Back in the early 2000s, GSM lift phones received a lot of criticism from organisations and users due to poor 2G network coverage and mobile networks deregistering the SIM cards of inactive phones.

However, times have changed. With the digital switch in the UK replacing copper landlines with fibre lines, 2G coverage reaching 99% throughout most of the country, and major advancements in GSM technology preventing SIM deregistering, GSM solutions have emerged as the most complete lift phone technology on the market.

This article will examine some of the top trends driving the adoption of emergency GSM lift phones, from the digital switch, to growing 2G signal coverage, signal rescan, and more.

1.  The Digital Switch

One of the biggest trends driving the adoption of GSM solutions is the widespread replacement of analogue landlines, PSTN and ISDN telephone services with fibre connections. UK Telecom networks are currently trying to make sure that by 2025, all connections will be digital.

This switchover means that phones with analogue copper lines will cease to function and that fibre will become the de facto line of choice in the UK. Unfortunately, these lines aren’t suitable for emergency lift phones because they don’t carry power. In the event of a power cut, an emergency lift phone using a fibre connection will be unable to dial out, because the fibre line will fail.

Many organisations are now transitioning to GSM over fibre as these solutions come with in-built battery backup power, so they can keep functioning even if there’s a mains power failure, ensuring that passengers are always within reach of a lift technician.

2.  Growing 2G and 4G Signal Coverage

Another important trend driving the adoption of GSM systems is the growth in 2G and 4G signal coverage. In the past, GSM solutions in Europe and the UK could only be used in a handful of locations due to a lack of 2G network coverage.

Fortunately, 2G, and in recent years 4G signal coverage has increased significantly over the last ten years, particularly in the UK, where mobile providers like O2 and Vodafone offer a 99% 2G coverage rate across the country.

The growth in 2G and 4G coverage means that GSM technology can be used almost anywhere, with minimal instability. While there are still some highly-remote areas with no 2G coverage, you’re unlikely to encounter connectivity issues unless you’re installing a system in remote rural areas.

3.  The Low Cost of SIM Cards

As landline providers like BT increase consumer prices by as much as £54 per year, many organisations have looked to GSM solutions to reduce costs. Typically, the most competitive pricing for a commercial landline in the UK starts at £25 per month per connection, whereas a SIM card costs less than £10 per month.

As a result, many organisations opt to buy SIM cards and install GSM solutions because they offer lower monthly costs than a commercial landline and deliver long-term cost savings.

4.  The Creation of Signal Rescan

For years, mobile network deregistering has disrupted many GSM connections. Network carriers would often deregister the SIM cards of GSM phone systems due to inactivity, meaning that users had no protection during emergency incidents.

Now, next-generation GSM systems created by providers like Avire are confronting deregistering head-on with signal rescan. With signal rescan, the GSM systems processor tells the system to periodically reconnect to the mobile network and find the best signal.

Rescanning the signal in this way prevents mobile carriers from deregistering the SIM, ensures that there’s always coverage available in emergency scenarios, and increases the overall reliability and consistency of the system.

5.  Greater Monitoring Capabilities

Maintaining legacy elevators is a significant challenge due to the lack of visibility on the status of internal components. GSM solutions are addressing this issue by offering enterprises and venues greater remote monitoring capabilities.

For example, solution providers like Avire offer users a cloud-based solution called the Avire Hub, where technicians can remotely monitor the performance of the GSM-based lift phone, to verify that the device is operational and identify if there’s a malfunction.

Information you can monitor includes:

  • Battery status
  • Door status
  • Door cycles
  • Operating conditions

Real-time monitoring is advantageous to ad-hoc maintenance because it allows you to spot malfunctions as soon as they begin with real-time text and email alerts. The moment an alert comes through, a maintenance operator can investigate further and attempt to fix the issue before there’s an outage that impacts a passenger.

6.  Smart Lift Connectivity

Finally, as the concept of smart offices and workspaces becomes more popular, many organisations are looking at GSM solutions as the foundation of creating smart lifts. The reason is that GSM phones are modular and can integrate with many other solutions.

An organisation can use the GSM phone as the central component and then add modular components as they see fit with fully customisable inputs and outputs. This flexibility opens the door to new smart lift capabilities.

Capabilities unlocked by GSM’s smart lift connectivity, include the ability to initiate test sequences, integrate picture and multimedia LCD displays, and remotely monitor lift performance and maintenance.

GSM: The Gold Standard for Lift Connectivity

With the digital switch fast approaching and the UK Telecoms moving away from copper lines, GSM solutions are now the most reliable and low-maintenance emergency telephone solutions on the market.

Their resistance to power failures, low running costs, onboard monitoring capabilities, and wide network coverage not only make them fully compliant with EN81-28 and EN81-70 standards but also make them an ideal choice for organisations that want to ensure that lift passengers always have access to emergency support.

Want to find out how GSM life phone can help protect your passengers? Contact us today.

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