Last year BT announced that they will be switching off their ISDN network within the next 10 years. If you are currently using ISDN then this will have an impact on your business. But don't panic - this article will explain how you can prepare for this switch off and what options are available to you. 
ISDN stands for 'Integrated Services Digital Network' and it is a set of communication standards for simultaneous digital transmission of voice, data, video and other network services over the traditional circuits of the public switched telephone network. This was the technology that we traditionally operated our phone services over, and some businesses are still doing this. 
 
However since BT announced that they would be switching off the ISDN network, the investment in this technology will stop and it will become harder to manage and maintain until it is completely switched off in 2025. 
 
Many traditional telephone systems operate using this technology but soon these telephone systems will become obsolete. 
 
So, what are the alternatives? 
 
Businesses are already starting to prepare for the switch off and are investing in new telephone systems that operate using SIP trunks or by adopting cloud based telephone systems. 
 
What are SIP Trunks? 
 
SIP stands for 'Session Initiation Protocol' and is a communications protocol used to set up and clear down sessions with one or more users over the internet. SIP trunks are internet lines whereby part of the broadband connection is dedicated to voice traffic only. The quality of voice calls has vastly improved over the last 10 years and if you are a business that would prefer to have an on-premise telephone system than an IP enabled system will offer you a great replacement for when the ISDN switch off takes place. 
 
What is Hosted Telephony? 
 
This is a telephone system that is hosted in the cloud. Like SIP trunks, it delivers your voice calls over the internet. It brings you all the functionality of a traditional telephone system without the need to have costly equipment in your office that requires installing and maintaining. Again this offers you a great replacement for your ageing telephone system that will be obsolete without the ISDN network. 
 
So, what should you do now? 
 
2025 may seem far away but the sooner you upgrade your telephone system to an IP based system or a hosted system the sooner you will reap the benefits that this technology brings you - it will also give you a future proof telephone system that will keep your business running once BT switch off the ISDN network. The advanced features as well as the huge cost savings will make you wonder you didn't upgrade years ago! 
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