BT Group CEO Gavin Patterson has set a date of 2025 to switch off ISDN services from its Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). BT Group are set to no longer accept any new orders or amendments to services pertaining to any ISDN product as of 2020 with the final termination set for 2025.
BT is determined to slowly phase out legacy networks and platforms and bring the remaining outlying customers on to the single core IP network as soon as possible. Not all customers will stick with BT though, as it represents an opportunity for SIP and VoIP providers to challenge BT for the business. Hosted Telecoms is becoming more and more popular due to its low costs and high call quality and will likely take it’s place.
Hosted VoIP is totally cloud based and best suited to SMEs who are looking for fixed cost business telephony with added functionality and reduced call costs. With Hosted VoIP there are no additional maintenance charges. Each user has their own line and calls are routed through the internet.
Similar to traditional Telephony, you will have a on-premise telephone system but route your calls using SIP Trunks rather than ISDN channels. SIP Trunks are best suited for larger businesses as this type of IP Telephony can prove more cost effective than Hosted VoIP if there are a lot of users.
Businesses that still use ISDN can switch comfortably and quickly to SIP trunking or Hosted VoIP, with or without BT, as numbers can be ported and retained and the whole service can be set up within weeks. With BT prices hikes again in April 2017 there is no better time to consider the switch.