Out with the “old,” and in with the “new.” In the communication world, a transformation is on the horizon – basically, it’s the end of landlines as we know it.
ISDN is a set of standards that controls how data is transmitted via traditional copper lines, making it possible to make phone calls, as well as transmit video and other data. But ISDN is fast becoming obsolete, surpassed by more advanced protocols that deliver superior bandwidth and stability. Around the world, ISDN is being phased out in favor of VoIP. In the UK, that process is officially underway.
What is the 2025 ISDN switch off?
The 2025 ISDN switch off is the phasing out of Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) lines in the UK.
ISDN standards have been used for decades to enable the transmission of voice, video and other data over traditional copper lines. It is now being phased out because the technology is no longer adequate to meet the demands of our increasingly interconnected and intensive world. Essentially, ISDN can’t compete with other technologies that offer faster speeds and greater reliability.
As a result of the looming switch off, organizations that rely on ISDN for their voice and video communication needs must seek alternative solutions before the phase out is complete. This especially includes businesses that still rely on traditional landlines. If your company is still using old analog phones, you’ll need to upgrade before the deadline to continue making and receiving calls.
When will ISDN be switched off?
The phased switch off in the UK began in 2023 with BT Openreach, the country’s primary telecom company, shutting down ISDN in some areas already. The company is also no longer accepting any new orders for ISDN services.
By the year end of 2025, all ISDN lines will be shutdown and the age of the traditional landline will reach its end in the UK.
What will replace ISDN?
The end of ISDN marks an exciting opportunity for businesses that had not yet embraced the digital era to experience its many benefits such as access to the cloud, video conferencing, and automated call handling.
When it comes to voice calls, ISDN is essentially being replaced with VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). VoIP is a group of technologies that enable voice calls, text, and video streaming to devices connected to the internet. It is faster, more reliable, and can handle more network traffic than ISDN. Data is transmitted via fiber optic cables instead of copper cables, which means analog equipment will need to be replaced with a digital alternative that delivers better quality communications and more capabilities.
Beyond that, the phase out of ISDN opens the door for businesses to adopt a system of Unified Communications (UC). This integrates multiple communication modes into one service, combining text, email, messaging, file sharing, voice services and conferencing all in one. This makes information accessible on demand throughout your organization across multiple platforms, locations, and authorized users for a truly robust unified cloud communications experience.
Benefits of Migrating Your Organization to Cloud Communications
With the imminent elimination of ISDN, the time to switch to cloud services is now. While change can be difficult, ultimately, the transition offers many benefits for businesses including cost savings, flexibility, and scalability.
Cost savings: Bundling a VoIP phone system with other cloud communication services such as video can save your organization in the long run.
- Scalability: Cloud communications services are easy to scale up or down depending on the changing needs of the business.
- Flexibility: The cloud enables members of the organization to connect with each other and partners from any location at any time.
- Streamlined support and compatibility: With all of your services connected, you can get reliable support for any issues from a single support team. Plus, you don’t have to worry about compatibility issues that could arise working with multiple providers.
- Super-charged data reporting: With communications in the cloud, it is possible to surface valuable data and analyze it with ease. This makes it possible to use call data as a performance metric and improve the performance of your sales team, for example.
- Advanced features: The cloud enables advanced features such as call routing, voicemail transcription, video storage, and other tools that make communication more effective.
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The Price of Procrastination
The consequences of delaying the transition from ISDN to VoIP cloud communications could be severe. Organizations risk losing phone service and internet connectivity if they do not upgrade their systems. As the ISDN roll back advances, businesses really have no choice but to find new solutions. Waiting until the last minute will likely cost you as you scramble to find a provider that can upgrade your equipment on short notice.
How to Prepare for the 2025 ISDN Switch Off
If your organization is impacted by the ISDN switch off, there are a few step to prepare:
- Assess your current infrastructure: Audit your existing communication network, including phones, internet, conference rooms, data backups and so on. Identify any systems that use ISDN so you know what you need to migrate.
- Compare cloud communication solutions: Once you have a clear understanding of your needs, evaluate a few different potential vendors and compare pricing, terms and offerings to find an ideal match.
- Begin the transition: Work with your cloud services provider to develop a transition plan that includes a timeline, budget, and a list of equipment and services to be implemented.
- Testing and training: Before shutting down your old system, test the new cloud services to make sure it is running smoothly without interruptions. Take the time to train your staff on how to use the new system and take advantage of its advanced features.
ISDN Switch Off is Coming – Don’t Get Left Behind
The 2025 ISDN switch off is rapidly approaching. Don’t wait to migrate to a cloud-based communication solution that is more efficient and more capable. For an evaluation of your current system and to develop a transition plan, Contact an expert at Yorktel today.