Way back in 2015 BT announced they would be phasing out the ISDN and PSTN networks with the goal of deactivating the ISDN Network in 2025. It all seemed a long way off back then, but here we are in 2021 and that target date is ebbing closer. For businesses who haven’t made the switch, now is the time to start exploring new options, and if the past year has taught us anything, it’s that our business systems need to be agile and flexible.
Why is ISDN being phased out?
Technology has evolved and developed rapidly in the past two decades, and BT are phasing the ISDN Network to replace it with Internet-based lines. The internet-based lines offer greater reliability and flexibility. In simple terms, ISDN is migrating from digital to Internet-based services, most commonly known as SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) and VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)
What are the alternatives?
Another alternative would be a “VoIP” or ‘hosted’ telephone system. A hosted VoIP uses your internet lines instead of the traditional copper phone lines. It’s not a physical system, and it sits in a remote server room somewhere in “The Cloud.”
It is a great option for users who want a functional and scalable phone system, where you can pay per seat without the upfront purchasing costs and extra maintenance fees.
Smart IT manage many customers phone systems and provides them with access to lower costs, free IP calling, and the same functionality (in most cases more) as traditional PBX’s with such features as call recording, conferencing, and collaboration tools.
A key benefit of a hosted VoIP solution is the unified communications it provides, with more people than ever working remotely, it allows users to utilise other devices such as laptops and mobiles to make business phone calls, giving you an office where ever you are.
The other alternative is SIP Trunks, the difference with SIP Trunks is they can continue to work with traditional on-site PBX systems often just needing a clever piece of equipment installing. SIP acts as a bundle of phone lines that use the SIP protocol to provide service for an office. The newer SIP trunk technology offers much more flexibility than ISDN lines such as the ability to increase or decrease the amount of lines during busy periods without any long-term commitment.
“SIP trunks will slash any organisations start-up and ongoing telephony costs. This, coupled with the flexibility and low initial costs is making SIP trunks an increasingly popular choice with larger businesses wanting to cut costs, and businesses looking for more flexibility.”Darryl Robinson, Sales Manager, Smart IT
Life after ISDN — The Benefits
Cost Savings and Affordability
When you provision a SIP trunk, you don’t have to buy any physical hardware, you only pay for as many users as you need, and calls are made through internet lines. The biggest savings with SIP trunks are the line rental and call costs, calls between sites are free, and you pay a fraction of the price for long distance calls.
Reliability and Redundancy
When using SIP Trunks, you can choose between different providers, giving failover functionality if your network was to go down due to a network outage. Gone are the days when the weather or a vandalised telephone pole could interrupt your service, SIP trunking is a far more reliable technology.
With many technology investments it can take years to realise the return on investment. With a lower initial capital expenditure, businesses that switch to SIP begin appreciating cost savings from the first monthly billing.
Easy setup & Management
With little on site equipment, setting up and maintaining the system is easier than a traditional telephone system. SIP trunking and VoIP phones offer easy-to-use administrative portals for on-site management, including call routing, changing extensions, or adding phone lines fully on-demand. All the changes can be carried out remotely, all is needed is an internet connection.
SIP allows businesses to connect employees’ mobile devices via flexible VoIP apps, that can be securely installed. Allowing mobile workers to remain connected to the office-based communication systems, and fully contactable at all times via a single, dedicated business line. The mobility features of SIP and VoIP also enable businesses to maintain communications if the internet fails. Find out how Smart IT can help with all of your communications needs.
Find out how Smart IT can help with all of your communications needs