R&M says that in general terms he industry can be divided into four main segments – security services, security systems, small alarm systems and cash handling services.

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Europe and <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />North America are the main markets, accounting for around 75 per cent of the total market value. The European security market was slightly larger than the North American during 2003, with an estimated total value of EUR 31 billion.

Highly reliable communication links are vital for all advanced security systems, according to research by R&M. Wireless technology contributes to more secure connections by enabling multiple connections using different networks.

Alarm and monitoring are the most mature applications for wireless M2M communication in the security industry. Passive alarms in buildings and vehicles are very well suited for using mobile data communication. Wireless technologies enables continuous monitoring of mobile objects and in residential alarm systems, GSM can replace telephone landlines as the primary communication path.

Video surveillance is another fast growing application where wireless M2M technology creates new opportunities as digital network cameras gradually replace analogue CCTV equipment. The security industry offers a wide range of possible applications for mobile communications technology and services. A critical business volume can be hard to achieve in many areas.

Wide scale introduction of wireless technology in high volume security products such as small alarm systems for the consumer market and network cameras is however creating a sizeable market for wireless M2M communication equipment and network services in the security industry. By 2009, the number of connections used for small alarm systems and surveillance cameras in Europe could exceed 7 million.

Vodafone is the leading provider of wireless M2M communication services for security applications in Europe, providing over 100,000 connections to the leading small alarm system service provider Securitas Direct.

BT Redcare is a leading provider of secure data connections for alarm systems using a combination of wired and wireless technologies in the UK market and has also ventured into offering complete home monitoring solutions.

Some providers of secure communication service, such as CSL Communication in the UK and Multicom Security in Sweden, utilise dedicated wireless data network technologies like Paknet and Mobitex rather than cellular GSM/GPRS networks.