If Your Alarm System Is Still Monitored By A Land Line Please Read!
This is the notification from our monitoring stations.
IMPORTANT NOTIFICATION RE PSTN/GSM RELIABILITY
As you may be aware, there has been serious reliability issues with analogue PSTN & GSM
communication paths of late between your Intruder alarm panels and any ARC (Alarm Receiving
Centre) to which they are connected. We are writing to you with the latest information we have at
hand following a meeting of the NMCF (National Monitoring Centre Forum) today. The NCMF among
other Security Industry bodies that we know of have written on two occasions to COMREG for
clarification on this issue and to date there has been no response whatsoever from them. Also to
date, we are unaware of any attempt by Eir (formerly Eircom) or COMREG to alert the public of the
issue and how it may affect any of their houses or properties currently relying on an Intruder Alarm
connection to an ARC, or indeed any communication device using the same technology or
communication path. As a result, we have taken the decision to inform you what we know to be
happening right now. We would strongly advise you to alert your own customers that they may not
currently be protected by any ARC in the event of an alarm activation.
To the best of our knowledge, Eir (formerly Eircom) have begun a nationwide upgrade on their
existing Network Exchanges. This upgrade involves the digitalisation of the current analogue system.
Analogue signals are now being converted and processed digitally within the Eir Exchange, then
reconverted back to analogue, and then being routed/despatched by the Eir Exchange. The issue is
that the data transmitted by the Intruder Panel is being corrupted in the analogue/digital/analogue
process. The result is that signals coming through to the ARC’s are unrecognisable. This means that
ARC’s have no idea where the signal is from or what is says, and if presented at all it will be as an
invalid alarm from an unknown source.
WHAT IT AFFECTS?
At this time, it seems that this issue primarily affects any signal transmitted via SIA or SIA III
(extended SIA) protocols. In some cases Contact ID is still working fine, however we have seen cases
whereby the information is corrupted with different Digi Numbers, Alarm Codes, & Zone Information
even on Contact ID. This is possibly due to longer runs between Eir Exchanges in certain parts of the
country. In some instances we have seen that although there are signals coming through on Contact
ID, the data has not been consistent (even from the same panel) showing some signs of corruption
on intermittent transmissions. There is no guarantee that an activation will come through in an
intelligible form every time. Please be aware that this affects any analogue PSTN or GSM connection
to any ARC. Once the panel is required to dial a phone number to transmit the data, the information
may be corrupted as both analogue PSTN & GSM signals must go through an Exchange. This problem
will only increase as the upgrade continues around the various Eir Exchanges around the country.
HOW WILL YOU KNOW?
The only way you will know if any of your customers have been effected so far is if (a) the intruder
panel is appearing on a ‘Fail to Test Report’ or (b) the customer fails to get a response from an ARC
following any activation or signal from the panel. The latter is obviously a huge concern as it is
obviously too late, but there is no getting away from the fact that there are currently thousands of
Intruder Panels right now in Ireland that cannot get through to any ARC.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
We would strongly advise you that you should make your customers aware of the issue with
PSTN/GSM communication paths. In some cases, switching the protocol to Contact ID is fixing the
immediate problem. However, this does not fix the issue completely and certainly will not guarantee
a consistent (or any) signal in the future. It is also prudent to consider that as Eir progresses with
their migration to digital processing, there is a possibility that any existing analogue protocols may
not be effective in the future over analogue GSM or PSTN.
The only way to eliminate the issue is to switch to a digital means of communication. Smart
Monitoring offer the full range of CSL products to allow connection from ANY new or legacy panel to
the ARC via IP signalling. CSL MiniAir with APP Control, DigiAir, DigiFire, & GradeShift Grade 3 & 4
products are completely FREE of CHARGE to you the Installer enabling you to make the switch with
ease and without any additional hardware cost to your customers. Each CSL product features a
Roaming World Sim Card for the safe transmission of Digital IP Signalling on the CSL Gemini VPN
Network which currently protects over 500,000 premises in the Ireland & the UK.
In addition, most Intruder manufacturers now offer an IP Communication Path directly from the
Intruder Panel to Smart Monitoring via a Digital IP Sim Card, LAN Connection, or Wi-Fi Connection.
Smart Monitoring are offering this solution from Irelands leading manufacturers and providers such
as HKC, GSD, Risco, Pyronix, Vanderbilt (Siemens), UTC (GE/Aritech), and Texecom.
Without any doubt any of the above options are the only way to provide a safe, reliable, consistent,
and future-proofed communication path from your customers Intruder Panels to the ARC. We will
endeavour to keep you updated on this critically important issue. Please feel free to contact me to
discuss any of the above, or how we can help you make the change.
Cuala Security Ltd 23 Office Pods 6-7 Marine Road Dun Laoghaire . – Ph 01-2148252 – Mobile 086 2691867 – 24 Hour 0862561740 – firstname.lastname@example.org
©Cuala Security 2019