BT Openreach who provide telecom’s services to around 27 million UK homes and businesses, have announced plans to carry out an ISDN switch off by 2020, and phase out the network entirely by 2025. BT’s alternative to ISDN is ‘Voice over Internet Protocol’ [VoIP], served up as a hosted offering under long-term rental contracts.
How is VoIP better than ISDN?
VoIP is a newer and more flexible technology, but that aside, there are some real advantages to moving your business telecom’s to VoIP:
Cost: ISDN is more expensive to install, rent and make calls upon. SIP Trunk channels are typically £2 to £3 per channel per month with no installation charge with your new system, or when you add more. Call tariffs are low for both domestic and International destinations. SIP Trunk channels can be set up for you in ‘hours’ rather than the months you wait for ISDN lines making your business more effective faster.
Reliability: Faults on ISDN lines are often quite slow to fix. VoIP faults can be diagnosed & repaired much quicker. In addition, it’s now easy to have SIP Trunk services from different suppliers so that problems with a carrier can be by-passed using alternate call routes.
Portability: ISDN can be very restrictive in letting you take your numbers with you when you move your business – even on some occasions where the lines are coming from the same exchange! Direct Dial Inward [DDI] numbers associated with your SIP Trunk channels are 100% portable, and can move with you – even to another country! Unlike ISDN, VoIP hosted DDI numbers can have any geographical prefix so that you can show a national or International presence in your advertising. VoIP Phone systems also allow us to present an extension’s DDI number as its outbound Caller ID, making it easy for customers & suppliers to call you back – where ISDN will present the same single number for all outbound calls.
Scalability: New DDI numbers and SIP Trunk channels can be added to a VoIP system in minutes. This means you can be flexible enough to change your business telecom’s to meet your business needs as they evolve, and at very low cost!
So – What do I need to do to get ready for this?
The sooner you plan to migrate away from ISDN the better – both from a practical “don’t get caught when it switches off!” point of view, as well as from a cost angle. Every year you rent ISDN lines, you are paying a major percentage of the cost of a new VoIP phone system! It makes no sense to wait, as all the benefits are right here, right now …
If you are opening a new office, or moving to new premises, then there’s the same argument. It only makes it more expensive and draws out timescales if you order ISDN lines.
Migration to VoIP is not complicated for most businesses, and can even be done without disrupting existing telephone services. Here at Foxhall Solutions, we can provide the; line, broadband, SIP Trunks, DDI numbers, number porting, Phone systems, phone hand-sets, installation, commissioning, user training, ongoing support and itemised monthly billing for your new phone system.
Contact Foxhall Solutions at 01787 228402 to talk about moving away from ISDN to a flexible and cost-effective telecom’s solution.