News

WARNING – Buyer Beware – “Non-Monitored” Personal Alarm Systems

WARNING – Buyer Beware – “Non-Monitored” Personal Alarm Systems

Choice magazine has recently pointed out the pitfalls of various “non–monitored” personal alarm systems in general by spotlighting these unmonitored personal alarms in their Shonkys awards list: https://www.choice.com.au/shonky-awards/hall-of-shame/shonkys-2023/personal-alarms. This effectively highlights the importance of selecting a correctly monitored and compliant personal emergency response system that contacts a dedicated call centre for consumers to be able to choose the correct system that takes care of their needs. As the recognized industry body representing these systems (PERSL) we highly recommend that buyers beware before purchasing a personal alarm system that they think will cover their needs. As such we again gazette our initial bulletin on this associated with non-monitored and or non-compliant personal emergency alarm systems in general. For more information – https://persl.com.au/buyer-beware-non-as4607-compliant-medical-alarms/

PERSL launches its new Industry Guidelines

PERSL launches its new Industry Guidelines

PERSL launches its new industry guidelines. After extensive consultation over the last two years our aim is to bring more clarity to ever-changing technologies and a better understanding of minimum performance recommendations and guidelines throughout the industry. Caring is sharing as always and the most important thing is the safety and care of our aging loved ones needing support. 

Optus notification to PERSL of imminent 3G shutdown – Now less than 19 months remaining 

Optus notification to PERSL of imminent 3G shutdown – Now less than 19 months remaining 

I am writing to provide initial notice as to Optus’ plans to re-farm its 900MHz spectrum band commencing September 2024, in order to provide a better 4G network experience and to support the growth of 5G. This is an important action for us to take to ensure that our customers have access to the very best network experience that Optus can provide.

Once this activity is completed, 3G services will no longer be available on the Optus network. 

Should any PERSL members have monitored alarm (or similar) products that use the Optus mobile network, we encourage them to urgently check with the supplier of these products whether they or their end users will need to upgrade any equipment (or SIM cards) as a result of this change.

Timing and ongoing communication plan

We are providing more than 18 months’ notice of our plans to the market, and will commence customer-specific communications to those impacted by the change over the coming months, including advice regarding the actions customers need to take – namely, the upgrading of outdated devices and/or SIM cards.

We will also ensure customers have access to the latest information on this technology refresh via the Optus website (www.optus.com.au/3g), and that they can make contact to discuss their options over the coming months either via our contact centre or My Optus App.

Locations affected

The re-farming process is a national initiative which will free up underutilised spectrum across approx. 7700 sites, 61% of which are in metropolitan areas.

Comparison to other carriers

Telstra announced in October 2019 that they will be shutting down their 3G 900MHz network in mid-2024. TPG announced in September 2022 that it plans to switch off its 3G network by December 2023.

What does this mean for customers

If customers have a 3G device, it will no longer be able to connect to the Optus network and they will need to upgrade to a device that supports LTE 700MHz to continue to connect to the Optus mobile network across Australia.

Optus will contact its customers that may have very old SIM cards and help with an upgrade of their SIM card if it is required.

Is Optus closing 3G?

Yes. Following our re-farming of the 900MHz spectrum in 2024, Optus will no longer operate a 3G network.

Will customers still be able to call 000?

After September 2024, if a customer’s device is not compatible with our 4G network or falls back to the 3G network for emergency calls, then they will not be able to make an emergency call to Triple Zero on the Optus mobile network.

In the event that 3G coverage is available from another operator, then emergency calls may be able to be made (however Optus cannot guarantee this).

How does this impact customers who have a medical or security device?

We recommend customers check for compatibility directly with the service provider and upgrade their devices now.

Kind regards 

Important Information about Telstra’s 3G shutdown – Now less than 17 months remaining

Important Information about Telstra’s 3G shutdown – Now less than 17 months remaining

We wanted to remind you that the 3G Network will be closed on 30th June 2024, so if you haven’t
already started, it’s time to prepare your business for the future on our advanced Telstra Network.
On 9th October 2019, we announced that we would close our 3G Network in June 2024. After this
date, your 3G-only devices will no longer be able to access the 3G network and your devices will not
be able to make voice calls unless they are 4G voice calling enabled. To maintain your services, you
will need to upgrade any 3G devices to alternative devices that are 4G and/or 5G compatible.
Telstra will assist and work with you during this time to help with your transition.

What you need to do

With less than 2 years remaining, it is important that you begin your migration to another technology
as soon as possible to reduce the likelihood of business and service disruption. Telstra will work with
you to assist in migration planning and discuss suitable alternatives for your business.
If your 3G service/s are no longer required, please arrange cancellation via our self-service portal,
your Telstra Partner or engage us for further support.
If you are not the end customer or user of Telstra 3G-only products and services, please ensure that
you notify your customers about Telstra’s 3G network closure.

Do you have High-Risk services reliant on the 3G Network?

Please ensure you allow additional time to migrate services that are high-risk in nature, for example,
if they are used by vulnerable customers ie. emergency services, or medical alert devices. Please
reach out to us as soon as possible if you require additional support in migrating high-risk services.

What’s next

Please work with your Telstra Representative to get an updated view of your impacted services and
continue co-ordinating your transitions.
Visit our website at Telstra 3G Service Closure for more about Telstra 3G closure and advanced
network options for your business or up-to-date coverage maps please go to our coverage & rollout
maps.

In summary, the 3G shutdown is fast approaching and it is important for your business to understand
this impact and to have a plan and roadmap in place to ensure that you and/or your customers are
not impacted.

<strong>BUYER BEWARE- non AS4607 compliant medical alarms</strong>

BUYER BEWARE- non AS4607 compliant medical alarms

It’s recently been brought to our attention that due to the scale of investment required from the 4G network upgrade, some operators across aged care are being enticed to invest in non-AS4607 standard-compliant medical alarms. Whilst it may appear to make good financial sense at the outset, buyers beware as there are hidden risks with installing in your community an alarm that does not meet industry standards. A short-term benefit now could, in the long run, cost you much more…

Australian Standard – AS 4607 defines the minimum performance, design, and operation requirements for Personal Emergency Response Services and Systems for Australians. It is the Australian Standard by which Personal Emergency Monitoring centres and the Alarms used to protect vulnerable Australians are defined and must exceed. It includes the requirement to meet criteria such as technical performance of alarm equipment, response centres’ responsibilities and procedures, risk management practices, installation procedures and record keeping.

It is our strong recommendation that anyone seeking to upgrade their fleet ensures that the system chosen is independently Certified as Standards Compliant. It’s an important duty of care to ensure that the system you advocate can be relied upon when it matters most.

If you’re looking to upgrade your medical alarm simply ask your prospective medical alarm supplier for a copy of their AS4607 Compliance Certificate. If it’s not a certified standards complaint, it’s not worth it.