Small business telephony will be changing quickly as SOGEA comes into effect and traditional telephony issued by BT shut downs. This will see many businesses consumers needing to digitize their phone lines. In fact, the end of the landline is fast approaching with stop-sell being issued in 2023 and the service being completely revoked in 2025.
Small businesses will need to find alternatives to traditional telephony. We've compiled everything you need to know in regards to the switch-off. From what Openreach is doing, along with a run-down of what to expect in 2020.
What is ISDN?
ISDN stands for Integrated Services Digital Network and allows phone and video calls to be made via the PSTN (Public Service Telephone Network). This technology uses the same line for voice and data through the PSTN which BT and Openreach use for their telephony. This is considered traditional landline phone service, which has been used for years now.
BT is now working to halt the distribution of ISDN technology in the run up to totally discontinuing the service.
When is the ISDN switch off?
The purchase of ISDN will still be allowed up until September 2023 but there will be a mandatory technology switch between April 2025 and December 2025. However, VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) is readily available to acquire now with better deals rather than expensive and inflated ISDN or landline offers. In fact, small businesses can save 30% when switching to VoIP.
Why is the ISDN switch off happening?
Other forms of technology have been greatly improved over the years and have made significant upgrades since it originally started. ISDN, however, has not made any of these changes. Maintaining these outdated systems is more expensive and now is the time for a new and improved system.
How will this affect your business?
This year, changes have already been made, businesses are no longer able to order or purchase a traditional PSTN or ISDN phone system from BT. For current BT customers whose contracts are up for renewal will need to swap their current system for a VoIP system or look elsewhere for an alternative solution.
While a drastic change this will be positive for small businesses as without a mandatory line will lead to cheaper calls and no engineering costs. Furthermore, a switch to VoIP will open the path for easy remote working capabilities and many features such as conferencing and video calls.
What alternatives are there?
The main alternative to ISDN is VoIP, (Voice Over Internet Protocol) phone systems. This form of technology is a cloud-based system of communication here to be a beneficial alternative for many small businesses no matter the industry. This low-cost internet-based system increases flexibility and productivity for the company as a whole.
VoIP is a great system allowing easy and efficient communication with inclusive virtual meetings through voice and video. Some other features incorporated in VoIP products are call recording, call routing, forwarding HD conferencing.
These features put your company and its employees on a pedestal compared to competitors and allow for more efficient and smooth business operations.
How to prepare for the switch off?
Small businesses who are still utilising ISDN or traditional landlines services should consider the switch to another form of business communication. Cloud-based services are the future and the sooner your company becomes accustomed to internet-based communications, the easier it will be to adapt in the future.
We recommend first finding out when your contracts are due to expire to plan for the future transition. This switch does not have to happen immediately rather small businesses should wait until their contract is over before switching to cloud-based systems.
Next, you should research different cloud-based phone systems such as VoIP to ensure you are partnering with a company equipped to sustain the growth of the company in the future. The features they provide should match the needs and wants of your small business to make sure it is the right fit.
Now is the time to consider changing your communication system to VoIP for a low cost, quality phone service. If your company is interested in this change, visit our packages designed to support your small businesses or call our VoIP experts on 0203 697 4166.