Emergency Lift Phone Lines and the NBN

Emergency Lift Phone Lines and the NBN

Buildings traditionally have had standard telephone lines connected to their lift emergency phones and fire indication panels supplied by Telstra over the landline network.

NBN is forcing the closure of the Telstra landline network in areas where the NBN has been available for at least 18 months. The reasoning behind this is to ensure as many people as possible migrate their services to the NBN to make it financially viable.

Simply connecting lift and fire panels to an NBN based telephone service is not enough as unlike the old Telstra landline network, most NBN technologies do not operate during a power outage.

NBN lift phone register

Registering your services on the NBN lift phone register will buy some time, but it does not protect your phone service from being disconnected and you still need to implement a permanent solution. You need to be pro-active about implementing a solution.

Action required

Building managers or their representatives must initiate the migration process. NBN or Telstra will not do this for you.

Accepted industry practise is to utilise the mobile phone network instead which continues to work during a power outage, due to battery banks at the local mobile phone tower.

The most cost-effective and reliable way of migrating your services is by installing a gateway device with an uninterruptable power supply. The gateway device has an analogue telephone interface that emulates a standard telephone landline with dial tone and a landline telephone number. It then utilises voice over IP technology (VoIP) over the mobile phone data network to dial out and reach the destination. The integrated battery and uninterruptable power supply (UPS) keep the unit operational during a power outage.

Dual SIM options are available for added peace of mind. In the event the main mobile network is down when a call is attempted, the device will use a second SIM from another provider to connect instead.

Equipment location

The gateway device is usually located in or near one of the communications cupboards where it can be interconnected to the physical line to the lift or fire panels, connected to mains power and have adequate mobile phone signal coverage. There is no need to install anything inside the lift carriage itself as the existing equipment is utilised, just the landline telephone line is replaced with the wireless solution.

Maintenance and upgrades

Some solutions on the market are using 3G mobile technology. 3G is slated for deactivation by Telstra in 2024, so they can reuse those frequencies for 5G. In just four years, the equipment will need another costly upgrade.

When implementing a solution, make sure it uses 4G as a minimum, and clarify who pays for future upgrades as mobile networks evolve. 1G and 2G are gone, 3G is going and one day 4G will go too.

Managed service

Look for a managed service as opposed to simply buying a SIM card and trying to maintain it yourself. This will eliminate headaches in the future. Find out how much per month the virtual lines will cost, and what is included in the price. Ideally, you would want the following inclusions:

  • Professional installation
  • Equipment upgrades when required
  • 7 day a week service assurance
  • Remote configuration and software updates
  • Battery and power monitoring
  • VoIP and data registration monitoring

Local experts

If you need a building in Perth migrated, check out our service here.