The big switch off is almost here – and no, it’s got nothing to do with Brexit but everything to do with how you communicate every day without the need for a border or any hefty tariffs while enjoying an easy transition.
The deadline announced last year BT is shutting down it’s ‘older’ telecoms networks in favour of internet-based services is looming large.
Though its familiar landline-based PSTN and ISDN systems will no longer operate at all from 2025, they are already being squeezed out – from 2023, you can no longer order an ISDN line which in any case would be redundant in just a few short years.
The much older analogue system, PSTN, or the Public Switched Telephone Network, and its ISDN replacement, which was set up to enable the ‘old’ network to support both analogue and emerging digital demand, will soon be no longer.
So why are BT shutting it down? In short, they’re long past their ‘sell by’ date. They have limited capacity, are expensive to maintain, and they don’t provide the future proofing needed to support a modern, innovative and digital economy.
Although these ‘old’ systems have been radically updated in the last two decades, their original set up is the same and their design originates back to the introduction of telephones way back in the 1800s. With technologies, applications and demand for digital services powering ahead at light speed, radical action was urgently needed.
So, what’s being put in its place? Internet-based digital services, otherwise known as Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, which allows you to make voice and video calls on a global scale using your computer, tablet or smartphone with any Internet connection.
One of the biggest, and best, advantages is cost. Where once you used to monitor your phone bills to identify any lengthy calls outside the UK, Europe or beyond, you can now contact anyone, anywhere in the world for relatively nothing – as long as your connected.
Most businesses and organisations in Northern Ireland are aware of the changes ahead, and many have moved to update their systems. However, there remains a ‘hard core’ of companies who have yet to address the deadline looming and consider their options.
It could be because they think it will be time-intensive, costly and inconvenient? Well, nothing could be further from the truth. What many businesses don’t realise is how many benefits VoIP brings, particularly if this is migrated to cloud telephony systems.It’s the future now and there’s no going back.
It may be hard to believe, but yes, cloud telephony will actually reduce your phone and contract bills. There’s no line rental payment for a start and your usage can be virtually unlimited. It’s also actually simple to use and easier to control than what you have had before.
Above all, the flexibility it brings is transformational, both personally and organisationally. It means you, and your team, can use your own devices to make calls and add or remove users whenever you want in any location without any overhaul required which means your business is as responsive it can possibly be.
Remarkably, you can also work anywhere at any time and always be connected, accessing the files you need that would ordinarily be stored on your work PC from the Cloud. It can be difficult to get used to, but once you do, there really is no going back.
With VoIP and the Cloud, you’ll also be 5G ready. This next-generation, transformational mobile technology is now being rolled out in Belfast and should be well embedded throughout next year. Providing greater bandwidth and data transfer rates, 5G will bring mobile internet speeds the likes of which are only currently possible over direct fibre connections – and all while you’re out and about.
So, if you’re one of the diminishing local businesses or organisations still using ISDN, it’s time to find out more and act now. Review your existing contracts and make sure you don’t automatically renew what you already have, because lower long-term costs, time saving, flexibility and the capacity to grow and innovate can all be yours. Right now.