As we rapidly approach BT’s PSTN switchover, there are still hundreds of thousands of PSTN based alarm signalling devices in circulation across the UK. Now is a good time for proactive security alarm installers to consider future proofing their clients’ alarm signalling systems. (If they haven’t already that is…)
Alarm signalling needs to be efficient and reliable, so what are the alternatives?
As you would expect, as a leading UK based Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) – Farsight work with the latest and most reliable alarm signalling technologies and devices including CSL Dualcom and BT Redcare.
First, let’s look at what the 2025 PSTN switchover is and what it will mean for alarm receiving equipment…
What is the PSTN Switchover in 2025?
BT announced in 2015 their decision to switch off ISDN and PSTN services completely by 2025, including stopping any orders for these services in 2020.
This means a complete deactivation of the ISDN and PSTN lines – or no more copper wires. So if your business has these services, then they will no longer be operational by 2025.
In fact, Openreach is already conducting a number of copper retirement trials including Mildenhall (Suffolk) and Salisbury (Wiltshire), and are consulting with Ofcom on planned “no move back” policy for premises connected with FTTP, followed by a “stop-sell” of copper services to new customers and ultimately full withdrawal.
The real issue for the security industry is that there is a vast amount of PSTN based alarm signalling devices in circulation. Many of these are that are no longer manufactured or supported.
The common issue reported from the security industry from changes to ‘All IP’ is that some PSTN devices will begin to have intermittent signalling problems, some will not work at all.
Radio and IP systems are set to be the alternative – but what are Radio and IP systems?
Radio is the easiest replacement but is dependent on there being a strong enough radio signal available to ensure a robust and reliable communication path. Most engineers are familiar with setting up radio systems so the transition to radio would be an easy one. The power requirements for radio comply with the current standard, using the panel or ancillary power.
IP is becoming more widespread and connecting to networks is becoming more mainstream with options of direct connection through Ethernet or indirect through powerline adapters or wifi. For IP, consideration must also be taken to ensure the router still works during a power outage to ensure the signalling path conforms to the transmission standards.
As a leading Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC), Farsight can only respond to alarms that we actually receive, and for your peace of mind it is important to ensure your alarm signalling systems are fully operational and reliable. If you need an upgrade to your systems we are happy share our advice – contact us here .
Below we showcase an alternative from CSL who pioneered the move from wired to wireless technology in the electronic security industry and is now an established market leader. In fact, in the fire & security sectors, their DualCom range is the fastest selling and most used signalling system used by over 80% of the inspectorate recognised installers.
CSL DualCom Pro Range
CSL Security pioneered the move from wired to wireless technology in the electronic security industry and is now the established market leader. In fact, in the fire & security sectors their CSL DualCom is the fastest selling and most used signalling system chosen by over 80% of the inspectorate recognised installers.
In this article we focus on two leading systems in the CSL DualCom Pro range of alarm signalling systems:
- DigiAir Pro (single path )
- Gradeshift Pro (dual path)
The DigiAir Pro is small enough to fit into most existing or legacy control panels and is a single path device with two options – either Radio or IP.
1. DigiAir Pro – Radio Option
This utilises 4G technology, falling back to 3G and then 2G if necessary. Although a single path device, it uses two sims – an active roaming sim along with a standby roaming sim.
Why do you need a second sim? you may ask…
This is because if there is a localised issue or local outage the sim card may roam onto another base station or mast, but every roaming sim belongs to a network provider. If that network provider has an issue with their core network platform then that roaming sim may not get the required permissions to roam onto another network. In this case, the second standby sim will kick in to overcome this issue automatically.
2. DigiAir Pro – IP Option
Within the DigiAir Pro there is a second option – IP. This utilises the same piece of hardware as the Radio option but uses an IP lead which simply connects the device to the customers router or network point.
In summary – with the DigiAir Pro device you can select either Radio or IP connection.
Again there are two options with the Gradeshift Pro alarm signalling device: Radio/Radio OR IP/4G.
1. Gradeshift Pro – Radio/Radio
This range introduces a second 4G on a completely separate roaming sim on a completely separate and diverse roaming platform.
By combining the 4G module with the DualCom Pro hardware unit, it creates Dual Path alarm signalling at all grades without any wires whatsoever. What is utilised on the Gradeshift Pro Radio/Radio is now a three roaming sims – an active roaming sim with a standby roaming sim on the main board plus on the 4G board.
The clear benefit is the use of three roaming sims, which we believe makes this one of the safest and most reliable alarm signalling devices to date. We have all become increasingly reliant on mobile phone networks, especially considering the planned PSTN switchover in 2025.
A key feature of the Gradeshift Pro Radio/Radio option is that the 4G module can be removed, the terminals can be connected to the main board using a CAT5 cable. The 4G module can then be mounted in a remote aerial box in an area with a stronger signal (up to 50m away) with the main box being in the control panel in an area with a lesser but acceptable signal.
2. Gradeshift Pro – IP
Within the Gradeshift Pro range – there is a second option – IP. This utilises the same piece of hardware as the Radio/Radio option but uses an IP lead which simply connects the device to the customers router or network point. The primary path is IP with 4G as the fail over path – made up of an active roaming sim and a standby roaming sim.
For security system engineers, installing the CSL DualCom Pro range of alarm signalling devices is fairly simple and can either be done using pin triggering or serial connectivity. However, it is important to work closely with your Alarm Receiving Centre to run the required tests.
Let’s Talk Alarm Signalling
If you would like discuss whether the CSL DualCom Pro range of alarm receiving devices are right for you or your clients, please let us know and our experienced remote monitoring team will be happy to help. You can call us on 0845 371 0101, request a call back or leave us a message on our contact us page.
As an additional resource for installers , you can find the CSL DulaCom Pro Range ‘quick guide and instruction manual’ here.
Also, did you know the CSL Router has been awarded the coveted PSI Technology Innovation of the Year Award 2020. Read about this here.