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Tel: 01506 418198

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Critical Messaging and Call Acknowledgement


Critical messaging concentrates on getting a message as fast as possible to the recipients reliably. From time of alert to time of response the clock is ticking and life is at stake. Technology needs to support a fast uninterruptible communication path to the recipient and the recipient needs to act. On receiving an emergency call, recipients get enough time to hear the alert, see the destination and run. Anything delaying this puts life at risk.


To ensure the emergency alarm is sent, the critical messaging system needs to be designed to be fail-proof, and needs testing once a day to ensure it is operational. The system itself needs to be built with automatic failover and alarm, so on occasional failure, there is an instant response to reinstate the original system while the backup system is in operation. From the daily test, any flaws in reception needs highlighting and the equipment and network adjusted to ensure optimum performance at all times.


Multitone provides systems with a great deal of emphasis on coverage and resilience. A poorly designed system can have dead spots where messages don’t get through. This can occur from the outset, or develop as the premises are modified over time, with steel cabinets and furniture etc. The system needs surveying periodically to make allowances for these changes.


Multitone’s systems are designed to provide as close to 100% delivery of a message as is practically possible to achieve. Customers provide reports of performance to our engineering team, this allows us to visit and, if needed, make any adjustments necessary so that when an alarm is raised the system simply works. The message is delivered, the recipients attend the incident in the shortest time and the best possible attempts are therefore made to save lives.


Some technologies have complex communications protocols, handovers, buffers etc. which mean, for the instant message, delays occur. Where the system isn’t deployed properly and regular failures occur, it could be seen as beneficial to receive an acknowledgement of the emergency call being delivered, but practically this may not make sense. A failure in delivery of communication is removed by systems design, daily tests and continual improvement. Any additional communication to show if the message is received or not clogs the system, presents another means of failure and delays the action. On receipt of an emergency call we don’t want the team to be pressing buttons to say they have the message, we want them with the incident. If the acknowledgment fails we waste essential time dealing with a failure in acknowledgement, not the issue at hand.


Critical communications needs to be simple. In our trials, paging systems deliver a message reliably to all recipients in a matter of seconds. Currently, other technologies can deliver messages quickly, but the underlying infrastructure is more complex and less robust and therefore cannot be relied upon for the essential messaging. Any complex communication protocol which has considerable handshaking, is destined to suffer delays and all we really need is simple message delivery and action. For this reason paging, a very established technology, still lends itself ideally to the critical nature of communications. Whilst Multitone continues to work with organisations that provide much more feature rich smart technologies to assist other aspects of business communications, paging continues to be the one system which is left alone because it works. No complex delivery mechanisms, no complicated acknowledgments routines, no chasing messaging failures. A simple message delivery system that works quickly which leads to rapid delivery of treatment.