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How PSTN and ISDN switch off will impact your business

How PSTN and ISDN switch off will impact your business.

As we all know, in 2015 BT announced that they will be switching off the PSTN and ISDN networks by 2025. With this, BT will no longer accept any new orders or amendments to services applicable to any ISDN products from 2020.

Once the switch-off has taken place, customers will be migrated to the IPEX (IP Exchange) core network using SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) which will ultimately replace all legacy network and platforms.

While 2025 may seem a long way off, 2020 is only next year and the upcoming switch-off means that PSTN and ISDN lines are now considered old legacy products. This means that investment in these products is likely to be discontinued.

If your business uses or offers PSTN and ISDN lines as a service, the switch-off is going to have a significant effect on your business unless you can migrate your own systems and your customer’s systems over to a VoIP service.

PSTN and ISDN: What is the difference?

PTSN stands for Public Switched Telephone Network. With PTSN, analogue voice data flows over circuit-switched phone lines (through copper twisted pair wires), which are owned and operated by the core telephone companies.

ISDN stands for Integrated Services Digital network. ISDN allows both voice and data services over digital lines. These services offer many crucial business functions such as video conferencing, data transfer and direct-dial in. ISDN digital services enable users to make simultaneous phone calls by providing multiple channels per line.

Why do I need to migrate?

While the PSTN and ISDN switch off won’t be taking place until 2025, by 2020 businesses will no longer be able to buy or upgrade to a system that utilises these networks. Since the announcement from BT back in early 2015, ISDN is regarded as an old legacy network. This means that investment into these type of networks will eventually become difficult to maintain until its final switch-off.

Hosted VoIP telephony as an alternative to PSTN and ISDN

Hosted VoIP is a cloud based telephony solution. It is best suited for businesses who are seeking fixed cost business telephony with added functionality and reduced call costs. With hosted VoIP, there are fewer additional service charges, each user has their own line, and calls are routed via the internet. However all domestic telephone users will also have to migrate their landline phones over to VoIP as well.

The business benefits of VoIP

There are many business benefits for switching to VoIP technology, both for you as a business and for your clients if you offer VoIP as a service. These include:

  1. Cost savings: VoIP allows many cost savings opportunities for businesses including: no line rental, overall cheaper calls including international calls, and free same network calls.
  2. Remote working: VoIP promotes remote working. Staff can log in to your VoIP phone system from anywhere using an Internet connection, even on their mobiles.
  3. Multi-functional: VoIP isn’t just limited to voice calls, VoIP phones can be used for a whole host of other functions, including voice and video conferencing, faxing and IM (Instant Messaging) if your VoIP provider supports this.
  4. System Integration: Because VoIP technology uses the Internet, it is possible to integrate it with your other business systems, such as email clients or CRM (Customer Relation Management) systems.
  5. Scalability: VoIP technology is highly scalalable and can grow with your business. New phone lines can simply be added on-demand, assigned and reassigned, or removed according to your ongoing business needs.

What you need to consider before moving to VoIP!

Before you migrate to a VoIP solution there are a couple of things that you will need to consider:

Is your internet connection good enough to manage VoIP capacity?

While VoIP doesn’t use very much data compared to other services like video, you need to ensure that your bandwidth has the capability to deliver voice on top of everything else your office does. While there are different recommendations as to what is the optimum bandwidth for VoIP, the truth is the bandwidth you need depends on your individual needs as an organisation and if you don’t have enough bandwidth then you could experience poor audio quality or intermittent service as a result. We recommend businesses have 2 internet connections; one for the computer network, and the other for the VoIP phone network. This way the quality of the VoIP calls will not be affected by the bandwidth usage of the computer systems, which can be quite data consuming.

DIDcomms is a leading infrastructure telecom provider that provides robust connectivity for your business growth. Great connectivity provides a good VoIP phone experience. Our connectivity and voice solutions ensure that business calls are not hindered by poor connectivity and DIDcomms is known for providing a reliable quality of service.

Does your office phone system support VoIP?

Most newer office phone systems may support VoIP, but if yours doesn’t, you will either need to replace your entire phone system with an IP based phone system, or just invest in an IP-enabled on-premises PBX (the box that connects your internal phone system to the external VoIP phone network). There are various solutions available for devices which convert your existing PSTN phone system so it can support VoIP.

When should you migrate to VoIP?

We would highly advise businesses to consider migrating to VoIP sooner rather than later! Now that ISDN is viewed by many as an old legacy platform, investment is very likely to downscale. This could mean that the standard of the existing network, and support infrastructure, could begin to suffer the effects well before the 2025 switch-off date.

If you need more information about how your business can benefit from switching to VoIP technology, Call UK +44 (0)808-117-6736 and speak with one of our team, who can help you make the right decisions which suite your company needs.


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