Watch any movie pre 1990s and the mobile telephone seemed only to exist in science fiction, yet here we are in a world where wired telephony is fast becoming obsolete. We ask whether the days of cable are numbered.
Sit in any public place, and you are bombarded with offers of free wi-fi for smart phones, tablets and laptops, no one can be without instant connectivity wherever they are. Not only is this convenient it is easier and far more inexpensive to achieve than wiring a building with cat 5 cable and LAN sockets.
So it seems the days of cable may well be numbered, helped along by the influx of numerous counterfeit products which meet no particular standard yet profess to be a cheaper option, albeit a highly dangerous one. With up to 20% of all cable sold being substandard*, and something like 27% of all electrical fires caused by faulty cables* the question must be “How long before wireless systems become mainstream?”
Radio based systems for fire and security, such as the smart cluster technology developed by EMS, have been available for a number of years. With various standards being introduced, the gap between wired or wireless in terms of performance and security has simply disappeared.
The objective of EN54-25 for example is to make certain that wireless fire systems are as efficient and effective as traditionally wired alternatives, offering exactly the same levels of protection. Specifying a system that complies with EN54 part 25, such as the FireCell system, ensures that there is no discrepancy in performance, with reassurance that can be passed onto the customer and end client.
The range of wireless products is now diverse with many manufactures able to provide both wired and wireless variants.
The questions being asked now are not about performance but speed of installation and environmental impact. The technology has been proven and developed while a new mindset around design and installation has been adopted. No more waiting on inaccessible areas. Instead, wireless systems are installed in any order, rather than how the cables thread their way around a building.
Reduced installation times not only cut cost but also reduce carbon miles as engineers have fewer journeys to each project, completing installations in less time and with reduced disruption too.
With this convenience and trust in wireless technology, many end users and installers are now moving from wired, and the odd wireless system, to only using wireless.