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 as of 2020.

Once the switch-off has taken place, customers will be migrated to a single IP 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 three years away and the upcoming switch-off means that PSTN and ISDN lines are now considered a legacy product. This means that investment in these products is very likely to fall.

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.

In this article, we will have a look at some of the types of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) services that are available and the benefits of migrating your systems in time for the ISDN switch-off in 2025 will have on your business and your customer base.

PSTN and ISDN: What is the difference?

Before we begin to look at VoIP as an alternative to PSTN and ISDN services, let’s clarify what these two services are:

PTSN stands for Public Switched Telephone Network. With PTSN, analogue voice data flows over circuit-switched phone lines (through copper wires), which are owned and operated by your phone provider.

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 a legacy network. This means that investment into this network will fall and 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 no additional service charges, each user has their own line, and calls are routed through the internet.

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 calls between your organisation’s various offices.
  2. Remote working: VoIP promotes remote working. Staff can log in to your VoIP 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 video-conferencing.
  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 customer records.
  5. Scalability: VoIP technology is highly scalable and can grow with your business. New phone lines can simply be added, 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 deliver VoIP?

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.

M247 is the UK’s fastest growing connectivity and infrastructure provider that provides robust connectivity for your business growth. Great connectivity provides a great VoIP experience. Our connectivity and voice solutions ensure that business calls are not hindered by poor connectivity as we can apply quality of service free of charge.

Does your office phone system support VoIP?

Most newer office phone systems support VoIP, but if yours doesn’t, you will either need to replace your entire phone system with an IP one, or just invest in an IP-enabled on-premises PBX (the box that connects your internal phone system to the external phone network).

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 a legacy platform, investment is very likely to fall. 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, contact us today 


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