Updated: Feb 9
ISDN Switch Off – What the Future Holds for Your Business
As technology advances and business demands on telecommunications grow rapidly, the traditional PSTN and ISDN lines could no longer be able to meet all the expectations of business communications, gradually slipping further and further into obsolescence.
What Is an ISDN Line?
ISDN stands for Integrated Services Digital Network, and it has been the initial internet service of high speed. It was a massive improvement for the service providers in the 90s, even considered to be revolutionary for internet use development. The ISDN network incorporates a phone system, similar to the previously used dial-up internet service.
Moreover, its properties became a standard for all telephone network services. It is worth knowing that ISDN was not only an enhancement of the dial-up system but also a significant stage for later cable-modem internet service.
One can say it is a vital stage of internet evolution happening between dial-up and DSL/Cable. It modernized internet access and made it possible to use the high-speed network at home, and as time went by, providers started continuously improving their services to attract the attention of the customers.
🔗 Learn everything you need to know about the ISDN switch-off and what it means to your business here:
Why Is ISDN Being Switched Off?
In the 80s, 90s and early 00s, ISDN was the gold standard of fast digital connections, allowing data transfer and internet access at 128mbps; the fastest possible at the time.
However, these days systems that use ISDN are a little outdated. Broadband internet connections like DSL, WAN and cable modems have taken connection speeds to a far higher level, and ISDN systems can no longer compete. Although the lines have been completely overhauled since the 80s, they are still basically the same technology, and more or less on par with traditional phone lines which have been around since the 19th century!
What Will Replace ISDN?
Major telecom companies are switching from conventional fixed telephone network technologies to VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). Unlike the traditional PSTN or ISDN lines, which must rely on the landline to transmit voice and data, VoIP is a comparatively new technology that uses the internet to route calls, freeing your devices from being connected with physical lines and realizing robust unified communications features in a simple and effective way. With VoIP, copper lines and line rental would be redundant, and all you need to have is an active and stable internet connection.
Benefits of VoIP Replacing ISDN:
Switching from ISDN to VoIP is actually an evolution of modern telecommunications, so there must be some competitive advantages to migrate to VoIP. Here’s a list of advantages businesses could benefit from using VoIP services.
1. Lower Costs
Costs are one of the most important things to consider for any business. Let’s do the comparison, starting with the set-up fee. It’s always expensive to implement an ISDN system since it normally requires the purchasing of physical lines as well as proprietary phones and requires installation and maintenance by an experienced team. While VoIP does not necessarily require a desktop phone system and a hardware device, it’s much cheaper to install a VoIP system.
Regarding the costs of phone calls, VoIP services providers always charge businesses by the number of users, with no phone calling limitations, while the traditional ISDN users need to pay for every call they make; it’s much cheaper for SMEs to use VoIP services.
Generally, using VoIP services would save up to 50% online rentals and 25% on phone calls. So, for SMBs wishing to save money on their phone systems, VoIP would be a good option to choose from.
2. Flexibility and Scalability
According to a survey conducted by Software Advice, scalability is the top factor buyers would consider when evaluating a telephone system. So being flexible and scalable would be a great edge when competing in the market.
For ISDN systems, once the setup is complete, it’s permanent and tied to ongoing contracts. If an organization is looking to expand the service to new locations, new hardware and lines are required to be installed at each location, which is normally done by an experienced team. So the changes could take weeks or even months and it would cost a lot. While for VoIP services, scaling up and altering the setup is quick and simple.
Thanks to virtual numbers, the services are not tied to geographical locations and organizations can simply add on additional users without purchasing any new hardware or phone lines, enabling businesses to make the changes almost instantly, at a comparatively much lower cost.
3. Functionalities and Features
Though landline services do offer you some key features of a phone system like call forwarding, voicemail, call conferencing, and so on, these services always come at a cost and could not always satisfy the ever-growing business needs. VoIP systems also provide you with some other business-enhancing features, you can take a quick look here:
Auto Provision IP Phones
4. Unified Communications
As businesses demand on real-time communications increase, Unified Communications has become a hot topic in recent years. With VoIP, communications service providers could help you interconnect all your communications devices and applications, realizing asynchronous communications and helping boost business productivity.
5. Future Proof
As 4G now being accessible in most parts of the world and the introduction of 5G network not so far away, the speed and quality of internet services has been improved a lot, which leads to the overall enhancement of VoIP phone systems.
The high quality of VoIP phone calls ensures users the best experience and all the easy-to-manage platforms VoIP empowers could only bring more to its users. Additionally, VoIP can use the internet to seamlessly merge data and voice technology, making it endlessly customizable, scalable, and cost-effective. So the future of telecommunications lies in VoIP.