The end of the road for ISDN?

Posted November 8, 2021

The way we communicate is constantly evolving, a mere half a century ago the thought of making a phone call on the move was like something out of a science fiction movie, today if we aren’t connected to each other 100% of the time no matter our location we are not satisfied.

Most businesses have been using ISDN services for quite some time, but BT are unfortunately in the process of retiring it, and this isn’t happening some way off in the future it is expected to be completed as soon as 2025, so now is the time to think about alternatives. You must now start seriously considering alternatives to avoid the potential panic caused by being forced into a last-minute decision. You don’t want to be left behind by your competition who has already had the foresight to make the transition to something new.

We understand that change is always a daunting prospect – especially if ISDN has helped your business succeed, but putting it all off until the last minute is undoubtedly counterproductive – Following the advice in this article and the one following it, will demonstrate that change doesn’t have to be a problem, it can in fact bring prosperity.


ISDN – what is it?

ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) is a set of protocols which allow for the transmission of voice, video, and data across the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). Upon its arrival ISDN was hailed as a marvel, rapidly becoming a must have for businesses everywhere, its features had never been seen before its then ‘high speed broadband’ allowed voices and data to travel down the same copper lines, almost unthinkable beforehand and the peak of innovation at the time.


If it is so good, why are they retiring it?

A fair question with a simple answer. It is simply not practical or economical to keep them running when the components used are aging at such a rate, the PSTN that ISDN operates on is very much nearing the end of its serviceable life. To quote an old adage, everything to do with ISDN is getting a little ‘long in the tooth’, a lot of the parts used to build and maintain it aren’t even manufactured anymore, and the individuals responsible for fitting those parts, creating the system, and maintaining it are either already enjoying retirement or about to. Everything comes back to cost as you know, with landline services taking a massive hit over recent years with the arrival of more and more capable alternatives, this caused the system to haemorrhage money which also coincided with ever increasing maintenance costs – the system has simply lost its economic viability and something has to be done.


What is PTSN being replaced with?

Over the last decade or so Telecom’s operators have been constructing brand new revolutionary IT-based networks. The process has been carried out both tactfully and quietly as to not disturb everything too much – which is why you may not have felt or even noticed much of a change.


How do I prepare for the ISDN switch off?

Stop investing in ISDN! This is by far the best way to prepare, the demise of PTSN is imminent, investing in ISDN now would be a massive waste of money as It will need replacing soon.

We recommend you adopt a VoIP service on a full IP-based network, don’t worry if you don’t have a clue what we are talking about yet, we will explore this further in the next article.

A VoIP telephone system can be implemented in a variety of different ways, they are as follows:

  • 1.  A Cloud hosted phone system

With your phone system hosted in the Cloud you have no responsibility over the infrastructure it resides in, and crucially don’t have to pay anything out for it. A hugely positive feature of Cloud hosted phone systems is that it uses a virtual PBX. The PBX keeps you connected from anywhere at any time – this allows you to appear as though you are in your office when in reality you are on the beach or sailing the Mediterranean in your yacht (most of us can only dream).

  • 2.  A hybrid phone system

A hybrid phone system is a system that combines a mix of all technologies (IP, ISDN, analogue, and digital).

  • 3.  A SIP trunk

A SIP trunk acts as a virtual phone line that can be purchased and plugged into any compatible PBX server.


Introducing your VoIP specialist

We launched Premier 35 years ago, and in that time have supported businesses both locally and nationally; we’ve always had a passion for enabling people to stay connected and we’ve grown to provide a whole range of bespoke unified communications investing in, managing and offering new technologies as they evolve

We work closely with small; medium and enterprise level businesses and our core values remain strong; we will work smoothly and efficiently as a part of your team to deliver our high standards in cutting edge, creative communication solutions. Thanks to our years of experience, we understand the importance of staying ahead of the curve and pride ourselves on understanding and embracing the latest innovations to offer you complete peace of mind and the best of what’s available.


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