25 Jun Are you STILL using ISDN?
Telephony is changing. BT are in the process of retiring their ISDN services and plan to be finished by 2025 – therefore, it is essential that you explore the alternatives on the market asap if you don’t want to be left behind. Understandably, it can be daunting to make changes, but I can guarantee that by the end of these blogs you will have a different outlook on this change and be optimistic about what the future holds.
What is ISDN?
ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) is a set of protocols which allow for the transmission of voice, video, and data across the vast and varying infrastructure of the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). ISDN was revolutionary when it was first introduced in the late 1980s, with features that had never been seen before, and has widely been known as the original ‘high speed broadband’ which allowed voice and data to travel across the same copper lines.
So, why are they withdrawing ISDN?
ISDN operates on the PTSN – and the PTSN is nearing the end of its life. The aging components of the system are becoming ever more difficult to replace, parts are no longer being manufactured, and most of the individuals that created the system have either retired already or are very close to doing so. Along with the rapid decline in the use of landline services, the system is rapidly bleeding revenue alongside rising maintenance costs – it is simply not economically viable to continue in this way.
What is the PSTN being replaced with?
Over the course of the last decade Telecoms operators have been constructing revolutionary IT-based networks. The process has been carried out tactfully, which is why you may have not felt much – if any – upheaval, especially as they have only replaced parts of the network.
What can I do to prepare for the long-anticipated ISDN switch off?
Some are still investing in traditional ISDN phone lines – this is completely unproductive with the demise of the PTSN round the corner.
To make a transition to a full IP-based network you will have to adopt a VoIP service (that we will explore in the second part of this two-part blog series). VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol and is basically the new ISDN.
VoIP telephony can be implemented in many different ways, as follows:
> A hybrid phone system
is a system that combines a mix of all technologies (IP, ISDN, analogue, and digital).
> A Cloud hosted phone system
is a phone system where you haven’t got to manage the infrastructure it resides in or pay out for it. When using a Cloud hosted phone system you use a virtual PBX that enables you to call from anywhere that has an internet connection – whilst it appears to your caller that you are still in your office setting.
> A SIP trunk
These act as ‘Virtual Phone Lines’ which you can purchase and plug into any compatible PBX server.
> IP phone system.
Like a traditional phone system only with IP enabled handsets connected via ethernet cables to a local area or wide area network.
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