As another new year dawns, we find ourselves answering calls by businesses and being asked similar questions, mainly revolving around whether the time is right to transition from traditional ISDN lines to VoIP and a Cloud PBX.
Here's a quick rundown as to why the clock is ticking for ISDN and PSTN systems and why the time is right to jump on the VoIP train.
The big ISDN switch-off speeds up VoIP adoption
ISDN - or Integrated Services Digital Network - is an ageing circuit-switched telephone system. In the UK, BT have announced ISDN will be turned off and phased out by the year 2025. Other countries around the world are also shutting down their ISDN and PSTN systems such as Switzerland (this year), Germany (2018), USA (2020) and Australia (2021).
While this may seem a long way away, there are around three million ISDN channels in the UK which are likely to be affected by the switch-off. With there being little likelihood of large additional investment in ISDN, jumping to a forward-thinking and future-proof phone system should be on your business' radar sooner rather than later.
Increased Internet penetration makes for better quality VoIP calling
Although VoIP calls have only very modest bandwidth requirements (utilising only about 80 KBPs each of download and upload speed per concurrent UK phone call), the better your broadband connection, the better quality your VoIP calls will be. Five years ago, internet speeds were still stuttering, but superfast broadband connections are now becoming the norm. In fact, between 2010 and 2015, average residential fixed broadband speeds increased at an average rate of 36% year on year. Likewise, superfast fixed broadband connections over 30Mbit/s have grown from 0.2million in 2010 to 9.2 million in 2015.
Couple this with investments being made in fixed broadband technology such as ultra fibre-optic services and G.fast technology, and it's clear to see that there is continued investment in broadband and this is sure to stretch into the future.
VoIP allows for easy business transition
If your business is still nervous about moving from ISDN to VoIP, there's no need to worry as transitioning can be done as fast or as slow as you like. With that in mind, you can try out a VoIP Cloud PBX on a single extension, phone or device and, if you like it (and we're sure you will), you can then easily add more extensions for employees or colleagues. The advantages of VoIP's scalability removes any risk of moving large offices to a new phone system in one go.
Unlimited VoIP means call costs are lower than ever
Hosted VoIP systems offer unlimited calls and significantly lower international and local call charges when compared to older landlines. This is especially useful if you need to make business calls around the world. VoIP also ensures that costs can be focussed on operating expenses (OpEx) rather than large capital expenses (CapEx) such as physical hardware.
Complete control in the Cloud
Legacy ISDN landlines need intensive management when it came to adding new extensions or call routing. A Cloud PBX does away with the need for specialist knowledge or requirement for dedicated IT professionals to manage your business phone system. With easy online access, you have more control without the hassle or delays associated with waiting for engineers or new phone line installations.
Keep your existing business phone number
Unlike legacy systems that are tied to location, VoIP numbers are virtual and work independently of location. This means that you can keep your existing business phone number wherever your business goes.
Professional features as standard with a Cloud PBX
One of the big positives of a VoIP-based Cloud PBX is the added value from features such as call forwarding, voicemail and conferencing that are available as standard. This means that, unlike ageing phone systems which are limited to just voice calls, businesses benefit from a professional system for low-cost solutions.
So, if you're still operating on an ageing ISDN phone line, it really is time to upgrade to a VoIP phone system and boost your business with all the added benefits that it offers.