The PSTN Switch Off is happening and it’s happening now. To help you better understand what the PSTN Switch Off is and how it will affect not only your business but your customers’ businesses too, we’ve answered your Frequently Asked Questions below.
What is the PSTN?
PSTN stands for Public Switched Telephone Network which might not mean a great deal. However, you’ll have used the PSTN throughout your life as it’s the infrastructure behind the traditional telephone lines we used to rely on in the UK.
We’ve used the PSTN since the 19th century so it’s due a refresh. Despite the legacy technology having provided the country with communication methods since the late 1800s, it’s time to take things into the future and begin communicating more effectively using updated technology.
Openreach announced in 2015 that by 2025 the PSTN network would be switched off. This means any line which hasn’t migrated across will no longer be active after that date. The PSTN supports several Openreach products which partners often provide to their customers, including Wholesale Line Rental (WLR) and Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN).
Why are Openreach turning off the PSTN and withdrawing ISDN in 2025?
The PSTN utilises copper wires and fibre telephone lines and makes calls using what’s called analogue signalling. However, technology has come on leaps and bounds in the last decade. The improvement of the broadband infrastructure combined with the reliability and quality of connectivity options available across the UK means that traditional telephony isn’t as effective anymore.
The evolution of the telephone network means the digital transformation of traditional telephony can provide the UK with a more effective and efficient way to communicate and, what’s more, a more reliable and robust infrastructure which is easier to maintain than the PSTN.
What will the replacement products be?
Instead of focussing on maintaining the traditional telephony and the PSTN network, Openreach have shifted focus onto the building and expanding of its full fibre network, ensuring homes and businesses throughout the country can access a faster and more reliable connection. As a result, the most obvious replacement product for traditional phone systems is a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) solution which uses reliable internet connectivity and the cloud to host phone calls on both desktop phones and on mobile devices.
As the Switch Off gathers pace and progresses, Openreach products will release more products of a single order variant rather than the traditional dual voice and fibre products we’re accustomed to. There will be both SOGEA and SOTAP variants available which are the FTTC and ADSL replacement products and, should a business want voice services over the top, a separate VoIP service will need to be added to replace the traditional voice line.
What dates do I need to be aware of?
There’s a few but, if you’re a Daisy Partner, we’ll remind you of these dates and ensure your business and your customers are fully aware of any changes which may affect you.
There are various tranches and exchanges which will be switched off over the next few years. This means customers within those areas will not be able to add or purchase any more lines onto a traditional telephony system.
Then, of course, in 2025 the whole of the UK’s PSTN network will be switched off completely and the digital transformation of the voice infrastructure will be complete.
What do I need to do to prepare my business?
If you’re currently utilising a traditional phone system, you’ll need to consider migrating. If you’re a telecoms partner, your customers will look to you to lead them on the migration journey so it’s imperative you embark on that journey yourselves.
Take a look at hosted voice solutions and the many benefits that come with a VoIP product. You’ll be able to seamlessly integrate between your desk and mobile phones, making remote and flexible working easier than ever before. With a hosted solution, you’ll only pay for the users you need and, should your business grow, your phone system can easily grow with you. You’ll also get unlimited internal calls and you’ll be able to update, install and configure updates easily through the online management portal, saving you money on changes and calls.
Using a hosted voice product utilises your internet connection. Connectivity products such as ADSL aren’t best placed to operate a VoIP solution to its full capacity. If you’re considering a switch to VoIP, you might want to assess and upgrade your connectivity at the same time, giving your business the ability to collaborate, communicate and connect effectively.
What should I be telling my customers?
For a telecoms partner, there’s arguably never been a better time to do more, sell more and earn more. With the PSTN Switch Off, you’ve got an opportunity to sell hosted VoIP into your customers, giving you even greater margins and revenues. By positioning yourself as an expert within the PSTN Switch Off and advising your customers about what they should be doing and the products they need to look at migrating to, you can also attract new customers.
Every single business will need to migrate by 2025. If you’re not having that conversation with your customers, somebody else will be. Hand in hand with the PSTN Switch Off is the opportunity to upsell connectivity into your customers too as, in order to utilise and maximise VoIP, businesses will need a faster, more reliable connectivity solution.
At Daisy Partner Business we have our own market-leading hosted voice solution, Daisy Hosted Voice, as well as a whole host of connectivity options to suit any business of any size. To find out how you can help your customers understand the need to migrate and capitalise on the digital transformation journey, speak to us today.
How do I migrate customers across?
We’ve been involved in the Switch Off conversations since the beginning and, in September 2018 we were invited to join the consultation. We continue to be actively involved in the process and, as a result have developed our own market-leading hosted VoIP product, Daisy Hosted Voice, so we can provide partners and their customers with a VoIP product we know they can rely on.
To speak to us about becoming a partner, or to find out how we can help you migrate your customers, fill in the enquiry form below or take a look at our webpage here.
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