The PSTN switch off is happening in 2025; are you ready for this change?

Hao Shi, Solutions Consultant, Arkessa, part of Wireless Logic Group discusses why cellular connectivity is an option to replace legacy PSTN technology before the switch off in 2025.

Hao Shi, Solutions Consultant, Arkessa, part of Wireless Logic Group

Technological advances have had a dramatic impact on the way the world operates, but one of the biggest shake ups on the horizon, is the total switch off of the traditional public switched telephone network (PSTN) in 2025. All those miles of copper cables and telephone wires have given us the ability to chat to each other over landlines for generations but not for much longer.

Farewell to analogue technology

Analogue network technology is too expensive and difficult to maintain, and it’s simply incompatible with the multiple demands of modern communications. The future is digital, with calls using VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) being routed over fibre lines or using cellular connectivity such as 4G, or increasingly low power wide area networks (LPWAN).

The problem though, is that this doesn’t just impact traditional landlines making voice calls. There are so many non-voice services which are also currently using the PSTN network, like faxes, alarms, door entry and lifts. A new secure, reliable and easily installed solution is needed for all of these, and with the switch off date so close, companies need to take action now. What might be seen as a logistical headache is actually an opportunity, for companies to move from very basic technology to a far more efficient and reliable solution with enhanced performance.

Which sectors are going to be most affected?

In the utilities sector and particularly the water industry, PSTN plays a crucial role in connecting remote outstations, communicating telemetry data and providing monitoring systems. Water companies are now identifying which solution providers can deliver the best value and the most innovative solutions, for their future site communication needs. Switching away from PSTN requires a significant capital investment, so they understandably want to maximise their return by gaining new capabilities, such as detailed analytics through cloud applications, whilst also meeting their future regulatory objectives.

In the lift industry, legislation means that every lift in the UK and Europe has to have some form of emergency communications line. Historically these SOS voice calls were made via cables connected to the PSTN, however lift systems still using this legacy technology must deploy an alternative communication method by 2025.

Cellular connectivity is the best solution

Cellular connectivity is the simplest, easiest and fastest deployed solution, offering reliable and ‘always on’ connectivity for emergency communication from the lifts 24/7 through roaming or dual SIM solutions.

Increasingly companies are now installing CCTV cameras in their lifts, to monitor real time events such as medical emergencies or assaults. By using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) companies can access two-way data transmissions directly through a secure 4G connection for secure remote monitoring, an added benefit of the change.

The network infrastructure can also be monitored and maintained remotely, reducing the number of on-site lift maintenance checks, and saving money on expensive engineers, equipment and transport, particularly in remote locations.

One step further with LTE-M rollout

In the future, emerging cellular technologies like LTE-M (Long Term Evolution for Machines) have the potential to provide superior penetration into buildings, supporting low-data applications and optimising deployment and ongoing costs.

Cellular connectivity certainly feels like the right replacement for PSTN connections and this was the recommendation of the Lift and Escalator Industry Association in their press release from November 2019, which discussed the benefits of using GSM mobile networks[1].

Solutions providers must make sure that they are choosing the best connectivity partner for the job. They need experts who can quickly and easily deploy this technology, at scale. To manage thousands of lifts internationally, they must feel confident that not only will their new solution connect seamlessly to multiple mobile networks, but also that those connections will be secure, reliable and easily managed through one integrated platform.

Solutions providers need trusted partners

At Wireless Logic we have extensive experience in this field. Our team of connectivity experts know the challenges of the task and will find a suitable solution, no matter how complex the project. We are also ISO 27001 certified, which demonstrates our commitment to information and data security. SIMPro is our connectivity management platform, which securely manages SIMs and data across any network and any number of deployments. Partnered with our extensive cellular connectivity networks, providing the necessary ‘always on’ connectivity, your company will be able to deploy a full end to end solution for your customers, as they navigate the transition away from PSTN.

 The countdown clock is ticking and finding the right solution will take time, get in touch today to find out how we can help.

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[1] Lift and Escalator Industry Association Publication


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