In a post-pandemic world, demand for security solutions and services is increasing, but that’s not all that’s changing in 2022.
We’re starting to see new security trends emerge prompted by customer demands, manufacturers, and installers like FHA Security.
Here are our top 9 predictions for 2022!
End of landline
OFCOM after consultation with stakeholders decided that traditional landlines, running through old-fashioned copper lines will be discontinued by 2025. We wrote about this in detail and how it will affect your burglar alarms earlier.
As maintaining old lines are more expensive than switching customers over to digital lines, we have seen all leading providers including BT, Sky, and others have taken this initiative early on. If your broadband contract is due for renewal anytime soon, you will no longer be offered an analog line but only an upgrade to a digital line. You may also be switched over in the middle of your contract as well if the lines in your area are to be completely switched off. This means some of your old burglar alarms which use a landline (PSTN) for call alerts and monitoring either needs new communication modules or a completely new alarm system.
Switching off 2G and 3G Technologies
The UK will phase out 2G and 3G mobile services by 2033, and the government has agreed to the switch-off date with mobile-network operators Vodafone, EE, Virgin Media, O2, and Three.
In July 2021, EE owner BT revealed plans to phase out 3G by 2023, and 2G later in the decade. And many other companies have already begun phasing out technology that supports the services.
With more and more connectivity going 4G or 5G or running through broadband, legacy systems and communication modules will either require upgrading or a complete overhaul.
Smart Alarm by Default
20 years ago, alarms were mostly bell only and connection via landline was a novelty. Mobile sim card-connected devices using GSM modules came through in the last 15 years or so. And smart alarms started taking steam in the last decade.
Now with PSTN (landline), 2G, and 3G discontinuing soon, alarms that communicate via the internet will be the default and here to stay for a long time.
Having been installing and maintaining smart alarms for a decade now, we are pioneers in smart alarm technology installation in the UK and we see the following key trends in 2022.
- Newer alarm control panels will connect wirelessly to broadband than via physical cabling, giving more flexibility on the location of panels. Think of new iPad-like panels sitting on your kitchen island.
- With IP becoming the key communication module, all good manufacturers will prioritise their server connectivity, security enhancement against hacking, and end-to-end encryption. Watch out for DIY and internet-connected security products with no end-to-end encryption.
- App connectivity and cloud service will become a subscription service as standard. Manufacturers who currently offer free cloud connection (any smartphone app, push notification, monitoring, or email notifications) through their servers (only a handful do now) will either discontinue the free connected products or will retrospectively charge for all cloud-connected systems.
- GSM sim card units to become the second and backup modules as most services for app, monitoring, police response, and guard response will all use IP as the primary communication channel.
Integration of Burglar Alarms, Doorbells, and Smart Locks
Home automation ever since its inception has been a premium product and used mostly in ‘Grand Designs’ like projects. Old systems were mostly fully wired and retrospectively fitting them was near impossible. Things are changing now and the cost of products is coming down.
We expect to see more affordable smart burglar alarm integration with smart locks, smart video doorbells, smart internal or external cameras with advanced analytics. Platforms like alarm.com connecting multiple smart products are the future of smart living. We now offer smart alarms from Visonic Qolsys working on this platform integrating 6 different wireless technologies to connect your smart devices.
In the not-too-distant future, your alarm control panel will become the brain of your home, potentially controlling the following:
- Video Doorbells
- Internal and External Cameras
- Smart Door entry systems
- Gates and garages
- Smart lighting
- Heating and Air Conditioning
- Televisions and Music System
- Washing machines and dryers
- Robotic Vacuum cleaners
- Anything else ‘smart’ in your house controlled via control panels
You will be able to control all these devices from a central control panel using direct input, smart apps on phones, watches, and a range of voice control devices like Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, and Google Assistant. The system will also learn your habits and efficiently schedule when to turn on all the devices, schedule use of devices for energy efficiency, update your shopping lists and notify you before devices fail at home.
5G technology for UHD and wireless video security
5G technology will bring faster connectivity, greater bandwidth, lower latency, and help security products deliver higher resolution images and video with better wireless connectivity.
With UK’s average broadband speed at 47.78 Mbps, 4G connection running at 20 – 30 Mbps, 5G will automatically compete with some of the fastest wired connections in the country with an average speed of 160 Mbps. A 5G connected security product stream 4K high definition video output (UHD), bringing in new solutions in video security.
5G connected video surveillance solutions will only have a 5G Simcard with a power supply or powerful lithium batteries to set up and connect wireless cameras in remote locations. This will facilitate the fast deployment of temporary and permanent solutions with limited installation costs. And when 6G comes, speeds are expected to be up to 1 Tbps.
Private Guard Responses to Alarm Events
What happens when your alarm is triggered?
It is common knowledge that a lot of neighbours ignore burglar alarms going off and police response alarms responses haven’t been what they used to be. FHA Security is introducing GRS (Guard Response Service) to alarm triggers all for a fixed fee. FHA monitored alarm systems can be connected to a curated marketplace of professional guard companies. Our GRS service can identify and dispatch the nearest guard to check a property if there is an alarm event. Fixed monthly cost includes annual alarm service, monitoring costs, and 2 guard responses within a 12 month period for as little as £24 per month for residential customers and £30 per month for commercial customers, by using an insurance model charging customers a fixed fee.
Higher Demand for Cyber Security
With security systems becoming smart and connected to the internet, people are right to be concerned about the risk of being hacked to break into the security system. Security systems and cloud service providers will have to continuously invest in, maintain and monitor all connected systems against threats.
Security manufacturers and service providers like FHA Security will also have to cover the security of their products and services throughout the whole lifecycle.
Increases in global freight charges in 2021, energy price 2021-22, chip shortages and the biggest inflation rise in the UK in over 30 years means, the prices were bound to increase. Having seen an average annual price increase of 2-3% for the last decade, 2022 price increases for the security industry is in the range of 6 to 12% now with most suppliers who announced recently opting for 8-12% increases. This trend is likely to continue until inflation and interest rates stabilise again.
Manufacturers streamlining product lines
Supply chain issues, chip shortages, and inflation mean manufacturers are streamlining their product ranges while we prepare for a post covid world. Global security solution manufacturer Risco is moving into two product lines – Wicomm Pro range and Lightsys+ discontinuing their Agility, Commpact, GT Plus, and Lightsys 2 products. Johnson Control’s Visonic has announced they will discontinue at least two products this year.
So, there you have it, our top security trends in the UK to watch in 2022 and beyond.
Whether you have existing security solutions or have questions about how any of these can affect your security requirements, please do get in touch.