Preparing for the digital phone switchover

The digital phone switchover is a nationwide move from analogue to digital phone lines. Find out what this means and why it’s happening on the government’s website

This will impact you if you use phone lines, monitored alarm systems and other equipment that connects to the public telephone network as part of your care service.  

The telecommunications industry is delivering the digital phone switchover in a phased approach up to the end of 2025.

Work out if the digital phone switchover affects you

Systems and equipment which could be impacted by the digital phone switchover include, but are not limited to:

  • telecare devices (also known as warden call systems) – this sets off an alarm when the person receiving care needs assistance, such as after a fall, which uses analogue phone lines to trigger a response from the emergency services
  • lift lines – these often rely on analogue telephone lines and may need replacing
  • door entry systems – some buildings use analogue phone lines for their entry system
  • security and burglar alarms 
  • fire alarms
  • analogue phone lines – your phone line may have already migrated to digital networks 
  • fax machines

If you use any of these systems as part of your care service, you may need to upgrade or replace your equipment, as they may not function as intended on digital telephone lines

Contacting your telephone and equipment providers

Prepare for the digital phone switchover as soon as possible, as it may take a long time to get and install new digital devices. 

Start by identifying any analogue equipment and systems that may be connected to your telephone line.

You should discuss the digital phone switchover with your telephone provider to:

  • understand when your telephone lines will be switched to digital (if you are still using a landline analogue telephone system) 
  • alert them if you operate any kind of analogue equipment and in particular telecare in your care home or grouped housing 

You should also discuss the digital phone switchover with your non-telephone system/equipment suppliers and check whether: 

  • their system will continue to work using digital phone lines
  • their products will rely on 3G and 2G mobile networks, as these are expected to be switched off between now and 2033, with 3G from 2023 
  • there are any additional opportunities to improve your systems as you move to digital, so you are not getting a like-for-like purchase at a higher cost