (or in this case, 8,000!) pound gorilla decides to move in your direction, attempting to copy what you’ve been doing all along. We just wish it wasn’t so darn hard to get that gorilla to spill the beans, but we do see their dilemma. If you have any tidbits to share (or specific questions) on Pulse, feel free to post them here. We’ll keep watching, making calls, and reporting for you.