ISDN Lines Switch Off by 2025
In 2014 BT announced that they were going to switch off all ISDN lines by 2025 and as of 2020, you will not be able to order new or upgrade these lines.
At the time and probably still now for some, it still seems miles away, but in telecoms terms, it really isn’t, it’s just around the corner, but why are BT doing this? The truth is, the legacy PSTN network is out of date and getting more and more expensive to maintain and although millions of pounds has been spent on upgrading this network, it’s still essentially the original network from the pre 1900’s.
The next question is what does it mean to businesses across the UK? It means that any organisation however large or small that is still using traditional telephone lines will be forced to explore new telephony systems.
Voice calls over the internet, known as VoIP will ultimately replace all existing networks and platforms. VoIP telephony is not new technology, it’s here right now and has been around for about 15 years or so. In the early days VoIP had a lot of bad press and the quality of a lot of services, left a lot to be desired, but now, due to the quality of the connectivity, it has come on leaps and bounds.
However, a lot of existing phone systems and handsets do not support VoIP services, which means that organisations will have to either upgrade to an IP telephony system or replace the current one with a fully hosted telephony offering. The difference between the two, in simple terms, is the location of the intelligence. Traditional telephone systems will have a unit/processor, which is located on site and this is where all the intelligence is held, whereas a fully hosted telephony solution that does not use premise based hardware (apart from the handsets of course), the 'intelligence' is hosted in a data centre in the cloud.
They both have various advantages over the other, the two main differences are, with an IP telephone system you have the initial capital investment and the annual maintenance fee to consider and the ongoing costs are generally lower, whereas with a fully hosted system, there is minimal capital investment and the maintenance fees are included but you pay per user.
The one big advantage that a fully hosted system has over IP telephone system from a business continuity point of view is the speed of change. As all the "intelligence" is held in the data centre in the cloud, programming changes can be made by end users via a computer and without the need of a site visit.
The single most important factor for anyone who is looking to upgrade their telephony network to IP – quality before cost. Don’t let cost be the driver in your decision making, good quality services at competitive prices.
For information and advice on telephony solutions, contact Caradoc’s approved telephony supplier: