1. Why is the digital switch happening?

Originally, the phone system was only concerned with transmitting voice over copper lines. However, as technology evolved, data transmission has become prioritised, which unfortunately is unreliable when based on copper.

To support the evolution of technology and our consumption of it as a society, the government, in conjunction with communication providers have decided to transition the whole country into fibre by 2026.

2. What’s the impact on my lift?

Copper lines carry within them 48V. With the transition to fibre, this changes as fibre doesn’t carry any power at all. Phones would traditionally rely on these 48V to support them, particularly during a mains power failure.

With the elimination of power in the fibre lines, during a mains power failure, the phones would be left completely inoperative. This is particularly critical in the lift industry as these phones are used for emergency situations, such as entrapment, which is, of course, more likely to occur, during a mains power failure.

In addition, as we transition to copper, analogue signalling will also be terminated, with the exact timelines varying by each provider.

3. What do you (AVIRE) mean by “remain compliant”?

Remaining compliant means following the European Standards mandates for lift safety. This includes the 3-day test calls (link to blog) that need to be done on a regular basis to ensure the phone is still powered and able to establish a connection with the responder.

4.  Who is responsible for the phone equipment?

When modifying the existing phone setup and adding equipment (such as battery backups and ATAs) which fall outside the responsibility of the lift maintenance provider, it then falls onto the responsible person (defined as the legal entity having right of possession of a lift, lifting platform, escalator or moving walk and responsibility for its safe working. NOTE – The responsible person is usually the owner or duty holder, sometimes the occupier, of the building in which the plant is situated) to monitor and maintain the setup to ensure compliance with safety regulations.

Given all the potential variables that can impact operability, connectivity, power supply, etc., it becomes a big responsibility for lift owners to monitor and maintain all the equipment.

This is why the recommended solution is a transition to a futureproof, digital communication solution that will maintain the setup as part of the lift maintenance provider’s offering, and therefore the monitoring and maintenance remains under their responsibility.

5. Why can’t I use an analogue telephone adaptor?

It might seem pretty straightforward to add an Analogue Telephone Adaptor to the existing setup as this would allow the autodialler to communicate in dual-tone multi-frequency (DTMF) to activate the emergency call. However, it’s not as simple as it may look initially.

There are battery backups, protocol compatibility and DTMF settings, amongst others, to look into.

For more information, you can read (blog post: ATA 4 things you need to consider)

6. Why don’t you manufacture an autodialler that can be plugged in directly into the line?

The problem, as we transition to fibre, is not the line itself but rather the supply of power. Given that fibre does not carry any, the autodialler would still require a power supply. This brings us back to the problem initially mentioned about a power mains failure and how the equipment will need to be upgraded to ensure it continues to operate.

7. How can I battery backup a landline?

In theory, it is possible to source an uninterrupted power supply and connect the emergency phone to it. However, it is worth noting that in order to ensure compliance, the backup will also need to be connected to the network termination point, the router and any other equipment (e.g., the ATA) in the call chain.

A battery backup can be sourced commercially to supply power – but it will need to offer at least one hour of phone line and 15 minutes of talk time to ensure compliance with regulations.

10 questions lift owners

Alternatively, the communications provider might be asked to supply a backup, but you’ll then need to check it will last for the required time as well as whether it will allow you to call any number (some battery backups only support calls to 999 but emergency lift phones cannot call into 999).

8. How can I identify if I have a fibre line?

In the UK there are several different models being used for optical termination devices. You can find more information on how to identify which one you have, on this article about Openreach modems.

9. Why is a GSM a good lift phone replacement when using a fibre line?

Installing a GSM such as the Digital Communications Platform means it is incorporated as part of the lift safety communication equipment and therefore can be monitored and maintained by the lift company.

The DCP has its own battery backup, ensuring operability during a power failure. It can also be integrated into the emergency phone setup (find out more about our digital solution for fibre). In addition, as it can operate based on a roaming SIM card, it can maximise the signal to ensure a strong connection no matter where the lift is located.

10. What is the risk for a lift owner if they don’t have a reliable setup?

As part of the regular risk assessment, compliance with the European standards is required. In the case of an entrapment, you might be asked to present your records in court.

Contact our team now for a free consultation on how to ensure your lift emergency phones continue to operate reliably after the digital switch.


Author: Milagros Gamero, EU Marketing Communications Manager at AVIRE10 questions lift owners

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