LTE Cellular Communicators
At Alarm Grid, we recommend that every security system has an LTE cellular communicator. Preferably, you should go with a dual-path communicator if possible. A dual-path communicator will provide your system with the best combination of speed and reliability. But even just a cellular-only LTE communicator is better than an IP-only communicator. Cellular communication is much more reliable than IP communication. Unlike IP service, cellular service almost never goes down or becomes unavailable. With a strong enough connection and no external factors, it's almost unheard of for cellular service to go down. If you want the very best for your alarm system, and you want to ensure that your system is always monitored, then you should absolutely go cellular.
When it comes to cellular, LTE is ultimate. It stands for "Long-Term Evolution", and it represents the long-term answer for cellular communication. Cellular service providers have spent huge amounts of money putting LTE infrastructure in place. It is not going anywhere any time soon. These companies would not have made such large investments just for the service to be put out of commission in the near future. Meanwhile, older, less advanced cellular networks including 3G and CDMA are in the process of being put out of commission. If you want to keep your system monitored for the long-run, then LTE is absolutely the way to go. Cellular service providers like AT&T and Verizon have even stated publicly that their LTE networks are indeed going to be maintained well into the very, very distant future.
Most alarm systems do not include built-in cellular communicators, but there are some exceptions. The Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus actually has a built-in LTE cellular communicator for alarm monitoring. You can even choose between AT&T and Verizon models. But for most other panels, you will need to buy an LTE cellular communicator separately. Some panels like the Lyric Controller and the GC3 come with WIFI already, so you only need to get a cellular radio if you want to go dual-path. But for others, you will need to either buy a separate IP communicator and cellular communicator, or buy an all-in-one dual-path communicator. Again, dual-path is almost always preferable. But at the very least you should go cellular.
When purchasing an LTE cellular communicator, you will obviously need to choose a model that is compatible with your alarm system. You will also likely need to choose a carrier. AT&T and Verizon are the most common choices, but there may be others depending upon the system. When making this decision, you should simply go with whichever service works best in the area where the system will be used. The cellular service provider you use with your alarm system has nothing to do with which service provider you use for your smartphone. You will be billed the same amount for cellular alarm monitoring regardless of which carrier you select. Remember, you will need a Gold Level Plan or higher from Alarm Grid if you want to take advantage of everything that an LTE cellular communicator can offer.