Europe, and particular the UK, is in the process of switching-off its analog network and move to a digital, all-IP network. The different European countries are in different stages of this process, some have come further than others, but it’s no doubt that the analog network will soon come to an end!
So, what if you have an installed base of analog care devices, will they become totally useless after the switch off? Do you have to just scrap them all – or – is there anything you can do to prolong their lives and capitalize a bit more on the investment you once made?
The shift to digital care devices is a huge economical and time-consuming undertaking!
The digital shift and associated move to digital care devices come with a whole new potential when it comes to many aspects of tele-enabled care, we all know that! The reliability, scalability, security, openness, and flexibility of an all-IP infrastructure are all key values of the digital shift, and the list can go on. That’s a topic for another blog!
But many providers of care alarm services would argue that within the immediate timeframe there is a limited amount of new value-adding functionalities offered in today’s digital care devices. The new functionalities are at least not significant enough to justify the vast capex investment they require.
So, to summarize the situation
- The analog network, known as PSTN, is currently in the process of being switched off in many European countries. In the UK the switch off will happen in 2025.
- While the rationale behind this shift is understandable, you struggle to see the immediate value-add in functionality for your end users when moving from analog care device to the digital care devices available today
- Investing in and rolling out digital care devices is extremely capex intensive and time consuming
What can you do?
The bridge between analog and digital
Alarmbridge – part of the iotcomms.io cloud-native communication platform – provides critical alarm, voice, and video communication functionalities for telecare use cases. One of its key capabilities is to bridge between analog and digital care alarm protocols.
The unified API of Alarmbridge converts between analog and digital care alarm protocols. This enables a modern and reliable alarm communication for your analog care devices even after the PSTN has been switched off!
The analog care protocol used to send the care alarm event is received and understood in the iotcomms.io communication platform. The alarm event is then sent off to the alarm receiving center (ARC) platform using a digital care alarm protocol such as SCAIP/CENELEC TS 50134-9 or Now-IP BS 8521:2020. Alternatively, the care alarm is sent off to the ARC as an API event by using an API integration. Either way, your analog care devices can still be used.
Alarmbridge provides all the complex signaling and media flow involved in handling critical care alarm events. It safeguards a reliable alarm communication between the care device and the alarm receiving center (ARC).
Escalate alarm communication to voice or video calls
In the event an alarm is escalated to a voice and/or video call, the Alarmbridge functionality conveniently handles this. The voice or video call is integrated with the alarm event and Alarmbridge takes care of all the required signaling involved to make sure the call is securely set up end to end.
Add advanced call control
With the iotcomms.io communication platform you can easily add functionality to tailor your alarm service offering to address the needs of your customers. For example, you may add functionality to build interactive voice response (IVR) or call recording. Or perhaps play prompts to your users when they place a call. All of these functionalities, and more, are easy to add from the iotcomms.io platform – they are just an API call away.
Don’t throw your analog care devices away!
As you probably have understood by now, your analog care devices can have a life even after the PSTN shut down. Protect your investment in analog care devices with Alarmbridge.
There is no time to lose, contact us already today to make the upcoming PSTN switch-off a less painful and expensive experience.