BT recently announced that the company would put an end to their analogue network by 2025 in a switch to digital that aims at replacing costly, outdated technology with new, faster and more cost-effective technology.
Far from a great leap into the unknown, BT’s PSTN switch off is thought by some to be a long-overdue move. Estonia and The Netherlands have already switched off their PSTN networks and Germany, Japan and Sweden are ahead of the UK in the switch to digital.
Why is BT phasing out analogue phone lines?
BT’s analogue PSTN (and ISDN) infrastructure, owned by Openreach, has been at the core of telecommunications for as long as the concept has existed. It has seen automatic switching replace manual switchboards and switchboard operators, the introduction of the public payphone and its disappearance, the birth of mobile phone technology and the birth of the Internet.
Some parts of the copper wire-based network have been in place since the nineteenth century. Maintaining and adapting these infrastructures to modern-day use is no longer a viable option as cheaper, faster and more reliable technologies consolidate themselves as the new standard.
What will analogue phone lines be replaced with?
BT’s PSTN (public switched telephone network) and ISDN (Integrated Service Digital Network) services will be terminated and replaced with a VoIP, or “Voice over Internet Protocol” service.
What does this mean to users?
Bt’s switch to “voice over internet protocol” is being met with a warm welcome by most, however, some clients feel sceptical about this change. BT is encouraging users to get ahead of the game and get in touch to ensure that they have the correct digital subscription to support the change or to find out more about what package may suit their needs.
For most users the change will simply mean a more flexible phone service, more akin to that experienced with mobile phone subscriptions, however BT is warning users to consider what other devices run on their analogue phone lines, as these devices will stop working when the network is switched off.
Although the switch over will probably be a simple matter for most residential users, some businesses with older infrastructures may be surprised to learn just how many special services they have in place running off analogue phone lines.
Door entry systems and intercoms typically run on analogue phone lines, as do burglar alarms, electronic points of sale (EPOS), cash machines and lift emergency lines. These systems will be rendered inoperative by BT’s PSTN switch off.
Will my intercom system work on VoIP lines?
This depends. Modern wireless systems won’t be affected, however, older intercoms connected to analogue lines will stop working. If in doubt, contact your service provider for more information on your device’s operating parameters.
What are my options?
Depending on the age of the device and the contract with your service provider, you have three options:
- Switch devices to an IP (Internet Protocol) mode, if available
- Ask your service provider about options for adapting your old devices to digital lines. Analogue Telephone Adapter (ATA) are devices that convert analogue device signals to digital (IP) and may be compatible with your devices.
- Consider upgrading to a VoIP intercom system that is compatible with digital services.
Is it worth considering a new VoIP intercom?
In a nutshell: yes. Intercoms and door entry systems have come a long way in recent times and modern systems can offer a wide array of useful features, such as allowing someone to gain access to your house while you’re out (maybe a child has returned home to find they’ve forgotten their keys, or an emergency plumber needs to gain access to your home while you’re away on holiday).
Modern-day wireless intercom systems can allow you to monitor who is at your front door and speak to them, without revealing whether you are at home or not. Most importantly, all of this can happen from your phone or another device, wherever you happen to be located: no need to run to the door when you hear the buzzer.
If you’d like more information on wireless residential or commercial intercom systems get in touch with KBO Fire and Security today.
KBO Fire and Security are an established and accredited firm, installing and monitoring fire safety and security systems in the Surrey and Hampshire areas since 1988.
Our team of experts will gladly advise you on the best wireless intercom system to suit your needs and will be happy to discuss the many benefits of one of these modern systems with you.
Modern wireless intercom systems can be surprisingly inexpensive and easy to use. Our installers will be sure to leave your new system fully configured for ease of use, and our helpful team will be on hand to answer any queries and resolve any issues you may have.
If BT’s switch to digital is making you consider a new wireless intercom system, get in touch with KBO for all the information you need.