BT is planning to phase out and ultimately shut down their ISDN and PSTN networks over coming years as new, more improved technology is available to businesses (and homes) across the UK.
ISDN was first introduced by BT in 1986. We all remember some or all of the events that took place during this year and looking back, it puts it into perspective just how long ISDN has been around and how technology and our lifestyles have changed since then.
BT will stop selling these ISDN services by 2020 and by 2025 these networks will be obsolete altogether.
According to Ofcom*, there were 32.8 million fixed exchange lines (including PSTN lines and ISDN channels) at the end of Q3 2017. Of this, several million will belong to businesses across the UK.
Technology has changed our everyday lives
This has an impact on how businesses engage with customers. The choices and flexibility you can offer your customers as to how they contact you have fundamentally transformed. Customer expectations have also massively changed. Ten years ago, customers would simply pick up the phone if they wanted to get in touch, but that’s no longer the case.
Today, by the time your customers make that phone call, they’ve most likely already tried other channels to find the answer they’re looking for. Their journey to your business has changed. And so, have their expectations.
Do you have an ISDN/PSTN network?
If you currently have one of these networks, the good news is there are a few options for you to review and you won’t need to change your phone number in the process. These changes will provide you with an opportunity to take advantage of today’s digital transformation and to be able to communicate with consumers how they chose to communicate, ultimately increasing customer experience.
What are your options?
This is what will replace ISDN lines by default. You do have other options though which are worth looking into. With SIP trunking businesses just need an internet connection and a phone system i.e. no phone line.
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is as the name suggests – talking over the internet. It allows you to make and receive phone calls through your internet connection.
Cloud telephony, also called hosted telephony is a good way to refresh your technology without heavy capital investment as it is a managed service that enables your business to be resilient, flexible and financially efficient.
Take advantage of these changes
As with everything, there are pros and cons with technology. The great news to takeaway now, is to know you have choices – and you don’t have to wait until ISDN is switched off; you can look into it now, begin a review and see what best suits your business requirements and start profiting from technology.
Your review will also enable you to benefit from future efficiencies; by using one supplier you can reduce your expenditure whilst benefiting from a unified comms approach.