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NGN/ All IP - For Alarm Communications


As the UK embarks on the transition from ‘analogue’ telephony to ‘digital’ voice services, the country is once again taking a step closer to the seamless marriage of humanity and technology.


Digitisation of the UK telecoms infrastructure

The UK telecoms infrastructure is being upgraded to an ALL IP service and communication providers such as BT, Virgin Media and others are starting the transition process. The analogue service (PSTN) is expected to be switched off by 2025.

Embracing technology change

Digitisation brings ‘short term pain but long term gain’. Whilst older analogue communicators may need replacing, newer communication solutions can provide additional functionality and services offered by security providers.

Our industry challenges

BSIA manufacturers are testing their current and new products on the new digital networks as part of the transition preparation. We are keeping our members and the wider audience up to date with timely guidance and regional seminars.

Stakeholder wide involvement

BSIA are key industry stakeholders in the Ofcom led industry forum, providing a voice for the professional voice security industry.

Opportunities for the future

The digital transition is also allowing initiatives like ECHO to deliver a more effective alarm handling service.


To download the NGN/ALL IP Update Flyer, click here

BT Update May 2019

You’ll already be aware that BT is working towards all telephone communications moving to IP by 2025. And that means that Special Services devices in customer’s homes, such as Intruder Alarms, will need to connect through our new BT Smart Hub 2. Existing telephone sockets will no longer work when a customer moves over to a Digital Voice service.

IP networks are fundamentally different to the traditional analogue telephone network so it is important to understand the impact on Special Services. So testing Special Services equipment is key to understanding how it works over the new all IP network.

To support this BT opened up a test lab last year to test products and explore the new possibilities for innovative services that can be provided over Digital Voice. Many alarm manufacturers and signalling providers have already been to the lab and tested their equipment on consumer digital lines. But we’re now inviting them back to the lab to test on our newly installed BT business lines.

Vendors can test their equipment to ensure compatibility with the all IP network, they can also test using the analogue telephone adaptor on the BT Smart Hub 2 and determine if it is suitable to use.

At the same time we’re still working to identify customer lines on which a Special Service device is being used to avoid migrating customers before they are ready. We’re doing this by asking all Alarm Receiving Centres to provide us with their dial-in numbers. These are the numbers programmed into Special Services devices to dial when they are activated. From these numbers we can identify telephone lines that have dialled these numbers and flag up customers that may have a special service device.

Using this information will help us minimise any issues customers might have in changing to all IP and help us make sure no one is left vulnerable from the changeover – So if you’re an Alarm Receiving Centre and haven’t yet provided your dial in numbers please send us them as soon as possible.

 

It’s important to remember that whilst we intend to move all of our customers to all IP by 2025 the changeover starts now, so it’s important to start planning and make sure you’re ready for the change.

btplc.com/digitalserviceslab

btdigitalvoice@bt.com


 


BT Consumer All IP Update

Transforming the UK telephone network into an ALL IP platform

BT has announced its plans to transition to ALL IP and expects to complete the change by 2025.

5th September 2018.

 

BT has announced its plans to transition to an ALL IP digital platform over the coming years and expects to complete the change by 2025. In particular BT has been seeking a way to identify its consumers who have a ‘special service’ (such as an alarm or telecare service) operating within their premises, as this may be impacted by the change to ALL IP.

 

What's happening and why?

BT has announced its plans to transition to an ALL IP digital platform over the coming years and expects to complete the change by 2025. In particular BT has been seeking a way to identify its consumers who have a ‘special service’ (such as an alarm or telecare service) operating within their premises, as this may be impacted by the change to ALL IP.

The security and fire industry still has a significant number of customers that rely on analogue phone lines to provide voltage and dial tone to connected alarm devices and this configuration will change with the transition to an ALL IP digital platform.

 

BT envisages that security service providers will cease buying analogue equipment in the near future, and that they will move to more compatible solutions that are designed to communicate digitally. With the recent announcement of the opening of BT’s digital services lab at their R&D centre, alarm providers (installers and manufacturers) are now able to test both their existing and any new ‘ALL IP’ systems.

BT is keen to work with BSIA and the wider security and fire industry to protect consumers during this transition, by ensuring that those who rely on their current analogue alarm devices move to the new digital phone service in a controlled way, to ensure that alarm services continue to perform their critical role.

Antoine de la Gardette, who heads up the engagement team for BT said, “It’s really important that we get the message of the switchover out to the industry as quickly and as widely as possible. It’s a massive programme of change, bigger than the switch over from analogue TV to digital TV, and we want to make sure nobody is left vulnerable when the analogue systems stop working”.


What does BT Consumer want from us and why?

BT has asked BSIA to contact all of our members, firstly to convey their desire to help with testing of alarm equipment at the BT Labs and secondly to request that alarm receiving centres (ARCs) provide information to help to manage the transition, namely the inbound telephone numbers they use to receive alarm signals. BT will then be able to use this information confidentially, to mark BT’s customer accounts to show that they may have a ‘Special Service’, such as alarm system, and to make sure that these customers are then advised by BT to contact their alarm service provider before making a change.

It is important to emphasise BT is only asking for the phone numbers that alarm devices dial into (ARC receiver numbers) and not those of service users. These ARC numbers will likely appear on BT customers’ accounts and can be used to alert those customers to the need for further checks. Any information that is given to BT will not be used for any other purpose and would be protected and BT has offered NDA agreements for those who are concerned about confidentiality.

 

It is also worth noting that BT has advised that they would, as an interim solution, provide an Analogue Telephony Adapter (ATA) port with their new home hub, which could help to keep some current products working until they can be upgraded or replaced. It should be stressed however that the new home hub provides no battery back-up, therefore phone connectivity will be prevented when home power fails. Any voice band alarm data exchange could also be affected by the new IP-networks, and so would at least require further testing. Therefore, your alarm systems suppliers should be consulted on how their solutions would continue to operate reliably in this situation.

 

What does the BSIA think?

The BSIA welcome these very supportive steps from BT, and we recognise their desire for alarm service providers to identify or develop new digital solutions for their customers, whilst providing additional time for the necessary transition. We continue to work with Ofcom and other telecommunications providers to secure similar supportive measures across the industry.

 

Next steps!

If you are happy to provide your ARC receiver numbers to BT Consumer or if you have any queries on these issues please contact us by email to technical@bsia.co.uk  or by calling 01905 342020. If you wish to contact BT Consumer directly please contact btdigitalvoice@bt.com 

If you wish to arrange a testing of your signalling equipment (communication using the PSTN) you can contact them on https://www.btplc.com/DigitalServicesLab/index.htm