What’s happening …
British Telcom (BT) has announced that they will switch of all their ISDN and PSTN services by 2025. The move marks the end of analogue phone lines, taking their communications technology entirely online. As a result, businesses may no longer be able to acquire new ISDN and PSTN services as early as after this year, and the total switch-off will be completed by 2025.
What is ISDN and PSTN?
IDSN stands for Integrated Service Digital Network while PSTN is the acronym for Public Switch Phone Network.
PSTN is essentially the system that enables landline connectivity. The technology was first introduced way, way back in the 1800s and it uses copper wires to transmit information. Most businesses have been using PSTN as their main system for transmitting phone calls and faxes for years and this is why the 2025 switch off, is set to have such a significant impact on the way these things are done.
ISDN is a little bit newer than PSTN, having been introduced in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It was the first iteration of dial-up internet but like PSTN, it still relied on hard-wired phone lines in order to function.
Which businesses are going to be most affected by this change?
According to current BT estimates, around 2 million UK businesses will be effected by the 2025 switch-off. The majority of these will be small businesses and those which still rely heavily on fax machines and landline telephones for their communications.
You might therefore be surprised to learn that according to Guy Miller writing for Growth Business
, while almost half, (42%) of all small businesses still use ISDN phone lines, that’s in comparison to 33% of all
UK businesses that still use the technology.
What options are available to futureproof your communications technology now?
VoIP is the main system that BT themselves are looking to implement in place of ISDN and PSTN technology.
VoIP is yet another telephony acronym, this time standing for Voice over Internet Protocol, or to put it more simply, phone service over the internet. In terms of the services and functionality that VoIP telephone systems can offer, there’s plenty to choose from. Firstly, VoIP systems can either be delivered as on-site or fully hosted solutions depending on the priorities for your business. It’s hugely flexibly too, with the ability to support anything from a single VoIP telephone up to thousands of them, so it can grow and flex in line with how your business is changing over time. Not only that, but our VoIP telephony solutions also offer chat and video conferencing functionality as standard too.
What do businesses need to consider before moving to VoIP?
– Your business’s Internet connectivity is one of the key components of any VoIP solution. This is the case whether your system is on-premise or hosted as this is now your telephone system’s connection to the outside world. Bandwidth, reliability and latency are key factors when evaluating your connection. The better your connection, the better your VoIP experience will be. We recommend at least an FTTC connection to run your VoIP services with a leased line being the ideal choice from a technical point of view. We will consider the number of simultaneous calls and budget to make our recommendation.
– A high specification firewall is at the centre of your VoIP system. This is the device all your VoIP traffic will pass through. High specification devices will let you turn off features that may impact voice quality such as SIP ALG, allow good throughput, improve network security and have IPsec VPN capabilities to allow further flexibility with handset provisioning methods.
– Equally important as Internet connectivity is your local area network (LAN) Infrastructure. Whether you are using desk phones or software-based extensions, your local network infrastructure plays a big part as the data will be traveling over your LAN before it hits your Internet connection. This includes network switches - their capabilities and speeds (10/100 or gigabit), voice VLANs for traffic prioritisation and network cabling from a capacity, reliability and testing perspective.
We understand that all that sounds complicated and daunting – don’t worry. With Dynamic Networks Group’s extensive IT expertise and experience we can help with our VoIP readiness network assessment.
Isn’t moving to VoIP complicated and disruptive to my business?
Dynamic’s complete end to end solution takes care of the entire process. From the design and specification, implementation, training and ongoing support – we’ve got it covered. Our Advanced certified engineers have over 400 deployments under their belt, so you’re in safe hands. We ensure that through planning and communication that any disruption is kept to a minimum and your transition to our VoIP platform is seamless.
If you’re interested in switching to VoIP, speak to our experts today and we can take you through our VoIP readiness network assessment