Bridging the Gap from Analogue to Digital – Today’s Options

September 26, 2019 11:56 am

It is widely accepted that there are around 900,000 analogue dispersed alarm devices in the UK – all to be upgraded by 2025. If we stop installing analogue devices in 2019 and start only installing digital devices, this equates to roughly 700 installs per ‘working day’. If we wait until 2022 then this will become 1,100 installs per day, and if we wait until 2024 to start the upgrade process then this would equate to 3,500 installs per day. Unfortunately, we simply do not have the resources to carry out 1,100 installs every day, let alone 3,500, which means we need to start upgrading devices now. Starting the upgrade process sooner will also allow us to spread the cost across multiple years.

A common barrier to upgrading our devices is that our Monitoring Centres are not yet ready to accept digital signals. Unfortunately, we don’t have the time to wait for the Monitoring Centres to be upgraded to digital, as this process will take years to complete. The current generation of digital alarms are what we would call hybrid, or digital-ready, alarms. These devices can signal with the analogue protocols accepted by all Monitoring Centres today, using the same established processes, and remotely converted to digital with the click of a button when the Monitoring Centre can accept SCAIP in the future.

These digital-ready alarms allow us to start this upgrade today, without having to wait for the software at the Monitoring Centre to be upgraded, allowing us to make a head start on the transition.

CSL is working with Vodafone to develop a ‘gold-plated tunnel’ for the analogue protocols over the digital-ready alarms. This will mean that service providers can begin to migrate their estate to future-proofed alarms that will work throughout the transition, and in the new digital world.

CSL will be present at the ITEC conference on 15th and 16th October where you can find them at the Networking and Collaboration Zone.