As a small business owner, the ISDN switch-off in 2025 may cause you some concerns about communication disruptions and potential costs. In this blog, we're going to cover everything you need to know about the switch-off and offer straightforward solutions to ensure you make a smooth transition to modern communication technologies.
Let's move on to some frequently asked questions we often receive to give you the heads up on what's happening and how you can manage it.
What is the ISDN switch-off, and why is it happening in 2025?
The ISDN switch-off is the planned phasing out of Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) technology.
This switch-off involves the decommissioning of ISDN networks and encouraging customers to migrate to newer alternatives.
ISDN is switching off for several reasons:
- Outdated tech: ISDN technology is relatively outdated and cannot support the bandwidth requirements and advanced features demanded by modern communications.
- Cost and maintenance: Maintaining ISDN networks can be costly for telecommunication companies due to the aging infrastructure and declining user base. Transitioning to newer technologies can lead to cost savings in the long run.
- Advancements in technology: Newer technologies such as fibre optics, VoIP, and 5G offer higher speeds, greater reliability, and more advanced features compared to ISDN.
- Changing consumer preferences: Many businesses and consumers now prefer internet-based communication services over traditional ISDN connections due to their flexibility, scalability, and lower costs.
How will the switch-off impact my small business's existing ISDN services?
Your ISDN services (traditional landline phones and fax lines) will no longer be supported after the switch-off. Your business will need to migrate to alternative communication technologies.
What are the alternative communication technologies to replace ISDN?
The main alternatives to ISDN are Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and cloud-based Unified Communications (UC) solutions. VoIP allows voice calls over the internet, while UC integrates various communication channels like voice, video, messaging, and collaboration tools in one platform.
Is my current internet connection sufficient to support the new communication technologies?
Assess your internet bandwidth and consider upgrading if necessary to accommodate the increased data traffic of VoIP or UC systems.
Will I need to upgrade my phone systems or invest in new equipment?
Yes, migrating to VoIP or UC may require upgrading or replacing your existing phone systems to be compatible with the new technologies. Check with your chosen provider about equipment requirements.
How do I ensure a smooth transition without disrupting my business operations?
Work closely with your chosen communication provider to develop a migration plan. Schedule the transition during low-activity periods, conduct tests beforehand, and provide staff with training on using the new systems.
What support and resources are available to help small businesses during the switch-off?
Communicate with your chosen provider about the level of customer support they offer during the migration. Many providers offer guidance, training materials, and customer service to ensure a smooth transition.
How can I ensure data security and privacy during the migration process?
Choose reputable VoIP or UC providers that offer robust security features, such as encryption and secure data centres. Regularly update passwords and educate employees about best practices for data security.
What are the benefits of switching from ISDN before 2025?
VoIP and UC offer numerous benefits, including cost savings, enhanced scalability, improved call quality, and access to advanced features like virtual meetings and call forwarding.
Unlike 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. Simply 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.
VoIP phone systems can be easily integrated with your existing sales and marketing systems like your CRM to completely unify your business’ communication network.
Because VoIP moves all the voice, text and video calling into one platform it can greatly reduce the number of systems you need. This is because employees have access to everything from a single system.
When you're ready to make the switch, get prepared by answering the questions on this list:
- What phone system do you have at the moment?
- How many users do you currently have?
- Do those users need handsets and softphones?
- How many SIP lines do you need?
- Do you have the right amount of available bandwidth?
- Will your IP Phone System be hosted on a private cloud or will it be on a server?
- Do you have a private cloud or server, ready?
- What is your cabling infrastructure like?
- Can your existing cabling infrastructure support the SIP Lines?