Are you ready for the ISDN and PSTN switch off?


Back in 2015, BT announced that they will be switching off their ISDN and PSTN networks in 2025, which at the time, felt like a long time away, but now, we’re just a few short years away, are you ready?

What is PSTN?

PSTN is the copper telephone network that we’ve been using in the UK since the 1800s. Yes, it’s been upgraded along the way, but still, it’s very much an outdated technology, yet many of us still use it for our phone calls.

What is ISDN?

What is ISDN

ISDN stands for Integrated Services Digital Network and was a new type of telephone network introduced in the UK by BT in 1986. The biggest difference between PSTN and ISDN is that ISDN is digital and with that, it unlocked more features, including the ability to have multiple calls down a single line.

What is the 2025 ISDN and PSTN switch off?

Both PSTN and ISDN technologies are outdated and in much need of replacement. With either a PSTN or ISDN line, you’re tied to a physical location, which in today’s world of flexible working, isn’t practical.

Seeing that the networks were outdated, BT made the bold announcement that they would be switched off in 2025 in favour of VoIP (calls made over the internet).

What is VoIP and how does it work?

What is VoIP and how does it work

VoIP which is an acronym for Voice over internet protocol is simply telephone calls made over the internet. As we’ve said, all businesses and consumers will need to switch to a VoIP service of some description before 2025.

The good news is that doing so not only brings a huge number of new features and benefits, but it also in most cases is far cheaper than legacy systems.

How to get a VoIP phone system?

There are two primary types of VoIP phone systems for your business growth, onsite or cloud-based. With an onsite VoIP phone system, your business gets ultimate control over your telecoms but will need to maintain and manage the system moving forward.

The alternative is a cloud-based system that is completely managed for you. For most small businesses, it’ll be the latter which is the best fit, but for some, having a system on-site or in your own private cloud could be a good fit too.

If you’d like to learn more about the various types of VoIP phone systems available for businesses, this guide from the independent telecoms experts at T2kVoIP, is a good overview of the best currently available?

How do I switch to VoIP?

How do I Switch to VoIP

Before you think about switching, do some research and identify the best VoIP phone system for your small business. You’ll likely have this system for a number of years, so investing some time upfront into research will pay dividends and avoid costly mistakes and having to switch again.

Once you’ve had some demos and decided on the right system to save your business, your new VoIP provider will guide you through the process of switching to them.

Typically, they’ll set up the service and issue you with new phone numbers, and then once everything is working arrange for your existing numbers to be ported over. This process can take a couple of weeks, and it’s important to check that your new provider can indeed port your numbers before switching.

Once your new numbers are transferred, you’re free to cancel your old ISDN or PSTN service.

What do I need to be able to make VoIP calls?

In most cases, the only things you’ll need to be able to start making VoIP calls are a reliable internet connection and a device to make the calls from. You don’t even have to have desk phones if you don’t think you need them, as with most VoIP services you can make calls from your mobile phone or laptop.

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