BT's digital phone network upgrades-the impact on alarm signalling

You may have heard that BT is planning to upgrade its phone network. I wanted you to know what we're doing here at Redcare to manage the change.

Like major telcos around the world, BT is changing the way it provides phone services, upgrading its customers from the existing analogue phone service to an enhanced digital service. The first products and services are due to launch late in 2018 and BT intends to have all of its customers using digital telephone services by 2025.

I know many of you have heard or may be wondering how BT's move to an all IP digital telephone network will affect BT Redcare. We're working closely with BT to make sure we're ready for the transition. We'll be testing all of our Redcare products and services in the new digital world at BT's dedicated test facility which opens in spring 2018. This will tell us if we need to make any changes to our existing products and services to ensure they will continue to work in the new digital world.

Rest assured though, if we need to, we'll replace or upgrade any product with an equivalent one making sure there'll always be a fully working service.

We believe 2018 will be an exciting year with the opportunity to provide you with innovative, high quality products to meet your needs and, as always, backed up by our unique 24 hour 7 day a week 365 days a year network monitoring centre and team of engineers who can assist you in the field.

I have attached some questions and answers for your information. If you'd like to speak to someone for advice or to know more about our range of products, do please get in touch with your Redcare Account Director.

Kind regards

John Ware
General Manager


What is happening and why?

BT is changing the way it provides telephone services to its UK customers, moving from analogue to digital technology. BT intends for all its customers to be using fully digital telephone services by 2025.

Today, telephone calls made over landlines are pretty much the only form of communication that travels over networks which has not been part of the digital revolution.

BT is upgrading its phone service in response to changing customer needs and demands and because the analogue equipment that powers telephone services today is aging and increasingly difficult to maintain.

The upgrade to digital voice means that BT can offer its customers exciting new benefits that take advantage of the efficiency and flexibility the latest technology brings whilst keeping the reliability, trust and familiarity of today's existing telephone services.

BT is planning now and starting early. The process of upgrading customers to digital voice services will be gradual, with full engagement with customers and industry to make this a seamless transition.

How will this impact Redcare products and services?
We've already started work to identify how the upgrade to BT's phone network will affect Redcare products and services. We have included some information below and BT is opening a dedicated test facility at its research and development site Adastral Park, near Ipswich, in spring 2018 to enable us and others in the industry to test all of our products and services in the new digital world. We'll keep you updated as we do this.

When is this happening?
The move to digital phone services will be gradual. BT will start to launch its first new services towards the end of 2018 with the aim of having all of its customers upgraded by 2025. BT is putting steps in place that aim to ensure customers with special services, such as Redcare products, do not switch to digital telephone services until their special service has been tested in the new digital world.

Will Redcare Secure 2 and 3 be affected?
The Redcare Secure range has IP connectivity built in, so Secure 2 & Secure 3 will simply need small adjustments to continue working in the new digital world. Installers will just need to supply and install an Ethernet cable into the broadband hub.

And what about Redcare GSM or Classic?
The Classic & GSM products are reliant on the physical copper infrastructure, and not the PSTN network. This means they use the copper link from customer premises to the exchange rather than the type of network BT runs over it (be that PSTN or IP).

We're told this will be the end of Redcare - is this true?
No. Redcare is a thriving business with the backing and investment of BT Group plc. We lead from the front in bringing to market innovative solutions to meet your needs and the upgrade to digital will offer further opportunities for this. We will continue to operate with our same values and excellent customer care. Our network monitoring facility operates around the clock as does our 24/7 365 Technical Helpdesk. Add to this our engineering technical team who able to come out to site and assist you when problems arise; and remember the majority of our products are certified to LPS1277 standards.

What about Redcare’s competitors? Will their products still work?
Any company that provides a special service such as alarms that use the analogue phone network will need to ensure that their products and services will continue to work in the new digital world. BT's test centre will be available to all suppliers to test their products to ensure service continuity in a fully digital world.

When is this happeningWhat about other communication providers?
Many communications providers are upgrading to digital phone services and they will all have their own transformation programs which may run over different timescales and using different technologies. We will test all Redcare equipment if we are made aware of any test facilities that other communications providers provide.

What is happening about the copper - is it being removed?
No. Digital phone services will be carried on a mix of fibre and copper networks.

Will I need to have my service migrated before November 2018?
No, BT's Consumer division is not due to launch new products until late 2018, and even then it will be the customer's choice to take a new service. Those identified as having special services will be directed to speak to their supplier at the time.

Who is my Redcare Account Director?

8 February 2018

 

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