BT ISDN Switch Off Explained
by Jazmin Palmer
The telecoms sector is constantly evolving and in 2015 BT announced that by 2020 they will cease trading ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) and PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) lines with a complete shutdown by 2025. This could impact many businesses who are not aware of this change and who may be looking to invest in their current phone systems.
What is an ISDN network?
ISDN networks have been in circulation since the 80’s, operating over a copper-based system they successfully provided businesses with an effective communication tool allowing voice and data services to be delivered simultaneously.
Why is BT shutting them down?
Traditional phone lines have served businesses well for many years’, but we live in fast-paced, forever evolving digital world and with that comes advances in technology and a greater choice.
High-speed internet access has enabled IP based systems to come to the forefront and BT believes the market pursues more competitive options that offer greater cost reductions, improved reliability, quality of service and enhanced business continuity.
BT continually analyse the marketplace and has seen a steady decline in the number of customers purchasing ISDN services they have taken the decision to cease the trading of both their ISDN and PSTN networks.
“Your PBX will be redundant by 2025. You can either get short-term solutions or move to the cloud, which is a permanent solution.”
What are your options going forward?
Currently, there are around 2 million ISDN users in the UK, so you are not alone! However, businesses will need to start looking at alternative options and consider a switch to IP (Internet protocol) based services such as Hosted VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) or SIP (Session Initiation Protocol).
They are both cloud-based systems allowing businesses to operate over its internet connection and provide many benefits such as:
Greater value for money – reduced set up costs, line rental charges and call costs. You only pay for the number of users required.
Quicker to install and maintain – minimal equipment required
Greater flexibility – with regards to what telephone numbers you can have and where you have them. Once you have a number it stays with you regardless of whether you relocate, and you can add or remove users as and when necessary.
Greater stability and business continuity – you will experience very little downtime if any at all and no lost calls for your business
What to do next
The good news is there is time to prepare for the changeover and we are here to make the process as straightforward and stress-free as possible.
Firstly, check when your current phone contract is up for renewal. Rather than automatically renewing, review your options and switch to a cloud-based system in preparation for the switch off. You will need to make sure you have a strong enough internet connection to support IP technology and review your current phone systems, making sure they support the changeover.
If you are a new business, this is a perfect opportunity to invest in an IP based telephone system. If you are yet to open your business premises, then it is worth considering how strong the internet connectivity is within that area and make sure this will be able to support your requirements.
With the expected arrival of 5G by 2020, this is only going to enhance the strength of cloud telephony services and will leave you wondering why you didn’t make the switch over sooner.
If your telephone contract is up for renewal and you wish to find out more about your options, or you have a query about the ISDN shutdown then our consultancy services at Overline are happy to help. Please call our head office on 0330 118 5000 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org today.