VoIP – The ISDN Switch Off

BT Group PLC, a British communications provider, made an important announcement recently. The company stated that they would be turning off their ISDN services by 2020. Within 2025, they will be phasing out this network, in favor of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

ISDN – What is it and why is it getting phased out?

ISDN or Integrated Services Digital Network allows digital transmission of video, voice, along with other services. It uses the traditional Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). The company has been providing these services since 1986, and businesses have been using this standard for several years.

The next question you have in mind is why BT wants to remove this network, even though several organisations use it. Keep in mind that the design and setup of ISDN are similar to phone lines, which came out in the 1800s. As a result, these systems are quite old, which makes it harder and expensive to maintain the infrastructure.

At the same time, a significant leap in technology made it possible for businesses to obtain quick internet connections. For example, high-speed broadband and fibre lines are superior to ISDN infrastructure in every way.

Rather than maintaining an older network, it makes sense for BT to upgrade their systems and keep up with the evolution of technology.

VoIP – What you need to know

Enter Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which allows consumers to make voice calls globally, with the help of mobile devices and computer. You only need an internet connection to make this possible. VoIP is also known as cloud-based telephony systems, due to the way it operates.

The advantage that VoIP has over ISDN is the price businesses have to pay, to use these services. When it comes to communication between VoIP users, in most situations, it takes place free of cost. For example, ISDN relies on a physical copper connection to exist between two points. However, VoIP is completely digital, which comes with a lot of advantages.

At the same time, any cost associated with setup and maintaining this infrastructure comes down significantly.

Why should you migrate to VoIP?

Regardless of the size of your business, moving to VoIP is a must, so that your organisation can keep with the changes. There are a lot of advantages which companies will observe when it comes to VoIP.

For starters, your business no longer has to pay a high bill to use these services, as you no longer need to stick to a contract or rental agreement. If there are any problems, it is easier for the provider to find a solution. The time taken to analyse, diagnose, and repair issues are faster, as the provider owns more of the service provided.

You no longer need to use specific devices, unlike ISDN, which makes it straightforward for your business. You can ask your employees to bring their gadgets, as most systems can take advantage of this technology.

There are no geographical restrictions when it comes to VoIP, unlike ISDN. Regardless of where your employees go, they should be able to keep their numbers without running into any issues.

On top of that, VoIP will be able to keep up with the growing demands of your company. It is easy to scale and adapt, allowing you to make the most of its flexibility.

Also, it will help your business remain relevant for several years, which is an essential requirement in the market.

What should be the next steps for your business?

Given the magnitude of changes that BT wants to bring, it is understandable why you want to know what your business should be doing to avoid becoming obsolete. Moving to cloud-based telephony is essential, as it will help your company significantly.

The first thing you need to do is take a look at your contract and see when it comes to an end. Breaking one isn’t a good idea, as you might have to pay a fine, which can be expensive. During this period, start researching for reliable VoIP vendors so that you can make the jump at the end of the contract.

At all costs, avoid renewing your contract for ISDN, even if it looks promising, as your business will face a lot of obstacles. In the long run, it will turn out to be an expensive deal, and your company will have to deal with the mess.

Start moving your clients and users into the cloud system as soon as possible, to ease the transitioning period. Several businesses tend to sign up their users on existing legacy systems, as the process feels familiar. However, as time goes on, you will have to ask them to switch to the newer cloud-based system, which can cause a lot of confusion.

Tips for adopting VoIP

Since you are planning on making the switch to VoIP, it is essential that you keep these tips in mind, so that you don’t become outdated in the future.

  1. Never buy outdated hardware, regardless of how cheap they are at the moment. Several vendors try to offload their inventory, to make space for the newer equipment and resort to this practice. If you buy outdated hardware, it is a huge waste of money, as they will become obsolete in the near future.
  2. Ensure your business starts using cloud telephony as soon as possible so that you have the edge over your competitors. With VoIP, your employees will be able to work from remote locations without any issues. Also, you can integrate and grow your team with the help of freelancers. Think about all the things your business can do, by cutting down on costs. Also, it ensures that your workforce continues to be productive at all times, which is a huge plus point for your business.

As ISDN will soon become outdated, it is vital that you start adopting VoIP as quickly as possible. Don’t wait till 2025 to make a decision, as your business will be several steps behind your competitors. Start talking to vendors today so that your company is ready to make the switch and enjoy all the benefits that come with it!

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