The Future of Emergency Communications
The advantages of cellular technology are spelled out in this Readers Platform.
With true analog phone lines all but a thing of the past, the elevator industry must transition to new technology, and many technologies are fighting to be the ultimate winner. It seems evident, however, that in the near future, cellular will emerge as the clear winner. Cellular has arrived as a viable solution to meet the ASME A17.1, 2.27 requirements for two-way communications. With cellular comes many advantages for the industry. Never before has the consumer, or the elevator contractor, been in such control of the communication path from the elevator to the call center. This is a good thing. Cellular offers flexibility, scalability and low costs, and allows elevator companies to provide the communications path themselves.
No real infrastructure is needed. From a single simplex elevator to a group of six elevators, cellular can be installed without major outside or inside infrastructure; in fact, the only real requirement is that the elevator be within range of a good cellular signal. A simple communicator can be installed right inside the elevator equipment room, utility room or shaft. With cellular, activation and deactivation of accounts is easy and immediate. Cellular communicators can be added to or removed from a job in a matter of hours. Converting an existing elevator from a traditional phone line to cellular phone line/communicator does not, in most cases, require changing the Americans with Disabilities Act phone.
Elevator companies can basically build their own networks of communicators. No startup costs are involved, except for the purchase of the cellular communicators. With 95% of the U.S. having access to cellular service, the potential is vast. Integration into your own or a third-party call center is easy and comes without the need for extra proprietary equipment.
A typical commercial phone line can cost US$45-US$100 per month, while monthly cellular costs generally range from US$19 to US$40. Other benefits: every year, cellular gets less expensive, and bulk rates for elevator companies are available, which can reduce costs even further.
Control the Communications Path
Elevator companies can now offer cost-effective cellular phone lines and built-up recurring monthly revenue streams. With cellular communicators, the elevator company can install, maintain and repair the entire elevator phone system without having to rely on third-party phone companies. Within a market, the elevator company that can provide cellular elevator phone lines will have an economic advantage over those that do not, which, in turn, can help it gain customers in a competitive environment.
Since 2012, ESRM Communications has been using cellular technology for elevator phones, elevator cameras and remote monitoring of elevators. With advancements in 4G, 4G LTE, and 5G, cellular will get even better and less expensive. Redundancies have made cellular even more reliable than traditional phone lines, and, soon, 24/7 supervision will be built into every cellular communicator we offer. The future is here; the future is cellular.