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Lift emergency alarm - Switching over from PSTN to GSM

Lift emergency alarm - Switching over from PSTN to GSM

, by Customer Services, 2 min reading time

Introducing the Quicksafe SIM for Lifts: Ensuring Uninterrupted Elevator Safety

Known by various names such as landlines,  or fixed-line telephones, the PSTN enabled real-time communication over vast distances. However, as newer technologies emerged, the PSTN began to decline in popularity.

The PSTN Switch Off:
In November 2017, Openreach, the entity responsible for maintaining the UK's national broadband and telephone network, made a significant announcement. They revealed plans to phase out and deactivate traditional copper-based telephony lines, including PSTN lines, by the end of December 2025. This transition also encompasses Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) lines and Wholesale Line Rental (WLR) lines.

New analogue telephone installations in the UK ceased years ago, and in September 2023, BT ceased the sale of traditional phone lines across all exchange areas. Consequently, by the end of 2025, support for analogue lines will be entirely discontinued.

The New Call-to-Action:
The PSTN switch off serves a crucial purpose – it allows Openreach to prioritize the development of high-speed broadband optical fiber networks in the UK. This development aligns with the government's target of providing at least 85% of UK premises with gigabit-speed broadband by 2025.

Services Affected:
While PSTN, WLR, and ISDN-based products like home landlines and office phone systems are frequently mentioned in discussions about the switch over, it's important to note that various essential devices rely on traditional analogue phone lines to function. This includes emergency alarms in lifts, panic alarms, burglar alarms, information displays, traffic lights, door and gate entry systems, CCTV systems, and point-of-sale payment terminals. Without upgrading to digital connectivity in the coming years, these devices will become non-operational when PSTN lines are deactivated.

Impact on Elevator Safety:
In the context of elevator safety standards, all passenger lifts installed in the UK since 1999 are required to feature an emergency alarm system, as per EN 81-28 (2003) standards. Typically, this emergency system relies on an auto-dialler that establishes two-way communication between passengers and a rescue service when the emergency button is pressed. The auto-dialler hardware is connected to a phone line with an Openreach socket.

Many auto-diallers utilize both analogue dial tones and dual-tone multi-frequency (DTMF) signals to function. Without PSTN lines, auto-diallers converted to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) may fail to initiate emergency calls due to the absence of a dial tone. Furthermore, auto-diallers drawing power from the telephone line will simply cease to work.

Preparing for the Transition:
Owners and facility managers of elevators must carefully consider and manage the transition from analogue phone lines to digital alternatives for their emergency alarm systems before PSTN services are withdrawn. To prevent non-compliance and elevator shutdowns, it's crucial to act promptly.

GSM (mobile or cellular) telephony offers a reliable and cost-effective digital alternative for existing lifts. Installing a GSM module with battery backup eliminates the need for physical phone lines and ensures operation during power outages.

Quicksafe SIM cards can help maintain strong signal strength by connecting to the best available from EE, Orange, T-Mobile, and BT Mobile masts ensuring robust coverage.

You can find out more about the Quicksafe SIM for lifts here >  Lift Service SIM




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