Are you still using ISDN? What is it?

Are you still using ISDN? What is it?

The world of technology is constantly evolving – and, as much as telephony has been relatively unchallenged for quite some time, it is now also changing. By 2025 BT plan to have retired their ISDN services entirely! This makes it essential that you take the time to explore the various alternatives on the market and find a modern system that works for you - before it is too late and you have to make a rushed last minute decision. We agree that change can cause apprehension, but the information that you will learn from these articles will allow you to see these changes as a positive step forward for your business both now and for the future.

ISDN – What is it?
ISDN stands for Integrated Services Digital Network and consists of a set of protocols which allow for the transmission of voice, video, and data across the vast and varying infrastructure of the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). ISDN is fondly remembered as the first high speed broadband available to the public that allows voice and data to simultaneously travel across the same copper lines.

If it’s good, why are they withdrawing it?
The answer is relatively simple - PTSN (where ISDN operates) is nearing the end of its life. Some of the aging components of the system are becoming ever more difficult to replace and some aren’t even being manufactured now. This, along with the fact that the majority of the individuals responsible for creating the system are either retired or in the process of doing so, has simply made it impossible to carry on. Also, the rapid decline in the use of landline services means that the system is bleeding revenue like never before. To cut a long story short, it is no longer financially viable to continue in the same way.

What is the PSTN being replaced with?
As we mentioned previously, technological advancements are constant – and telephony is no different. Telecom’s operators have constructed revolutionary IT-based networks. The way that they carried out the process has been well planned and tactful - you shouldn’t have felt much – if any – upheaval, especially as they have only replaced parts of the network.

What you can do to prepare for the ISDN switch off
There are some businesses who are still investing hard earned capital on ISDN phone lines – there is absolutely no point in doing so, as this is a complete waste of money.

To make a successful transition to a full IP-based network you will need a VoIP phone service – don’t know what one is? Don’t worry, we will explore this further in the next article in the series. VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol and is basically the new ISDN.

VoIP telephony can be implemented in a variety of different ways, as follows:

- A hybrid phone system
A system that combines a mix of all technologies (IP, ISDN, analogue, and digital).

- A Cloud-hosted phone system
A phone system where you haven’t got to manage the infrastructure it resides in or pay for the use of it. When using a Cloud hosted phone system you use a virtual PBX that enables you to call from anywhere that has an internet connection – cleverly allowing you to appear that you are still in the office when, in reality, you could be anywhere in the world.

- A SIP trunk
These act as ‘Virtual Phone Lines’ which you can purchase and plug into any compatible PBX server.

- IP phone system
This is like a traditional phone system only with IP enabled handsets connected via ethernet cables to a local area or wide area network.

Helping you replace the dying ISDN
BCNS make business easier and more cost-effective in guaranteeing that you and your team are always connected to each other and your clients. Our team of experts will assist you throughout the transition to be sure you achieve exactly what you desire – at the same time we can reduce your expenses and improve your security as well as performance! Contact us now and find out how we can help you with your business communications and move into a more productive future.