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NBN Lift Phones Revisited

Whether we like it or not, the NBN is being rolled out at an unprecedented rate. What impact will this have on you? Once the NBN is rolled out, conventional lift phones will cease to operate in the event of a power failure. It is a mandatory legislative requirement to have an operating emergency phone installed in a lift. If an emergency lift phone is deemed to be inoperable or not compatible with the NBN network, in accordance to BCA (Building Code of Australia) the lift must be shut down until the phone is repaired or upgraded to NBN compatibility standards.

There are a variety of different options available on the market at present, which is dependent on the lift technology in situ and the system or interface offered by your incumbent lift service provider. These products can vary in price and functionality which has caused some confusion for Executive Committees and Strata Managers alike. I have provided some information below which summarises the different types of products available on the market. Caution should be used when choosing the correct product for your lift and building assets.

1. Dual Sim or Single Sim Card 4G Auto Dial Units: This system operates in a similar fashion to a mobile phone and uses the 4G network to dial out to an emergency response centre. This unit is installed on top of the lift car and is also fitted with a backByup battery which ensures uninterrupted service in the event of a blackout or power outage. This unit interfaces with existing lift phone located inside the lift car and requires little or no modification to function. The emergency phone button inside the lift will still allow a trapped passenger to communicate with emergency services or a call centre where are technician will be dispatched to attend site. Universal advice in relation to this offer is to request the dual sim card system which includes two SIM cards from two different separate telecommunication networks. Although the Dual SIM card option is not yet mandatory, advice from various industry experts suggests that Dual SIM Card Emergency Phones systems will become mandatory in the future. It is important that all Executive Committees are aware of this important information to prevent incurring additional costs in transitioning from a single to a dual SIM system in the future.

Furthermore, due diligence should be taken to ensure that your lift service provider does not use propriety NBN solutions that can only be maintained by the installer of this equipment. Some service providers at present are only offering proprietary units which could result in additional costs in the event that a new maintenance provider is engaged to maintain your lifts in the future. Additional cost associated with engaging a new service provider could result in the installation of completely new phones systems. ThyssenKrupp Elevators are proud to offer Non-Proprietary NBN Units that any maintenance provider can maintain.

2. VOIP. VOIP is another alternate product that can be substituted for the conventional SIM card solution, however, this product has some limitations and does not easily interface with emergency phone systems. Another important consideration is that some VOIP providers offer long lock in contracts of 3, 5 or 7-year terms and can be considerably costly over the term of the contract when compared to the Dual Sim Card System.

Finally, the dual sim card unit is the only code compliant system which offers remote monitoring of the SIM card and back up battery voltage as well as incoming mains voltage via the activation of an alarm and SMS notifications. This system also forms part of the regular service regime which is checked and tested by your lift service provider each month. This system does not rely on any part of the NBN to ensure its operation.

As is understandable, the above may raise further questions or concerns with the NBN Lift Phone migration. I have provided my details below if you do have any further questions I will be more than happy to assist.

Matthew Lycakis

Queensland Business Development Manager

T: +61 7 3252 4422

M: +61 403 254 477

F: +61 7 3252 9036



Leave a Reply

  1. Michael

    In our building we have two lifts. In the event of a power outage we have an emergency generator which starts automatically when there is a power failure. Since we have an emergency generator to power both our lifts, is this acceptable with NBN lift phone or do we require an independent solution?

  2. Dan

    Michael, does the generator also power the NBN equipment? If the problem with the lift is mechanical then having power to the lift is unlikely to fix it.

  3. thyssenkrupp Elevator Australia Listing Owner

    Hi Michael,

    Thank you kindly for the question. With regards to your query your building will still require an operational phone line to the lift regardless of having a generator set up.

    I hope this addresses your question. If you still require further information please contact me on my details provided above and I will be happy to assist.

    kind regards,


  4. James Power

    Hi Matthew and Dan
    RE: “Once the NBN is rolled out” Do you mean that we need this before NBN comes to our building? Or do you mean it needs to be done before the copper service is turned off which won’t happen for at least 18 months after nbn comes (and probably later than that as I don”t think any have been turned off as yet)?

    1. thyssenkrupp Elevator Australia Listing Owner

      Hi James,

      Thank you kindly for the question. In short, the NBN unit needs to be installed prior to the cut-off date of the copper line, otherwise, in the event of an emergency, the lift phone will not work. Once the NBN is connected to a particular site, the copper line will be disconnected. The copper does not remain connected for 18 months once the NBN is connected. I suggest you check with NBN of the exact cut-off date on your premises. In any event, it would be prudent to install the NBN units now to prevent a delay down the track.

      I hope the above has answered your question, if you have any further questions please feel free to contact me on my details provided below in the article.

      kind regards,