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Is your business prepared for the big ISDN switch off?

20th September 2017
Is your business prepared for the big ISDN switch off?

BT Openreach have announced that they will be turning off their existing PSTN and ISDN network in 2025 and will be switching over to a single IP network.

Since BT’s announcement that they will be turning off their ISDN network in 2025, businesses are starting to look for effective telecoms solutions to replace their ISDN lines. BT introduced IDSN’s in 1986 which proved to be extremely popular with businesses both large and small. 

However, BT have reported that they have not installed any new ISDN lines in central London for over three years which indicates that many businesses are moving away from ISDN in the capital.

Whilst 2025 is the definitive date that BT’s ISDN’s network will be completely turned off, it is likely that this will gradually be phased out over the next few years, with a view to it being completely switched off in 2025.

Many traditional phone systems that use this technology will soon be obsolete and will need to be replaced with a relevant hosted/SIP solution by the year 2025. 

Businesses are starting to prepare for the switch off and are investing in new hosted telephone systems that utilise SIP trunking or that are cloud-based.

SIP Trunking

What is SIP Trunking?

This is a method of making telephone calls over your IP connection (utilising your data network). A SIP Trunk is essentially a virtual phone line that connects your phone system to the public telephone network.

How does SIP Trunking work?

Essentially, SIP Trunking is a virtual version of an analogue telephone line, but with more flexibility. For example, you can have one, two or even twenty channels within one phone system.

How secure is SIP Trunking?

As with any telephone system, there are always vulnerabilities, but there are preventative measures than can be put in place to help improve security. This includes: changing remote access passwords on a regular basis, using a firewall, setting a spend threshold, barring outgoing international business calls (unless required by the business) 

A properly configured SIP channel will allow you to handle your own connectivity via dedicated firewalls or a router with firewalls built in.

The team at Town & Country can provide you with our list of recommendations to help you keep your SIP trunking system secure.

What are the benefits of SIP Trunks?

There are many benefits of using SIP Trunking and these include:

You can leverage your existing data connection – this means that you don’t need to spend money on a ISDN line rental.

Lower cost – SIP Trunking is more cost effective than ISDN, as calls that are made over the internet are cheaper than calls that utilise a more traditional telephony infrastructure. 

Instant Provisioning – As SIP Trunking is provisioned over your existing data connection, provisioning can be implemented instantly, meaning that you do not have to wait days or even weeks for additional circuits to be installed.

Scalable – Unlike with traditional phone systems, SIP Trunking is completely scalable and is designed to accommodate the needs of your business. You have the functionality to increase or decrease capacity as required.

Futureproof – Using SIP Trunking technology is incredibly flexible and is widely considered to be truly futureproof owing to a variety of factors, such it allows you to ‘pay-as-you-go’ – therefore only paying for exactly what you need. They are also recognised for not being limited by hardware as you are only limited by the bandwidth that is available.

If the technology fails, SIP Trunking will allow you to divert your phone calls to other locations if required. Plus, many SIP Trunking systems have failover port functionality that can be utilised. This coupled with a backup internet connection will ensure that any potential disruption to your business is limited.

How much does SIP Trunking cost?

SIP Trunking is one of the most cost-effective telephony solutions. In fact, you can expect to make a saving of between 30-40% in comparison to the typical costs of running an ISDN. For a more tailored quote, please contact a member of our expert team on 01202 514444 for further details.

Cloud-Based Phone Systems

There has been lots of discussion about ‘cloud-based’ technology in recent months. So, what is a ‘cloud-based’ phone system and how does it work?

What is Cloud-Based telephony?

A cloud-based telephone system essentially means that all aspects of your routing and network elements are held offsite (within the cloud). Essentially, the organisation and the routing of your business phone system and its corresponding telephone calls are managed by a series of switches that are held in a dedicated data centre. 

This facility provides multiple benefits which includes power, cooling systems and highly resilient connectivity.

How does it work?

From a user perspective, you will not really see any significant difference, as you can still receive and make calls in the same way that you would with a telephone system that is onsite. The phone calls are routed directly to your phone as opposed to via an onsite PBX system.

How secure is cloud-based telephony?

With a cloud-based telephone system, you can exercise control over your data. Whilst the team at Town & Country are always on-hand to help you with security configuration set up and queries, you can also be provided with administrative access so that you can control and access data as required. 

Cloud-based telephony system providers have intelligent security measures in place, which offers an increased level of security far greater than many non-cloud-based solutions.

What are the benefits of using a cloud-based phone system?

Fully-integrated communications system – not only can your cloud-based system manage your telephony, but it can also utilise CRM tools, instant messaging, emails and more.

It’s simple to use – Cloud-based phone systems are easy to use and employees can be provided with access which allows them to login from any location, so that they can make and receive calls on the go.

Flexibility – Similarly to SIP Trunking, opting for a cloud-based telephone system can provide you with the flexibility that your business requires. Whether you are opening new offices or taking on new employees, a cloud-based solution will provide you with the flexibility to scale up or even down as and when required.

Easy to install – Our expert team have the experience to install any cloud-based phone system quickly and simply just by connecting to your broadband or fibre network.

Recovery/Business Continuity – Using a telephony solution that is cloud-based allows businesses to stay connected to their customers, regardless of the circumstances. For example, if there has been heavy snowfall and your team members are not able to travel into the office, they can login to the cloud-based system and continue to work as normal.

Cost effective – With no hardware to install, you can expect to pay lower initial costs and competitive on-going costs too.

Are you looking to upgrade your business phone system? Whilst 2025 seems like a long way off, it would be prudent to get the wheels in motion to identify and implement the right phone system for you. 

Not sure what you are looking for or what telephone system is best for you? Our dedicated team are on hand to establish your commercial requirements and can help you choose the right telephone system to suit your needs.

Town & County Communications offer a complete cloud-based communications solution for your business, which provides a simple but effective way to manage your telephony requirements.

Town & Country Communications are the experts in providing affordable and reliable business mobile phone deals, business phone systems and merchant services. As a family-run business with over 20 years of industry experience, our knowledgeable team can analyse your existing communication contracts and find you the lowest prices with the best possible service.

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