The digital switchover of telephone lines in the United Kingdom is happening now. By 2025, Openreach will have phased out all copper analogue telephone lines in favour of optical fibre networks.

What the digital switchover means for you

If you are a building manager you may already be aware of the need to change phone lines in your building, but may not have realised that your lifts will be affected by the Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN) switch off.

Some lifts in buildings, and some home lifts, have an emergency alarm device to enable passengers to communicate in an emergency situation. Traditionally this emergency alarm device is connected to a rescue service via telephone. With the analogue to digital switchover, lift owners must now manage the transition of their emergency alarms from analogue phone lines to other digital alternatives.

The digital switchover will not happen overnight and work is being completed in phases across the UK, with telecoms providers notifying those about to be affected.

However, being prepared for this, understanding the implication for your lift, and choosing the right solution for your lift ahead of time is essential to keep your lifts compliant and your passengers safe.

The timeline

  • November 2017 – BT Openreach announced that traditional copper-based telephony lines would be phased out
  • September 2023 – a total national “stop sell” is planned for analogue telephone lines
  • December 2025 – all support for analogue lines will be deactivated and removed

About GSM, the ‘digital’ phone line alternative

One option as part of the preparation for the digital switchover is GSM. GSM (otherwise known as mobile or cellular) telephony provides a reliable and cost-effective digital solution for most existing lifts. Without the need for physical phone lines and installations, a GSM module can be easily installed and battery-backed to provide a failsafe in the event of a power outage. Signal strength dips can also be resolved through a roaming SIM which connects freely to the best available network.

SIM management from the experts

It is important to consider a professional and trusted managed SIM service, to ensure hassle-free and cost-effective virtual communication for your lift. Prepaid SIMs can run out of credit, expire or just get turned off mistakenly, and these situations can exist undiscovered until a real emergency happens, potentially leaving passengers stranded or in danger.

The Stannah Managed SIM service means we assume management of the phone line for your lift. We cover the cost of calls, line rentals and 24/7 connectivity monitoring, offering peace of mind, improved product safety for users and reduced risk for owners.

Start preparing for the transition by reading more about our Managed SIM Service where you can also download our brochure. To speak to an expert about making the switch to a Managed SIM Service, please contact your local Stannah service branch.

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