With the end of copper landline service already affecting some regions, now is the best time to look into your elevator phone line options.
Aside from the outgoing POTS (plain old telephone service) platform, there are two main options to consider for your elevator phone line, those are VoIP (voice over IP) or a Cellular Gateway.
Depending on your region and the services available, you may not have an option when it comes to choosing your elevator phone services or communications platform. That said, you should still be informed as to what platforms are available.
Cellular elevator phone interfaces use nearby cell towers to make and receive calls. Most cellular gateways for elevators (like the Mobile Connect 2) are relatively inexpensive, come with a battery backup, and work with existing elevator phone systems, eliminating the need for a costly elevator phone system replacement.
The advancements in cellular networking technology have significantly increased over the past ten years. With built-in redundancies and multiple cell towers servicing urban areas, coverage is not an issue.
Most important, cellular gateways for elevator phones are elevator code compliant and ADA compliant, allowing for two-way communication between passengers and emergency services.
VoIP uses an internet connection to make phone calls and works great in most commercial phone installations; however, VoIP is not always a good fit for elevator phones.
In most cases, a VoIP elevator phone line is not code-compliant. Aside from the security concerns raised by VoIP hacking, if your building loses its internet connection during an emergency, your elevator phone line goes with it. With VoIP, call failure and poor call quality are more common issues than with cellular.
Does an elevator require its own dedicated phone line?
Yes, to meet ADA, ASME, and IBC code requirements, elevators must use a dedicated telephone line and not require voice communication. Elevator phones must also include visual and communication signals for the hearing-impaired.
Two-way communication must be available in elevator cabs; the controls for these devices must be designed to be easy for deaf/blind users to use.