BT forges ahead with plans to switch off traditional telephony network

As part of modernising its infrastructure and updating its offering, BT has announced that they will switch off their PSTN and ISDN services completely in 2025. They are already encouraging their business customers to switch to internet-based voice calls (VoIP) via their fibre network. Other major communications companies in Germany, Japan, and Sweden have already begun the process of switching from voice to IP.

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A 2017 survey by Talk Talk Business revealed that 25% of UK businesses were unaware of the upcoming switch-off of ISDN.

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Why are PSTN and ISDN being phased out?

Essentially, in terms of the speed and reliability needed, these systems are now out of date and not really fit for purpose in today’s environment.

What is replacing them?

The technology that is being used to replace these old systems is known as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), and it allows voice calls to be made over the internet. This technology is notably cheaper than traditional systems in terms of setup, ongoing costs and call costs. More than 50% of businesses are already using VoIP.

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Advice for existing businesses

If yours is one of the two million businesses that still has an ISDN connection, you might want to thinking about switching to VoIP/cloud-based telephone solutions sooner rather than later. First, you need to establish when your current contract is due for renewal or termination as this will give you a good idea of when you can switch and give you a deadline to work toward.

Advice for new businesses

If you are currently setting up a new business, there are a few things to bear in mind in terms of telecom systems. First, you want to make sure you are in an area that has excellent internet connectivity. For a reliable VoIP service, you will need access to a Wi-Fi network and 4G/5G connectivity. Second, there is no point in investing in traditional desk phones and phone lines as this will be obsolete in the near future. It makes more sense to set up cloud telephony.

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