In 2025, the longstanding ISDN and PSTN phone lines that businesses have relied on since the 1970s are set to be permanently deactivated. However, this predicted deadline in Ireland might encounter delays, as is often the case with complex transitions. Ashbourne Communications, experts in Panasonic phone systems, are dedicated to assisting businesses during this transformative phase. Notably, given Panasonic’s cessation of operations, acquiring parts for their systems could pose difficulties. Nevertheless, Ashbourne Communications is well-prepared to facilitate appropriate alternatives to ensure seamless communication.

This event will represent a monumental transformation in telecommunications in the UK. However, in Ireland, there’s a projected delay compared to the rest of Europe in implementing this switch-off.

The rationale behind this transition lies in the inherent limitations of ISDN and PSTN lines to accommodate the escalating data demands of the modern digital landscape. Particularly in terms of multifaceted communication involving voice, text, and video data transmitted over networks, these aging lines struggle to keep pace.

The staged removal of ISDN and PSTN lines is already underway. From 2023 businesses may no longer be able to buy new ISDN or PSTN lines.

In 2025, the lines may stop working.

At this time, communication will become digital (similar to when TV signals switched from analogue to digital in 2009.

When this happens, new technology like Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) will become the primary network for calls, taking data away from fixed lines and moving it to an internet based system.

But while you do have until 2025 to make the switch, it’s possible (and potentially worth) switching to VoIP now, rather than waiting until the final deadline.

In this blog we discuss why you should consider switching from ISDN to VoIP early.

What will happen when ISDN is switched off in 2025? The existing PSTN and ISDN lines haven’t changed much since they were first turned on in the mid 1980’s.

The old PSTN lines continue to be used for connecting phone calls over an analogue network. While ISDN is used for transferring data (voice, video etc) over the analogue lines.

And with high speed, fibre broadband connections offering much quicker speeds and providing a lot more bandwidth for data, the old analogue lines have become obsolete.

Plus, PSTN and ISDN don’t fit into today’s flexible, remote workplace.

That’s because these are fixed lines that run from a box in the street, directly into a building that need to be hooked up to a phone in order to receive calls. You can’t move them anywhere beyond the reach of the phone line.

When you’ve got employees working in multiple locations, but still need them to be able to answer calls made to your business’ main number, ISDN and PSTN simply doesn’t work.

Because VoIP works over the internet, it’s more flexible, so employees can answer calls from anywhere, on any device.

So what happens when ISDN is turned off.

Simply put, your existing phone network will stop working. You won’t be able to make or receive calls.

At this point the UK’s phone network will ‘go online’ and you’ll need to switch to an internet based phone system like VoIP.

Can you switch from ISDN to VoIP before 2025? Although the current ISDN and PSTN lines are still working, there’s nothing stopping you from switching to the new VoIP network ahead of the 2025 switch off.

In fact, from a business perspective, there are plenty of reasons why you should make the switch early, and plenty of benefits your business could experience.

What are the benefits of switching from ISDN to VoIP before 2025? There are many benefits to switching to VoIP to ISDN before the switch off in 2025.

Reduced costs Switching to VoIP can help reduce the cost of your phone network.

That’s because you won’t have the cost of installing new fixed phone lines, and you don’t even need to buy new handsets.

Because VoIP uses your broadband connection the only costs you’ll have is the subscription cost of your VoIP provider.

This usually works on a per user basis, so you only need to pay for the service you need and can scale easily.

And although you can buy specific VoIP phones, you don’t need them, and you can run your VoIP network over existing business mobile phones, or even laptops.

VoIP includes many productivity features Because VoIP moves all the voice, text and video calling into one platform it can greatly reduce the number of systems you need because employees have access to everything from a single system.

VoIP also comes with a number of additional features built in that can help improve productivity and your call management, including:

Video conferencing CRM integration Automatic call forwarding Automatic call routing Conference calling on every mobile device on your phone network Improve scalability Unlike PSTN and ISDN, which require individual phone lines to connected directly to a physical phone in one location, VoIP works over the internet via the cloud, so new users can more easily be added to your plan.

Just register the new user onto your plan and they’ll be set up and ready to go in a few minutes. If they leave, simply remove them from the plan and stop paying for the seat.

Easy integration VoIP phone systems can be easily integrated with your existing sales and marketing systems like your CRM to completely unify your business’ communication network.

Ease of management Create and manage your entire business’ phone and communication system over the internet for a more flexible, agile network.

Get ahead of the game The fact is, by 2025 every business will need to make the switch to a VoIP network. By switching early you can get ahead of the game and install your new system now, rather than waiting for everyone else.

By switching now you’ll be able to get to grips with how VoIP works, then you’ll be able to provide a better customer service and pick up more customers while your competitors are just starting to figure out how it works.

Why wouldn’t you make the switch before 2025? Moving to a cloud based business telephone system can help you save costs, increase the number of call features you can use in a single system and improve your productivity and call management.

Employees will be able to work from anywhere, answering your business number on any device, no matter where they are.

With so many benefits, why wouldn’t you make the switch early?

You might also need to invest in an additional broadband connection to support your VoIP network so you don’t put too much pressure on your existing internet connection, and you should also review your company’s cyber security (although that’s likely something you’ll be doing anyway).

However, it’s worth keeping mind that if you’re planning to grow and will need more phone lines in the near future, you won’t be able to buy any new lines after September 2023, and in 2025 those new lines may become obsolete.

So it could make more sense to make the switch now.

Get ahead with a VoIP phone system from Ashbourne Communications. We are already supporting many customers.

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