The 2025 switchover from Analogue to Digital phone network
The phone network will be upgraded over the next few years. By 2025, traditional analogue telephone lines will have all been switched off and replaced by digital lines.
The move is being gradually introduced due to the existing system being 'past its sell-by date'.
The components that are needed to operate the network are no longer available, and those with the skillset to make and maintain them are in short supply. Better products are now available, and the network needs to be switched over to 'future-proof' the country's communications infrastructure.
What does this mean?
An analogue care alarm is traditionally plugged into the home telephone line (and telephone plugged into the back of the care alarm). If there is a power cut, the care alarm will still work for a period of time as there is a battery backup of around eight hours. There are currently no battery backups for internet routers although this may change in the future.
Once the network is switched over, your analogue care alarm will be plugged into the internet router. You will need to have internet working in your property to make a phone call on the landline. This will also rely on a power supply to the property. Therefore when there is a power cut to the property the internet will not work and telephone calls will not be able to be made.
So, what's the plan?
In order to address this analogue to digital switchover and the lack of landlines in the future there are now digital care alarms available.
A digital alarm does not plug into a phone line. However it has an on-board SIM, which transmits alerts to our on-call monitoring centre. The digital alarm (pictured right) looks very similar to an analogue care alarm. Although they look almost the same, a digital alarm has several advantages over an analogue alarm.
The benefits of a Digital Alarm
Although a digital alarm is slightly more expensive than an analogue alarm it has many advantages, some of which include:
- A digital alarm does not need to be plugged into a phone wall socket. It can be plugged in wherever there is a standard power socket. This means it can be plugged in closer to the person who needs to communicate to the call handlers through the alarm
- There are no call charges with a digital alarm. However many alerts are sent, all charges are covered within the weekly digital alarm charge. With an analogue care alarm, the call charges are incurred by the landline bill payer
- Alerts from a digital alarm are received by the call centre much quicker than an analogue alarm
- A digital alarm has a 'true roaming' SIM built into it. This means it will always connect to the strongest mobile signal, wherever you are, to ensure that there are no mobile black spots.
If you are an existing care alarm user and you are contacted by your communications provider (BT, Virgin, Sky, Talk Talk, etc) about upgrading your phone connection from analogue to digital, please contact us so we can provide advice to ensure your care alarm will work on the digital connection.
Please also contact us if you would like to upgrade your analogue care alarm to a digital care alarm for a better alarm service and connection.
Click here for more information on the Digital Switchover 2025.