BT’s decision to switch off its ISDN services by 2025 may seem a long way off for many South East businesses but it’s wise to plan ahead and switch to IP-based services as soon as possible.
The Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) has supported UK organisations of all sizes for many years. However, in BT’s third quarter results announcement for 2014/15, its chief executive said the goal was for all BT voice customers to be served using IP-based solutions by 2025. That means both ISDN and PSTN networks will be switched off.
Many forward-thinking companies in London and the South East have already said farewell to ISDN because it was an easy decision. ISDN rental is costly and switching to a software-based PBX is much more cost-effective.
Seek advice from your IT consultant
However, before they made the move they sought advice from an experienced independent IT consultant to help them identify the best VoIP telephony system for their business.
Many opted for a software-based PBX from 3CX. This runs on Windows operating systems and uses standard IP handsets. Voice calls are delivered using the session initiation protocol (SIP), so all your company needs is a broadband connection.
It’s far less expensive to purchase and expand than a hardware-based PBX or PABX and there’s no need for separate phone wiring as your phones use the computer network. Using a 3CX software-based PBX also makes virtual meetings easy and cheap. Field workers and people working from home can join in web conferences – saving time and travel costs.
In only four years’ time, businesses won’t be able to buy new ISDN connections. So the use of IP telephony will rapidly become the norm. Your clients, customers and partners will expect you to connect with them using this versatile and cost-effective service.
Gary Jowett from CNC in Brighton says: “Confirmation that BT will be switching off its ISDN network has concerned many companies because they’ve depended on it to do business. However, it also presents a great opportunity for them. Switching to an IP-based system is painless and straightforward. It also offers significant savings and provides new ways of working. Your employees can use the company’s phone system anywhere they work resulting in more productivity and responsivity to customers.”