With BT and KCOM's announcement earlier this year of their plans to switch off their PSTN and ISDN networks by 2025 has many businesses concerned about their future, and what move to make next. Although 2025 seems a while away, BT and KCOM plan to begin implementing a gradual phase-out of the older systems beginning in 2020. So, what does this really mean for your business?
What are PSTN and ISDN?
- PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network): A familiar landline telephone system originally set up for analog voice communication. This became the most reliable method of making voice calls, as well as the main carrier for internet activity across the world.
-ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network): This allowed digital transmission of voice, video and other services simultaneously, using the traditional PSTN network.
But, why are they being switched off?
The simple answer is that the networks are extremely out of date, despite radical updates being made over the years, the system just is not keeping up with today's advancements in technology.
It was found during some research being conducted by Ofcom in early 2017 that there are over 2 million businesses still with an ISDN connection in the UK, and all of these will be affected.
To make matters even more concerning, further research in 2017 revealed that a quarter of UK businesses are still unaware that the switch off is even taking place.
- SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) which is used in VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol): This allows people to make voice and video calls on a global scale using computer and mobile devices with an Internet connection, and is completely free regardless of the distance.
Ensuring the future
The bottom line of the switch off for any business expected to be affected, large and small, is that they need to modernise their communications systems before its too late.
People delay tasks such as this one with the worries of cost, time, and benefits in mind; people simply don't understand how many benefits modernisation carries.
Cloud telephony (VoIP) is a revelation for business communications as it reduces business phone line and contract bills, there are no line-rental or contractual agreements, the system is simpler and easier to control, and it provides your team with the ability to use their own devices to make business calls, add and remove users whenever needed, and work from any location.
The countdown to 5G
In other big news is 5G. It's at the forefront of everyone's mind and is expected to arrive in 2020, as the phase-out for PSTN and ISDN is planned to begin.
The reason we're mentioning it here is because it will transform the way business communications are approached, due to increased bandwidth and over a gigabit per second in data transfer rates.
5G will only strengthen cloud telephony, which is at the forefront of telecoms innovation, making it the safest route to take for businesses wanting to safeguard future operations.
So, if you're among the 2 million businesses that still have an ISDN connection, don't hold off on switching to cloud telephony services; make sure your business is prepared before it's too late, and reap the results of modernisation.