BT is the latest major telecom corporation to announce when it intends to stop selling PSTN (public switched telephone network) and ISDN (integrated services digital network) and to switch off its analogue network. It intends to stop selling PSTN and ISDN by 2020, with a full shut-down scheduled for 2025; however, it did add the caveat that this is only if it has managed to switch all customers to IP services by this point.
AT&T and Verizon had previously outlined their intention to phase out their use of copper POTS (plain old telephone service) and PSTN. These companies have decided that the future of telephony is digital and that it is time to gradually phase out what are essentially outdated and slow systems.
According to Ofcom, there are currently over 33 million fixed landlines in the UK, 7.6 million of which belong to businesses.
PSTN and ISDN explained
In simple terms, PSTN is the phone line most people have at home. It enables analogue voice data to flow over copper phone lines and operates on the same basic principles as the very first public phone networks.
ISDN was first developed in the 1980s. When launched, it could support early video-conferencing systems and offered the fastest internet access available.
What are the alternatives?
IP-based solutions such as VoIP and SIP are the obvious alternatives.
VoIP (voice over internet protocol) is a cloud-based telephony online solution that means all calls are sent/received over an internet connection as opposed to traditional copper lines or ISDN. VoIP is an incredibly cost-efficient way of making calls and enables a wide range of extra features and unified communications tools; in addition, the system can be accessed via devices such as mobile phones and tablets alongside more traditional phone handsets. VoIP calls are high quality and should mean the end of muffled and hard-to-hear conversations.
If your organisation is yet to switch to VoIP, you may well benefit from VoIP wholesale termination services. To discover a bit more about these, why not contact a specialist in this area such as https://www.idtexpress.com/blog/2018/02/24/wholesale-voice-termination-explained/?
SIP (session initiation protocol) provides a phone line over a fibre internet connection, thus removing the need for ISDN. SIP lines are now more reliable due to the recent connectivity improvements.