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Quectel EC21-AU module helps Telstra prioritize customers with life-threatening medical conditions

Australians that suffer from life-threatening medical conditions are being assured of prioritized phone service thanks to Telstra’s Priority Assist service.

The Priority Assistance service is a free higher priority connection and fault restoration service for customers who have, or live with someone who has, a diagnosed life-threatening medical condition, and whose life may be at risk if they don’t have access to a working telephone service.

This ensures their downtime is minimized and they remain in contact with medical care and vital support services.

Telecom networks are however complex and repairs often can’t be made immediately. Customers’ phone lines can be disrupted because of line faults or power outages and they can be left facing extended loss of service due to delays associated with identifying and addressing the root cause of the issue. For Telstra Priority Assist customers, loss of service is far more than an inconvenience because of their medical needs.  Telstra decided to search for a way to reduce or eliminate downtime.

As a result, Telstra approached SGW, a specialist in the manufacture, design, sales and distribution of consumer electronics products and services with a 30-year track record of developing technology innovations to meet the needs of specific markets. The company had already been providing telephony solutions for Telstra so it was able to begin investigating a pro-active solution for Telstra Priority Assist Customers with a strong understanding of the requirements, especially the need to meet the appropriate standards for customers.

SGW quickly identified that an always-on voice solution would meet the needs of customers to continuously have voice connectivity. The company then developed a system that, in the event of a disruption to the fixed voice service automatically switches to the mobile network to maintain a voice connection. The solution contains a battery pack that ensures the customer maintains power for four hours if mains power is unavailable. In addition, the device has been designed with large buttons and an easy-to-read LCD display screen making it simple to use for elderly customers.

To bring the new product to market quickly and without compromising on quality, Quectel was selected as the partner of choice to help SGW develop its solution. Quectel has worked extensively and had a long relationship with Telstra which helped the solution move through the relevant technical and legal standards compliance in Australia.

Quectel’s EC21-AU module was chosen as the hardware best-equipped to meet Telstra’s time-to-market and rigorous certification requirements, set out by local regulator ACMA. SGW and Quectel were able to collaborate closely with Telstra and ensured the EC21-AU module was certified quickly, allowing Telstra to launch its Priority Assist telephone successfully. This was partly achieved by the local engineering support that Quectel provided SGW to help work through complex Telstra security requirements.

“Quectel is delighted to be able to help Telstra and SGW prioritize the needs of customers that suffer from life-threatening medical conditions,” said Alexander Katsoulis, Quectel’s Sales Director for ANZ. “Being able to bring the solution to market rapidly in a secure and compliant way thanks to our EC21-AU module is truly helping Telstra’s customers. It was a pleasure to collaborate with SGW in developing this excellent solution and to further our long-standing relationship with Telstra.”

“SGW has been impressed by the teamwork it has enjoyed with Quectel in developing this breakthrough solution for Telstra’s vulnerable customers and looks forward to many such collaborations,” said Malcolm Paton, Executive Director of SGW Global.