How will the PSTN and ISDN switch off impact on your business?

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Earlier this year BT announced their intention to switch off the PSTN and ISDN networks by 2025. Customers will be migrated to a single IP core network that ultimately will replace all legacy networks and platforms.

PSTN and ISDN: What’s the difference?

PSTN stands for Public Switched Telephone Network, also referred to as the Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS). Analogue voice data flows over circuit-switched phone lines (copper wires) owned and operated by your phone provider.

ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) allows both voice and data services over digital lines, for example video conferencing, data transfer and direct-dial in. ISDN digital services provide multiple channels per line, enabling simultaneous phone calls.

The alternative - VoIP

Instead of using PSTN & ISDN lines (the expensive ‘line rental’ part of your telecom bill) ‘Voice over IP’ transmits voice traffic over your Internet connection. Already many businesses are using VoIP or voice services, not least because it’s a cost effective way to manage telephony within an organisation: this has contributed to the steady decline in take up for PSTN / ISDN services.

For many BT business customers this move by the company will force them to explore new telephony systems, with the added benefit of a more cost effective solution.

So, if your business currently relies on one of the 3.2 million ISDN channels in the UK*, what do you need to know about the ‘big’ switch off?

What to do now

If your current traditional telephony contract is up for renewal in the next few years, now is the time to start exploring the benefits and opportunities of VoIP technology. These include:

Cost savings – no line rental, cheaper calls including International calls, and free calls between your organisation’s offices

Mobility – remote workers can login to your VoIP from anywhere using an Internet connection, even on their mobiles

Multi-functional – as well as voice calls, VoIP can also be used for video-conferencing using a VoIP phone

Integration – because VoIP technology uses the Internet it is possible to integrate it with your other business systems, such as email clients or customer records

Scalability – VoIP technology scales easily to your business. New phone lines can simply be added, reassigned or removed depending on your business’ needs

You’ll also need to ensure that your office Internet can handle VoIP. You will need a baseline of 5Mbps down and 2Mbps up as the bare minimum for a small office of about five to seven users on VoIP.

Phone systems and handsets also need to support VoIP, having identified a provider you will be able to find out if they are compatible or not. If not, you can either upgrade to an IP-enabled on-premise PBX or replace your phone system with a hosted telephony offering.

When to migrate?

We would advise businesses to start thinking about migrating sooner rather than later. Now that ISDN is essentially viewed as a legacy platform, investment in it is likely to fall. This could mean that the standard of the existing network, and support infrastructure, could begin to suffer the effects of being retired well before the 2025 switch off date.

Dates for your diary

2020: Five years before PSTN and ISDN lines will be switched off; businesses will no longer be able to buy any systems that use these networks. Although 2025 may seem a long way off, 2020 is only four years away so if you plan to refresh or upgrade telephony systems within your organisation in the next few years, you should be looking at a VoIP solution instead of upgrading your traditional PSTN or ISDN system.

2025: BT plan to have migrated all existing customers to their IP network. This presents an excellent opportunity for businesses to explore VoIP technology prior to the switch off and find a competitive provider.

* BT own a significant proportion of UK ISDN channels.

Recent Articles

Bespoke phone systemsBe More MobileThe Art of MorePlan for success in 2022, and plan for your comms before 2025!Getting that festive feeling with 2CCe-SIMs for the Win2nd Year RunningEarly Treats and a few Golfing TricksUnlock your full potential with the 'Open Road'What's all the fuss about 5G?A slow but steady return to normality...Don't let your staff returning to the office be a Trojan horse...The Great British Switch OffOur Royal Connectivity for both domestic and business useProtect your business from just a few £££ per monthHow COVID-19 has sparked a digital age of entrepreneurshipMobile MAY-niaBelated Celebrations and Brand-New AnnouncementsSPRINGING into actionFebruary FunHave you considered your post-lockdown working environment?The problematic pricing of large providersGood riddance and goodbye 2020...Hello 2021Our Festive FarewellLockdown 2 - What does it mean for you and you business?Award WinnersiPhone 12 - Now Available!An alternative to the pubProducts to help your business prevail in the 'new normal'Positive things and positive peopleMorning motivation and fresh facesSafety First!Mobile May MadnessStaying connected as the world changesFull Fibre Breakfast and BroadbandWhy Getting Better Broadband is Essential to Your Business’s SuccessCorporate Social ResponsibilityData Usage Warning!Fibre Connection for the FutureTELECOMS: What You Need to Know in 2019The time for better connectivity is now!2circles Consulting June '192Circles Consulting May '19How can Wi-Fi experience drive loyalty?2Circles Consulting April '19The Decline of the Landline - ten years in telecomsCoulda, Woulda, Shoulda….2Circles Consulting March '19The Next Big Thing?When will I be able to get full fibre broadband?The New Way to Give to Charity?2Circles Consulting February '192Circles Consulting January '192Circles Consulting December '18Protect yourself from telecoms fraud from just £1 a monthIt's that time of year again, is your phone system prepared?Who can remember the Millennium Bug Hype?Limiting 'phone addiction' in the workplace5 things I learned from reading One Device (The Secret History of the iPhone - FT Business book of the year 2017)Land Rover release ruggedised phone for the farming community!New Features in Android PieThe Switch-Off is Happening!Thomson Cooper Secure their £3,000 Broadband Voucher for Gigabit BroadbandNew Version of Android to Help with Your 'lower spec' Android DevicesThe Rural Connectivity Conundrum£3,000 Broadband Vouchers are back!The Right To Demand Faster Broadband SpeedWhen Weather affects Work - The Show MUST go on - But HOW?It's time to 'Flip the Iceberg' on the Cost Of a Hi-Speed and Guaranteed Broadband ServiceCopper is Dead, Join the Full Fibre Revolution!CAT's Latest Phone is a Real WorkhorseTequila & Tacos but Poor Mobile ServiceThe Cost to Your Business of Cheap SolutionsGood ol' BT...Have you locked the front door?Ransomware outbreak - Cisco Meraki will never make you want to cry!Superfast. Ultrafast.HTA News Feb 2017Consumers Spent More Than 900 Billion Hours on Apps in 2016A Golden Template for Every NetworkInternet of Things Will Play Major Role in Ultrafast Broadband GrowthChristmas has arrived early for businesses still on ISDN lines!How will the PSTN and ISDN switch off impact on your business?Reliability Contest: ISDN vs VOIPInternet of Things Devices, Applications & ExamplesBroadband Voucher Scheme Generates Billions of Pounds for British Economy6 ways a VoIP phone system can help your businessHow will your broadband cope with growing business demands?3 Tips to Roam Worry FreeThe Big ISDN Switch-Off17 Mind Blowing “Internet of Things” Facts9dots Review of The YearMobile contracts – the decisions have changedThe Internet of Things - What does it actually mean? And what does it mean for your business?Video Interpreting For The Deaf Across All Public Services In ScotlandBroadband - speed vs reliability

Complete Business Communications, Simply Delivered, Remarkably Supported