ISDN: The 2020 Count Down to the big Switch off
ISDN – Integrated Service Digital Network – is the original internet service that dates back to the 1990s. Basically, it’s a high-speed internet service that uses a dial-up system and a phone line to create internet connectivity. It’s been around for a while now and seems to have had its day.
Not long after ISDN was launched, it started to attract attention from other broadband internet services providers, thanks to its impressive dial-up speeds and huge popularity in terms of consumer take-up. That’s when the competition to take on the big service providers with the largest market share really kicked in. But in the fast-paced business-to-business telecoms industry, there was bound to be someone, somewhere who wanted to deliver bigger, better and faster.
The pace of change since the 1990s has continued to be relentless.
What do I need to do?
First things first: don’t panic. You’ve plenty of time to shop around to make alternative plans for your business. Although we recommend you start making plans sooner, rather than later.
If your contract is up for renewal, now is a good time to start putting the feelers out there to see what’s on offer and at what price. The business-to-business telecoms sector is hugely competitive, so there’s usually room for negotiation when it comes to haggling over pricing.
When you’re looking around, try to choose a service provider that has its’ own team of in-house engineers, so you don’t need to wait while one of the major networks outsources your installation and adds you to a waiting list the length of your arm. Ask for testimonials and a list of existing clients who run businesses or charities similar to yours. And ask for referrals from people who have tried and tested experience with a particular internet service provider.
You’ll need to feel good about your choice, because it’s a partnership you’ll enter in to.
What are my options?
Now it gets particularly exciting.
Here you’ll start to evidence the massive technological advancements that have been made since the internet first made its appearance almost three decades ago. Hard to believe, isn’t it?
Read on to learn just some of the options you’ll have.
Hosted and VoIP phone systems:
With Hosted and VoIP phone systems, you’ll connect to a ‘virtual’ phone system in the cloud, instead of using a traditional hardware system and a PSTN or ISDN phone line. Why would you -they’re being phased out?
You’ll connect to the internet through software IP telephony networks, which are generally more cost effective, rather than using an on-site traditional phone system, so you should avoid any unnecessary up-front hardware costs.
If you opt for a Hosted or VoIP telephone system, be mindful that you’ll need a rock solid and exceptionally reliable internet connection, as your phone system will use the internet for all your connection requirements, rather than the physically installed phone lines you’re probably used to.
Generally speaking, Hosted and VoIP will be a most cost effective plan than IDSN or PSTN.
Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)
SIP also uses ‘virtual’ phone lines and is a great recommendation if you want to keep your on-site phone system. Your calls are also delivered through the internet – they’ll use a PBX (Private Branch Exchange) – to send and receive them, unlike a traditional ISDN or ‘wired’ connection.
SIP is cheaper on both line rentals and calls. It’s also cheaper to maintain year-round and boasts prolific connectivity given that calls can be rerouted to alternative locations almost immediately if any connectivity issues arise. That’s one of the major benefits of moving away from a physical phone line: instantaneous communications even if someone, somewhere cuts through a major line!
Whatever your plans are, talk to our Charityline division at Standard Utilities. Our team of expert engineers will guide you through a range of cost effective options. They’ll take the time to get to know you before making any recommendations and explain the pros and cons of each potential choice.
Whatever your decision, just know that IDSN is definitely on its way out starting 2020 – and it won’t be coming back.
Get in touch on 028 9032 8888 (NI) or 01 908 8888 (ROI) to talk to us.
We’re here to help…