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Why we launched Essential IP: understanding awareness levels of the all-IP switchover

On Tuesday 19th January 2021, we launched Essential IP, a new SP2 all-IP alarm signalling solution. Now available across the UK, it future-proofs alarm systems and offers greater protection through ensuring Alarm Receiving Centres (ARCs) are notified of path faults within 60 minutes – much quicker than older dial up signalling systems.


Introduced to simplify the transition from legacy systems and provide peace of mind to residential and commercial occupants that premises will continue to be protected, Essential IP is an easy-to-install solution that greatly exceeds SP2 performance levels. Able to connect via ethernet or wi-fi, it is a hassle-free option for customers and ideal in areas with poor mobile coverage.


It has eight standard alarm channels and dial capture on-board, and data sent to ARCs is encrypted e2e with high-level AES. Common serial connection capabilities – RS232 and RS485 – means Essential IP is compatible with a range of alarm panels - so customers do not have to purchase, and installers don’t need to fit - entirely new systems to ensure future-proofed, all-IP protection.


Awareness of the all-IP switchover

We officially launched Essential IP at a webcast on the morning of the 19th January. During the event, we asked attendees (Installers, ARCs and insurers) to answer a few questions around their awareness of the all-IP switchover. Driven by the switch-off of the public switched telephone network (PSTN) by 2025, it will have wide-ranging impacts on the alarm industry and beyond.


When asked if they were aware of the switchover: 24% of respondents said they were very aware, 68% were aware but wanted to hear more information, while 8% did not know about it.


When asked how prepared they and their businesses were to manage upcoming changes for the switchover: 14% said they were fully prepared and raring to go. 61% said they were underway but still had some work to do. While 24% said there was lots of work to be done.


Finally, when asked when they anticipate beginning their switchover preparation: 35% said immediately, 60% said in the near future, 3% next year and 2% in a few years’ time.


The stats show that while there is a level of awareness of the switchover, which is good, there is certainly more to be done to get installers, ARCs and end customers ready for all-IP.


Why the need to transition to an all-IP solution?

As customers update their phone lines to provide all-IP access through fibre connectivity, any legacy alarm solutions that rely on the PSTN to dial out to ARCs will cease working, placing premises at great risk. As such, we’ve developed Essential IP – and our wider Next Generation portfolio – to make the transition to all-IP alarm signalling seamless, for both installers and customers. 


“The move to all-IP is a huge driver in the industry,” says Nick Whiting, Head of BT Redcare. “Over the coming months and years, alarm installers face a significant challenge to get customers ready and transitioned away from systems that rely on the PSTN. This technology is decades old and keeping customers safe means future-proofing their alarm signalling.”


“With this comes a need for solutions to be out-of-the box ready, easyto install and compatible with existing alarm systems. Essential IP, like the rest of the BT Redcare Next Generation portfolio, has been developed with installers and customers at the forefront of thinking and is the perfect solution to help protect what matters most to customers.”


For more information about Essential IP and our full Next Generation alarm signalling portfolio, speak to your regional account manager or ARC.


Regional Account Managers:

Austin Stack
(Scotland and Northern Ireland)
07711 640630

Neil Richards
(North West)
07889 978251

Salim Saleh
(North East)
07795 980019

Joanne Collyer
(South West & Wales)
07483 314331

Raj Patel
(Central & Midlands)
07889 644413

Raff Miah
(East Anglia & North London)
07484 928326

Baz Choudhury
(South East & South London)
07703 502155


26 February 2021