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Are telephone systems still worth buying?
24-09-2021

Are telephone systems still worth buying?

All IP networks are conquering the communications industry and as a result, they are forcing traditional telephone systems out of the market. This project has already started and in this article, we want to answer all questions you might have to prepare your companies for the upcoming deadline.

What is happening and when?

It has been announced that September 2023 is going to be the national “stop sell” date of Openreach’s analogue and ISDN digital copper network. And two years after, by 2025, a big analogue switch-off will happen. Therefore, from that date forward all communications will be IP based or not happen at all.

As a consequence, around 3 million active ISDN users will have to switch its current telephone systems to new technologies. This is going to be the biggest change the telecoms industry will experience for over 30 years.

This is the timeline established in the UK. Germany, Japan and Sweden are already ahead of us whereas Estonia and the Netherlands have already switched off all their PSTN networks.

What services will be affected?

Generally speaking, anything that is currently using a copper line. The most affected services are analogue telephone lines (PTSN) and digital ISDN lines but there is much more to it. It is key to identify anything else that is using this infrastructure beyond voice. For example:

  • Dial-up services
  • Fax
  • Alarm systems/emergency systems
  • Modem
  • Building management systems
  • Liftlines and help point systems
  • PDQ machines/card machines
  • Door entry systems
  • Remote monitoring equipment

Why?

ISDN was firstly introduced nationwide in 1986, however, since then many technological advances have happened. Superfast fibre internet and Ethernet provide better viable alternatives. Actually, many businesses have already switched their telephone systems and there has been no need to install new lines in central London since 2014.

We have all seen recent dramatic changes in the telecom industry thanks to smartphones, apps, the Cloud, apps like Zoom or Skype, the Internet of Things, etc. Therefore, it is an inevitable change to keep moving forward. 

What alternatives do you have?

Even though it might feel like a hustle at first, the new technologies are much better for the best effective communication possible and will likely improve productivity in the long run. These are the several alternatives:

  1. Hybrid phones systems: It is a flexible system that combines ISDN, Analogues, Digital and IP. However, its downside is that it can’t be cloud-based.
  2. Session initiation protocol (SIP) is carried over virtual phone lines instead of physical wires.
  3. Voice over IP (VoIP)  is a cloud-based solution that offers a wider range of additional features such as call queuing, call monitoring, call recording, etc.
  4. Hosted phone system: You rent the system rather than purchasing it and it is a cloud-based solution. Keep in mind that a reliable internet connection is required.

What benefits do these alternatives offer?

  • Money-saving due to cheaper calls.
  • Greater flexibility. You can now travel around the country, work from home, etc. just by connecting to the IP network with no need to change numbers.
  • Higher resiliency
  • Multiple broadband lines
  • Faster installation
  • Advanced features

We hope we have solved any doubts you had on how to prepare your company for the future of telecoms.

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