Why is this happening?
All our customers will be moving over to the new, fully digital public switched telephone network (PSTN). It has already begun. Before Openreach stops the PSTN (and ISDN) service in 2025, we plan to have moved everyone over. The UK will then have every telephone line converted to digital, delivering calls over IP (Internet Protocol) rather than the traditional PSTN line.
What do you mean by “everyone”?
We do mean everyone. Home and business. You need to think about more than just your phone services. We mean everything that is currently using the old phone network, including any services that use PSTN or ISDN lines. There are things like alarms, EPOS machines, door entry systems, and CCTV.
It all sounds quite drastic. Is there a reason for it?
In the UK, the PSTN has been the backbone of the phone network for decades. Technology has changed dramatically in the past few years, especially recently. Smartphones, apps, the cloud, Zoom, the Internet of Things, and so on are all around us.
The infrastructure that makes everything work is probably something you don’t notice very much. There are telephone wires strung across the streets, copper cables buried beneath your feet, some dating back to the 19th century.
It’s now time to move beyond PSTN and embrace the boundless possibilities of digital.
Is IP better than PSTN?
Yes. As a technology rooted in the 20th century, the PSTN network is increasingly out of step with modern communications. Mobile and internet communications have changed the way people communicate, so the expectations are much greater than what the traditional technologies can provide. Hence, we are switching to IP.
So what about the rest of the world, are they also switching from PSTN to IP?
We are witnessing a rapid shift towards digital everywhere. The world’s phone companies are shifting from analogue to digital as technology and customer behaviour change. Japan, Germany, and Sweden have started the shift before us. Several countries have already switched off their PSTN networks, such as Estonia and the Netherlands.
That’s years away. So what’s the point?
You should start preparing for your move today since there will be a lot to do. Moving is more than just making calls. Review all the devices you have connected to your phone lines, such as door entry systems and alarms. The majority of businesses are already adopting an all-digital model with cloud-based communications and video conferencing.
Would digital be better for us?
Moving from an old phone system to an all-digital system isn’t just due to age. There are many benefits to all-digital communication. No matter where you are, you’ll be able to make and receive calls from the same number on any device. Business applications and systems can be combined with video chat, calls, and collaboration, so you can stay in touch with colleagues and customers alike. Thanks to the cloud, you will be able to access your systems from any location and work from wherever you are. Put the lower costs that IP can bring into the equation and it makes sense to get on your skates and go digital as soon as possible. Don’t wait until the last minute