Changes in the Telecommunications Infrastructure

You may have heard that there are changes occurring within the telecoms infrastructure whereby Telecom Providers are migrating from analogue to digital format.  It is difficult to get precise information from the Providers on this but we will continue to request moreinformation.  In particular we have requested visibility of the roll out plan and the timeline involved.  The changes being made will impact the alarm signalling capability of communication devices connected to the analogue network.  These devices are now vulnerable from an alarm signalling perspective and we have set out below in the form of some questions, answers and solutions what this means for the intruder industry:

Question: What is happening with the telecoms network?

Answer: Telecom providers are moving to a digital network replacing ‘traditional land lines’ (PSTN) with ‘Voice Over Internet Protocol’ (VOIP).  This will impact alarm systems which transmit alarm signals to ‘Monitoring Stations’ (Alarm Receiving Centre) (ARCs);

Q: What is the difference between PSTN landline and VOIP lines and how does this affect alarm signalling and ARCs’?

A: PSTN lines are traditional analogue copper lines used by the telecoms companies to send voice calls and data packets such as XSIA (FSK) and CID (DTMF). VOIP uses IP packets to send Voice and Data. Problems occur during transmission when VOIP converts analogue signals to digital and then from digital back to analogue. This causes timing issues and will result in a ‘Failure To Communicate’ (FTC) between the alarm panel and the ARC receivers;

Q: Will changing Protocols help?

A: Initially it may resolve the issue by changing the protocol to Contact ID or Fast Format, however, this is not a long term solution and does not relay the same information as SIA or Extended SIA. As more and more of the PSTN network becomes digitised in the months and years ahead and signalling on these lines will become increasingly problematic and unreliable;

Q: What is the difference between the traditional GSM signalling and IP Monitoring?

A: At present traditional GSM signals are being transmitted using the analogue network and signals can be affected by the bandwidth available. IP monitoring sends an IP packet using the data network that is not dependent on the bandwidth of the networks; 

Q: How will the digitised phone lines affect the existing GSM Units?

A: The problem is not with the GSM network.  At some point the GSM signal has to connect to the PSTN network and If that network is partially or fully digitised, successful transmission of the alarm signal becomes difficult and unreliable. (Note: ARCs currently receive the majority of their alarm signals on the analogue line network and when they are digitised, missed alarm signals to the ARC will become increasingly noticeable);  

Q: What devices can be used to transmit this data over IP?

A: HKC provides three IP communicators.  The GSM-SC, LAN Card and Wifi Card can be used to communicate over IP.  These units are already sending data via the SecureComm Cloud e.g. HKC App;

Q: What about the SecureText service?

A: The SecureText service will not operate on digitised lines and Fail to Communicate will become more noticeable.  The SecureText service, for new customer, will cease effective from August 1st 2017.  With regard to existing SecureText customers, you are strongly advised to contact Hall Alarms Ltd and ask them to migrate to SecureComm due to the unreliability and vulnerability of analogue networks; 

Q: What about existing sites that have landline monitoring?

A: They can be switched to IP monitoring using any of HKC’s SecureComm communication modules available;

Q: Why use IP monitoring?

A: SecureComm IP monitoring is a Grade 3 fast, secure, polled service which ensures alarm monitoring is protected against future network changes;

Q: Is IP Monitoring available where the HKC App is already installed?

A: Yes, the upgrade is easy carry out using the SecureComm Installer Portal.  See process described above;

Q: What solution is available with older panels e.g. HKC SmartWatch SW-812?

A: We are currently working on a solution for older panels and expect it to be available in September.  This will allow older panels to connect to SecureComm IP Monitoring;

Q: When will the SecureComm Service be available?

A: The service was launched on July 10 2017;

Q: Where can I avail of the SecureComm IP Monitoring?

A: Contact a member of our customer support team on (052) 6121944 for more details.