The digital switch to GSM - a guide to make sure your platform lift is compliant.

Are you still relying on outdated platform lift communication systems in the age of digital technology? It’s time to unlock the benefits of digital communication and upgrade your platform lifts with a Global system for mobile communication (GSM) unit. Discover how GSM technology can revolutionise your lift communication systems, ensuring seamless operation, improved safety, and cost savings. Let us guide you on the journey to transform your platform lifts and enhance the passenger experience with a GSM unit.

The digital switchover and its impact on lift communication systems

Since July 1999, the Lifts Regulations have mandated the installation of alarm devices in lifts to enable passengers trapped inside to call for help. To meet this requirement, many lift companies supplied an auto-dialler to BS EN 81-28 (the standard for new alarm systems), designed to work on a ‘plain old telephone system’ line to meet this requirement. But there is now an issue. By December 2025, analogue lines will be deactivated, affecting lift communication devices that depend on auto-diallers over public switched telephone network (PSTN) lines. This includes all enclosed platform lifts.

GSM technology will provide a solution for all existing and new platform lifts

Platform lift auto-diallers serve a crucial purpose: providing trapped passengers with a means to call for help in emergencies, such as contacting a rescue service. With the impending analogue switch off, platform lifts relying on emergency communication via auto-diallers over PSTN lines may face challenges. Rest assured, GSM technology, which remains unaffected by power outages and optimises the strongest available signal with roaming SIM cards, provides a reliable alternative solution.

Key Takeaways

  • GSM units provide reliable emergency communication
  • Existing platform lifts that use auto diallers over PSTN lines can be upgraded to digital with GSM technology
  • The digital switchover necessitates compliance with all safety codes, standards, and regulations governing enclosed platform lift emergency communication systems.

Understanding GSM Units for Lifts

How GSM Units Work

GSM units, which use mobile network contracts or prepay sim cards, offer a practical alternative to installing phone lines. The Platform Lift Company will be using a cutting-edge system that brings platform lifts into the future and ensures the highest levels of safety, including a sim card for seamless communication.

Benefits of GSM Technology

GSM technology, the most popular mobile communication technology worldwide, delivers reliable connectivity for trapped passengers in platform lifts.

GSM technology provides better coverage, faster data speeds, and more reliable connections, all of which contribute to better call quality and an ideal communication solution for lift owners. Real-time data monitoring enhances operational efficiency, asset tracking, and safety.

Timeline for the digital switchover

BT Openreach announced in November 2017 that traditional copper-based telephony lines would be phased out. This change is necessary as technology advances and consumer needs evolve. By September 2023, they stopped selling analogue phone lines to new customers, and by December 2025, all support for analogue lines will be deactivated and removed. You will receive a notification 12 months before the scheduled switch off.

To ensure a smooth transition and avoid hasty decisions, early exploration of alternative solutions like GSM units prior to the digital switchover is advisable. The Platform Lift Company is already in collaboration with Safeline to make this transition possible for their existing platform lift customers as well as new customers.

Legal requirements and compliance

Adhering to safety codes, standards, and regulations is a legal requirement for lift emergency communication systems. Complying with these requirements is paramount to safeguard the safety and reliability of lift emergency communication systems in the digital era, including emergency communication devices such as the emergency alarm device and the emergency communication device.

Upgrading your platform lifts’ emergency communication system to GSM

The analogue switch off will affect lift communication devices that rely on landline systems. GSM solutions offer numerous advantages, such as:

  • Compatibility with existing auto-diallers
  • Affordability
  • Quick and easy installation
  • No need for fixed lines
  • Long-term reliability

Upgrading to a GSM unit not only ensures continuous emergency communication but also improves connectivity, reduces response times, cuts costs, and simplifies management.

Choosing the right GSM unit

When choosing the right GSM unit for your lift, factors such as compatibility, cost, and signal strength must be considered. The GSM unit must be compatible with the lift system for safe and efficient operation.

The Platform Lift Company is working in collaboration with Safeline, a specialist that manufactures safety accessories for lifts, to ensure the right GSM unit can be installed by fully qualified platform lift engineers within all the major brands of platform lifts. This means anyone who has a platform lift can contact the Platform Lift Company who will upgrade it from analogue to digital by installing a GSM unit and supplying them with a new compact lift emergency telephone and a SIM card.

Working with a lift maintenance provider

Partnering with a lift maintenance provider like the Platform Lift Company offers regular support and management of the GSM unit, granting you peace of mind and ensuring optimal performance. A lift maintenance provider can help you save money by providing cost-effective solutions that prevent expensive repairs. The Platform Lift Company has a team of qualified platform lift engineers who can manage GSM units to ensure fast and reliable assistance when needed.

Improved connectivity and response times

GSM units digitise and compress data, enabling faster and more efficient movement over the network, which reduces delays and enhances performance, resulting in a better user experience. The seamless and reliable connection provided by cellular networks further contributes to improved connectivity and response times.

These improvements make platform lifts more accessible and dependable for passengers, enhancing their overall experience.

Savings and simplified management with a GSM unit for lift owners

Upgrading to a GSM unit for lift communication systems can yield significant cost savings compared to managing and maintaining commercial phone lines. By using a managed SIM service, the cost of maintaining a GSM solution is much lower than line rental for a landline.

Signal strength and coverage

Stable communication between the GSM unit and the platform lift necessitates good signal strength and coverage. To optimise signal strength and coverage, consider using an external antenna, positioning the GSM unit in a location with good reception, and employing a signal booster.

Enhanced signal strength and coverage lead to better connectivity, reduced response times, cost savings, and simplified management.

Reach out to us today to plan your platform lift's digital transition

In conclusion, upgrading to GSM units for platform lifts is necessary to ensure your enclosed platform lift has a working two-way communication system to enable passengers trapped inside to call for help. Making the digital switch means your platform lift will be compliant with the current lift regulations.

Embracing GSM technology, you can enhance the safety, reliability, and overall passenger experience of your platform lifts. With improved connectivity, response times, cost savings, and simplified management, the benefits of GSM units far outweigh the challenges. Don’t let your platform lifts be left behind in the analogue era – come 2025 these lines will be switched off. Therefore, make the switch now to GSM and unlock the potential of digital communication.

Whether you have a service agreement in place with the Platform Lift Company or we installed the platform lift, we can help you. If your platform lift wasn't installed by us, you can still book an upgrade and we will install a compatible GSM unit. Get in contact to speak to a member of our friendly customer service team.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does an enclosed platform lift need a phone line?

Yes, all enclosed vertical and cabin style platform lifts need a phone line for communication with a third party in the event of an emergency.

What is the emergency phone in lifts?

The emergency phone in lifts is an auto-dialler that can only ring predetermined telephone numbers to alert a 3rd party if someone is stuck. It will call the numbers on its list until it gets a response.

How do lift lines work?

Lift lines work by connecting an emergency button to a rescue service. Once the emergency button is pushed, two-way communication between the passengers and the rescue service is initiated.

How will the digital switchover affect platform lift communication devices?

The digital switchover means analogue lines for platform lift auto-diallers will become obsolete, so alternative solutions like GSM units must be considered now as a priority.

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