The Digital Switch

Want to prepare your lift for the Digital Switch? Call us and see how we can help.

What is the Digital Switch?

Put simply, fibre optic lines are being laid to replace the ageing copper lines that are currently in use. It is planned that by 2025 all copper lines will be retired.

There are a number of advantages that British Telecom providers and customers can gain from this, but unfortunately, it will also have a huge impact on many safety devices that will cease to work, including CCTV systems, access control systems, and lift autodiallers (emergency telephones).

You should be notified by your telecom company 12 months before your area is affected.

How will this affect my lift?

Specifically, this change will affect your lift's emergency communication system. There are two notable problems to consider:

Current analogue systems are powered at your local telephone exchange, which supply a constant 48vDC line. Because it is powered by the telephone exchange, the phone lines remain powered even if your building is experiencing a power-cut.

This is great because it means that your lift autodialler can rely on the phone-line and its own back-up battery even when the rest of its systems have no power. After the switch this will no longer be the case. The fibre optic line will rely on your own building's power supply to work.

Lift autodiallers rely on DTMF (Dual-tone multi frequency). Simplified, DTMF refers to the tones you hear when you enter a number on your phone's keypad. Each key has a unique frequency which is heard and decoded by the autodialler and understood as commands.

Some telecomm companies will provide ATA's (analogue telephone adaptor), but there is no guarantee they will work with your autodialler.

Photo of a hand pressing a lift alarm button

What do I need to do?

To stay compliant and ensure your lift is safe for people to use, you need to ensure that there is a reliable way for two-way communication between a potential trapped passenger and someone who can help them (i.e, a lift maintenance company). This means making modifications to your autodialler system to ensure it can remain operation after the digital switch.

In most cases you will not need to replace your autodialler system, but simply install an accompanying GSM unit.

The GSM unit will allow your autodialler to make phone calls without the presence of a landline connection by making use of a SIM card.

Forge Lifts has a large stock of GSM units which are compatible with all major UK autodialler brands in preparation for the Digital Switch and can provide you with a quick turnaround to ensure your lift remains up to standard.

We provide 1-3 year pre-paid SIM cards with our GSM units.


How do I organise a GSM unit installation?

Simply contact our team by dialling 020 7097 8588 or by emailing us at


Contact Our Team

Let us know your requirements and select a preferred time and date for our engineer's attendance.



Engineer's Attendance

Our engineer will attend and survey your existing equipment to ensure the installation process is plain sailing for our repair team.



Repair Team's Attendance.

Our repair team will integrate a 4G GSM unit with your existing autodialler.


Please note that we offer free surveys. So if you change your mind after our engineer has attended, it's not a problem.