In 2015, BT released a statement in which they said that they would stop taking new ISDN orders as of this year and completely deactivate its entire ISDN network in 2025.

As the phase-out begins, now is the time for UK businesses to start exploring alternatives in regard to their business telecommunication needs.

What is the ISDN network?

Launched in the 1990s to take over previously unreliable and failing networks, ISDN (Integrated Service Digital Network) is a circuit-switched telephone network system that allows both voice and data services to be delivered over digital lines simultaneously.

With faster speeds and higher bandwidth allowing businesses to send data quickly with little to no distortion, it’s understandable why businesses in the 1990s were keen to try it out!

What’s the reason behind the big switch-off?

It’s been widely acknowledged that communication is changing and that IP (Internet over Protocol) is the next best step for businesses if they want to be able to meet the demands of future customers.

Matched with rising maintenance and running costs, traditional phone networks are providing a challenge that businesses simply cannot afford to keep up with.

What does this mean for UK businesses?

Although 2025 seems a long way off, businesses need to start considering the alternatives and make the switch if they want to take full advantage of the opportunities on offer.

However, if you still feel left in the dark about your network solutions ahead of the big switch-off, you have two choices; Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

VoIP refers to any phone call made over the internet instead of traditional telephone lines, it relies on data connectivity to transmit voice packets instead of the public switched telephone network (PSTN).

Whereas, SIP is a protocol used to initiate, maintain, and terminate multimedia communication sessions in VoIP applications, often supporting the signaling and control of voice, video, and messaging applications.

SIP vs VoIP; Who wins?

SIP networks often discard traditional phone lines allowing you to make free calls between connected sites, meaning you’ll be spending significantly less and saving up to 50% on line rental and 25% on calls.

And if the unforeseeable does happen, you’ll be covered with SIP! Continuity isn’t compromised when it comes to SIP networks, emergencies can be handled with ease and calls will be rerouted to a backup site in no time.

What’s more, SIP makes for an ideal option if you’re looking for instant messaging, emailing and video conferencing that promotes increased efficiency and productivity.

VoIP on the other hand allows you to use any broadband connection and provides you with a new level of convenience and accessibility that traditional phone lines simply cannot offer. Allowing you to instantly connect with colleagues, clients, or customers anywhere, anytime!

Along with the added bonus of instant accessibility, VoIP can multi-task with a wide range of devices making room for increased productivity with features such as caller ID, virtual numbers, contact lists, and voicemail.

Compared to traditional business phone systems, VoIP can also grow with your business whilst still remaining cost-effective for your back pocket, allowing you to add and remove new lines as and when you need to.

IP is the future and it’s here to stay! Upgrade today to save and improve your communications and avoid being left in the dark.

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