PSTN Switchover to IP: Is your alarm signalling at risk?

BT Redcare


For security alarm system installers and end user security managers there is much to consider as the communications technology landscape braces itself for some big changes.  In this article we explore the impact on alarm signalling from the PSTN switchover to IP, 2G and 3G service withdrawals and the next generation range of signalling devices from BT Redcare.

It is no secret that by 2025, BT will shut down its PSTN network and upgrade you to a new digital service. But why are they doing this and what do you need to do to prepare for it to avoid putting your security at risk? This question is best answered by Howard Watson, CTIO of BT who says:

“We’re modernising BT’s phone network to support the next generation of converged services in the UK.  The changeover to digital voice will start in earnest from 2019 so it’s important that users of the existing system start to ensure their equipment is future proofed.”

If your alarm signalling system uses your existing fixed telephone line to dial out (usually known as a digital communicator) and alerts your ARC (Alarm Receiving Centre), your security will be at risk as your alarm signalling device is unlikely to continue to work. This also means that if your telephone line is cut, faulty or engaged, the alarm will not be activated.

It doesn’t stop at the PSTN switchover, what about 3G & 2G service withdrawals?

What’s more, mobile operators are starting to close their 3G networks (due 2023) and 2G (due after 2025) is likely to follow. Everyone using these technologies for their alarm signalling service will be affected, so act now and don’t get caught out. Joel Babb, CTO at Farsight suggests that now is a good time to consider the future of your alarm signalling systems, which starts now…

“As a leading Alarm Monitoring Centre (ARC) in the UK, we have seen many technology changes since we were established in 1996. The current changes impacting the alarm signalling landscape are significant, and the necessity to future proof alarm signalling systems has never been so important.” 

Farsight operates at the cutting edge of alarm signalling, working with leading technology partners, including BT Redcare  and CSL Dualcom to ensure that we provide our installer customers with the very best next generation signalling systems and are able to continue the efficiency in remotely monitoring existing alarm signalling systems  – for which we are renowned, giving complete peace of mind to our security customers.

So how can you ensure your alarm signalling is future proofed?

In this article we take a look at the BT Redcare alarming signalling product range – including products that will be withdrawn from the market in 2020, existing devices that have been installed prior to 31stDec 2020 and of course the BT Redcare Next Generation range…

bt redcare

Which BT Redcare products are on their way out and when?

As PSTN begins its shut down and the move to an all-IP world beckons, BT Redcare will start withdrawing their remaining PSTN-based products from sale. They will also be removing their Secure range from sale on 31 December 2020, which includes Secure 1, Secure 2, Secure 3 and Secure Fire PSTN. 

BT Redcare will continue to support some products within the Secure range that are currently installed, including:

  • Solo
  • Secure 2
  • Secure 3
  • Secure Fire
  • Secure IP
  • Secure Fire IP.

Customers with a Secure2, Secure 3 and Secure Fire currently installed will be able to keep these services and these can be maintained and monitored as normal.  However, customers are encouraged to upgrade to a newer, future proof technology – BT Redcare’s ‘Next Generation’ alarm signalling products:

BT Redcare Next Generation Alarm Signalling Range

BT Redcare have launched its Next Generation alarm signalling portfolio to make alarm signalling accessible to everyone with powerful products that cover all levels of risk and most importantly they are fit for the big technology changes coming up.  These devices offer end to end encryption, remote diagnostics and maintenance and come with BT’s 10 year guarantee and free 24/7 365 technical support.

In the BT Redcare Next generation portfolio are 5 new products: Essential, Essential Extra, Advanced, Advanced Extra and Ultimate.

BT Redcare ‘Essential’

Ideal for low to medium risk requirements

BT Redcare Essential
Essential is an affordable, single-path wireless security alarm signalling system powered by 4G roaming. With fault reporting to the Alarm Receiving Centre in 60 minutes and SP2 performance rating (previously known as Grade 2). It’s the perfect set-up for protecting low-risk premises.

The alarm signalling unit has a UK-roaming SIM card that can use any of the main UK mobile networks to transmit alarm signals over 4G or 2G. Because of this, you’ll need to check signal strength. An extension or high gain aerial is available.

alarm monitoring To order or find out more call Farsight on 0845 371 0101 or contact us here

BT Redcare ‘Essential Extra’

Wireless dual-path signalling with two 4G SIMs for low and medium risk sites

BT Redcare Essential Extra

The same quality, reliability, and ease of installation that you’ll find with the Essential product but with the resilience of dual-path 4G signalling and primary path fault reporting to the Alarm Receiving Centre in 30 minutes. With a DP2 performance rating (previously known as Grade 2/3), it’s the perfect set-up when you’re looking to protect low- and medium-risk premises with added resilience.

It can use enhanced format signalling with serial or dial capture to send detailed information to the ARC, for greater reporting accuracy.

alarm monitoring  To order or find out more call Farsight on 0845 371 0101 or contact us here

BT Redcare ‘Advanced’

Dual-path monitoring for low, medium and high risk sites, covering intruder applications, fire and more

BT Redcare Advanced

Not every home or business faces the same security risks. That’s why this product is an adaptable, upgradeable DP2 performance signalling system (previously known as Grade 2/3) that gives you dual-path IP and 4G signalling for low-to-medium risk sites, with primary path fault reporting to your Alarm Receiving Centre in 30 minutes.

• The primary path uses IP technology to send alarm signals over the customer’s network or broadband hub.

• The secondary path uses 4G or 2G mobile connectivity – with dual SIMs for extra resilience. One runs on the EE network, while the other will connect to any of the main UK mobile networks.

Advanced Extra upgrades the Advanced signalling system to the DP3 performance level (previously
known as Grade 4). Fault reporting to the Alarm Receiving Centre takes just three minutes.

alarm monitoring  To order or find out more call Farsight on 0845 371 0101 or contact us here

BT Redcare ‘Advanced Extra’

Faster dual-path alarm signalling for every level of risk. With advanced monitoring, it’s always ready

Bt Redcare Advanced Extra

An adaptable, upgradeable signalling system that’s small and easy to install. Advanced Extra gives your home or business alarm signalling that can change with your needs. It comes with two signalling paths for twice the reassurance.

It can be monitored by experts that keep an eye on your property day and night, and it comes with even faster reporting times. That means if there’s a fault with the connection, experts will know about it in just 180 seconds.

alarm monitoring  To order or find out more call Farsight on 0845 371 0101 or contact us here

BT Redcare ‘Ultimate’

A high-end alarm monitoring system, for every level of risk

Bt Redcare Ultimate
This high-end signalling system, built to protect every level of risk is a dual-path alarm signalling system, with private IP and 4G paths for
uncompromising resilience and DP4 performance, which exceeds the previous Grade 4 requirements. The primary path uses a built-in broadband hub that connects to a private Redcare broadband service, giving you the highest level of security possible.

Because this can connect to the alarm panel’s backup power, it’ll keep things running even in a power cut. With primary path fault reporting to the Alarm Receiving Centre in just 90 seconds, you can understand why it sits at the top of the range.

alarm monitoring  To order or find out more call Farsight on 0845 371 0101 or contact us here

How do the BT Redcare Next Generation Products stack up from a technical perspective?

Bt Redcare Next Generation


Thinking of upgrading from your existing BT Redcare signalling system?

If you currently have Secure signalling devices installed, these can be upgraded to the Next Generation portfolio as outlined below:

Upgrade BT Redcare Alarm Signalling

Let’s Talk Alarm Signalling

If you would like discuss whether the BT Redcare’ Next Generation portfolio  of  alarm receiving devices are right for you or your clients or you may want to upgrade your existing products, please let us know and our experienced remote monitoring team will be happy to help.  You can call us on 0845 371 0101request a call back or leave us a message on our contact us page.


What is Farsight Alarm Monitoring?

Farsight have created a short video to demonstrate how our remote alarm monitoring services work.  These include both Fire & Intruder alarm monitoring…


Additional Resources:

As an additional resource for installers , you can find the BT Redcare ‘Next Generation’ portfolio installation support handbook here.