It’s now been confirmed by BT that they plan to stop issuing new ISDN line(s) in 2020 in the run-up to switching off the service altogether by 2025. This means that small businesses would have to start considering alternative options very soon. Many companies are pushing the move to cloud phone-based technology in an attempt to minimise disruption and keep businesses trading.
What is ISDN?
Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) technology is a communication device sending voice and data over subscriber lines via the public switched telephone network. Though an ageing technology around 6.4 million UK businesses still uses telephone lines via Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). With new technology coming into the frame it’s now time for UK businesses to look at other options to support their telephone line and find alternatives to a standard telephone.
What is SIP?
SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) provides a phone line where calls can be made over an internet connection. When SIP technologies were first introduced these lines used to be unreliable due to inadequate speeds. Though frequently used as a casual form of communication these have now entered the world of business.
Migration from ISDN to SIP
The migration from ISDN to ISP has been mentioned by BT as a way of keeping up with technological advancements. The use of a traditional telephone system has long been outdated. SIP will make it easier and more convenient to communicate. In terms of saving costs, flexibility and collaboration VoIP offers much better advantages compared to traditional phone lines.
What are the alternatives?
Openreach is encouraging customers to switch to VoIP. This means that SIP and VoIP are the best solutions and alternatives for businesses. Cloud phones used in businesses is not unusual as more see and utilise the benefits of switching to VoIP. Additionally, moving to SIP is significantly cheaper with Openreach announcing that they plan to cut the prices of FTTC (Fibre-to-the-Premises) from September 1st 2019 to encourage consumers to make the switch.
What is VoIP?
Using the internet, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a system allowing the transmission of data and voice to be made over an internet connection.
There are primarily two types of VoIP telephones which are hardware-based or software-based. These phones provide features like voicemail, call conferencing and call transfer. It runs on software which is installed on a desktop or mobile phone. The interface is similar to that of a phone with a touchpad and display. Calls can be made and answered using a headset equipped to the device. VoIP allows users to make calls directly from their desktop, from a standard business phone, mobiles and even landline phones.
Advantages of VoIP and SIP
Mobility: Only a wifi connection is needed meaning you and your staff are able to work from anywhere.
Low cost: There are considerable savings to be made switching from traditional phone lines. Compared to having broadband bundled with a landline, businesses could see their costs cut in half.
Advanced features: With advanced features such as voicemail to mail, auto-attendant, call forwarding and video conferencing VoIP can increase efficiency and make sure customer messages are considered and relayed to increase rapport and customer service levels.
Faster set-up: VoIP systems are easier to set up without the need for expensive hardware or a specialist IT technician.
How should small businesses prepare for the ISDN switch-over?
The key is to switch to VoIP now to minimise the effect on your business. The tools of business are changing and it’s crucial to stay ahead of larger corporations and the competition. VoIP phone is the future of communication. You need to future-proof your business now to minimise the effects of this change.
The shutdown of ISDN should be seen as an opportunity for small businesses to move to advanced technology and catch up to competitors. Rather than waiting for 2020, you have the opportunity to benefit now. There’s a wealth of benefits that come with cloud-phones from cheaper costs, multiple numbers and easy to set-up. We invite you to look at our packages and see how we can help get the best deal for your small business.