In 2020 BT have announced they will stop taking new ISDN orders and will complete switching off the ISDN network in 2025. This article will enable you to understand what the impact of this is upon your business and what options are available to you to ensure your business is well prepared.
What is ISDN?
‘Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) is a set of communication standards for simultaneous digital transmission of voice, video, data and other network services over the traditional circuits of the public switched telephone network’.
Why are ISDN services being terminated?
ISDN was introduced in the 1980’s allowing both voice and data services to be delivered simultaneously. For the technology and services at the time, it served its purpose very well and continued to do so for many years. Now we’re well into the 21st century, technology has moved on and old telephone solutions are lagging behind the alternatives in an increasingly fast paced digital world.
What does this mean for businesses who currently use ISDN?
Quite simply it means that now is the time to review your organisations approach to data services provision in order to avoid the negative consequences in lost revenue that will be experienced if you do not have an alternative network service in place come 2025.
It can take time to review your strategy and understand what the right option is for your business going forwards therefore it is never too early to start planning. Read on to learn all you need to know to ensure you do not end up scrambling to get a solution in place at the last minute, a solution that ultimately might not be right for your business.
So, what options do you have?
If you are currently on an ISDN phone contract now is the right time to start exploring the option of switching to VoIP and SIP technologies.
What is VoIP?
Voice over Internet Protocol, also called IP telephony, is a method and group of technologies for the delivery of voice communications and multimedia sessions over Internet Protocol networks such as the Internet.
What are SIP technologies?
The Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is a signalling protocol that is used by technology products for creating session-oriented connections between two or more endpoints in an IP network. These endpoints could be IP telephones, instant messaging clients or a collaborative multimedia conference application.
Whilst the transition may seem complicated and a big disruption to your business, it doesn’t need to be. With upfront planning and budget allocation we can help make the transition as smooth as possible. As always, it’s important to take into consideration some of the below points:
Can your phone system support VoIP?
The latest desk phones already support this technology, however, if yours doesn’t now is the time to upgrade. Luckily a lot of telephony and IT solution providers offer options to roll handsets into a new contract. You can also look to trade in old hardware for new handsets in order to recoup residual value.
With the switch to cloud becoming ever more popular and feature rich it might be the time to ditch physical handsets for soft phones, replace on premise exchanges with cloud hosted systems or embrace collaboration applications which allow telecommunication integration. There are many options and we can help you identify which is best for your business.
Is my network strong enough to meet the demands of a VoIP phone system?
Having a strong and reliable bandwidth connection is important when switching to voice rather than the traditional circuit-switched telephone system. You don’t want to invest the time and money into switching to a new solution but being let down by poor audio quality due to a poor connection.
We can help you determine how much we predict you will need and work with you to achieve the high Quality of Service your business needs.
So, what’s next?
Now you better understand the impact the ISDN switch off can have on your business and what options are available to you, the next step is to review how your business consumes voice, video and data services now versus what how you anticipate that changing in the future.
At XMA, we are specialists in this field and guide organisations of all sizes and in all sectors to make the right choices. Our wealth of knowledge and team of technical experts can guide you through your decision-making journey, from designing and implementing your solution all the way through to helping you to manage your new network.