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FAQs – Changes to the UK's telephone network

How is the UK's telephone network changing in the next few years? 

The way people make phone calls has changed over the last 10 years. Landline calls are still common, however many people now use a mobile phone as their main telephone.

Most landline telephone services have relied on an analogue network called the ‘Public Switched Telephone Network’ (PSTN). This network is becoming increasingly costly and difficult to maintain by telephone providers such as Openreach and Virgin Media. Telephone providers plan to upgrade the analogue network with new digital technology called ‘Voice Over Internet Protocol’ (VoIP). This carries calls over a broadband connection and offers potential benefits to consumers and telephone providers. Consumers should benefit from clearer calls. Telephone providers will be able to ensure their landline services are fit for the future.  

Openreach plan to transfer customers to digital networks by 2025 and Virgin Media have similar timescales.

How will changes to the telephone network affect personal alarm services?

For most people who use a telephone landline to make calls, the switch will be straightforward. They will continue to receive the same telephone landline service and use the same phone number. Their telephone provider will advise of any changes during the switchover.

Taking Care have successfully tested their personal alarm equipment in a digital environment with help from all the main telephone providers, including BT and Virgin. Taking Care are therefore confident your current service will be unaffected.Taking Care's Landline-Free Personal Alarm will be unaffected by these changes because it does not need a telephone landline. Instead it uses a roaming SIM card to make calls to the Emergency Resolution Centre.  As an added benefit, all call costs are included in the monthly subscription.

Where can I find more information about changes to the telephone network or how this may affect personal alarm services?

You can find information on how changes to the telephone network may affect you on the Ofcom website. The switch from the traditional analogue phone lines will be undertaken by different telephone providers at different times depending on their plans and locations. Openreach plan to transfer customers to digital networks by 2025. Virgin Media anticipates completing switching customers to digital networks within a similar timescale. Your telephone provider can provide further details on their specific plans.

However, you can be reassured that Taking Care will be working hard to keep all customers informed of any changes to their personal alarm service and to ensure the right level of support throughout the digital switchover.

If you have any concerns or questions about how these changes may affect your personal alarm service, Taking Care's Customer Service team are happy to answer your questions. Please call 
0800 085 8032*, Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm.

What do I need to use the Landline-Free Personal Alarm?

All the equipment you need is provided with the Age Co Landline-Free Personal Alarm. It does not need a phone socket. It uses a multi-network SIM card in the alarm base unit to call the Emergency Resolution Centre instead of using a telephone landline. It will need a mains electricity socket nearby (within 10 feet).

The SIM card is pre-fitted. The subscription includes 24-hour monitoring by the Emergency Resolution Centres and the ongoing SIM card costs. There are no Pay as You Go charges to worry about.

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