In 2015, BT announced its decision to switch off ISDN networks by 2025, nor will new ISDN circuits be available to purchase after 2020. This means that any organisation that uses ISDN for its voice traffic (i.e. making and receiving telephone calls) will find itself voice-less after 2025. This may sound drastic, until you consider that BT is currently maintaining multiple legacy networks which is hugely expensive (all that copper wiring everywhere which seems to develop a fault at the slightest drop of rain or gust of wind). BT’s replacement is Voice over Internet Protocol (or VoIP) and will see it moving its entire network of voice, data, video and broadcasting to just this single platform. In essence, this means that your voice traffic will carry over your broadband. (Similar to this is Session Initiated Protocol (SIP) trunk, which will connect to a telephone system and route calls over the internet.)
VoIP and SIP
VoIP and SIP are now not new and have already been up and running successfully for a few years. For consumers, moving to VoIP has huge economic and strategic advantages: you won’t need to pay expensive line rentals and VoIP is both scalable and flexible, you can easily redirect calls and your now ‘virtual’ telephone number can follow you to wherever you want. The biggest disadvantage for consumers is the cost of replacing your ISDN telephone system with a VoIP one, but that needn’t be as onerous as you might think.
What you need to consider
2020 is a mere 2 years away. If your telephone contract is up for renewal, your telephone system beginning to falter or you know that you will be expanding within the next few years, then you really need to start thinking of moving to VoIP now. When choosing a new telephone system or deciding to go to Hosted IP, you must first determine if your Broadband is up to VoIP. Data will invariably take up most of the bandwidth of your broadband, so you need to ensure that there is sufficient left to carry your voice, as well as decent Quality of Service (QoS); a crawling ADSL won’t do the trick. However, you needn’t panic as hybrid systems are available. These will work with your traditional telephone lines but have VoIP capability, meaning that you can switch to VoIP when you’re ready and suitable broadband is available to you.
We can help
Whether you’re looking to upgrade or replace your existing phone system, looking to migrate away from ISDN now, rather later or looking for VoIP solutions, get in touch, as we can help your business now.