It’s the beginning of the end when it comes to ISDN, which for decades has delivered steady business voice solutions for many Australian businesses. Businesses may be wondering what their options are when it comes to phone systems for the future and why it’s smart to start planning now.
ISDN has been a mainstay for business telephony solutions for years. However, Telstra announced in 2016 it was discontinuing the sale and support of various ISDN products. The main reason given by the telecom giant was that the underlying technologies and platforms are being discontinued and are not being supported by relevant vendors. As such, Telstra will no longer be able to provision or maintain the ISDN products at a satisfactory level.
The affected services include ISDN2, ISDN2 Enhanced, ISDN10/20/30, DDS Fastway, Megalink and Frame Relay. The discontinuation schedule is:
The continued rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN) has also played a role in the discontinuation. As the NBN reaches more of the country, Telstra is required to discontinue use of the copper network that has been used to deliver the ISDN products. NBN’s fibre-optic network delivers high-bandwidth and low-latency connections that provide for faster and more reliable connectivity to businesses and residences alike.
Later in 2019, the lines that connect ISDN will begin to be disconnected. That means businesses need to plan accordingly to avoid being caught ill-prepared for ISDN migrations.
Now is the time for companies to plan for another business phone solution. Here are a few key steps to take before choosing a new solution:
Most businesses that need to switch from ISDN choose a PBX (private branch exchange) phone system hosted in the cloud. These systems connect via a high-speed internet connection as opposed to the copper ISDN lines.
A cloud-hosted PBX offers many features previously unavailable to many Australian businesses using ISDN. Cloud-based phone systems give your business more flexibility, reduced operational costs, and security for your data and information transmitted in calls.
With a cloud phone system, your business will enjoy:
Cloud-based Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) uses the SIP (session initiation protocol) as opposed to the older ISDN protocol for connecting calls. In short, SIP lets you use your internet connection for both your phone needs and your local network. With SIP, you don’t have to pay for two different connections.
Here are six major advantages of choosing a SIP-based, cloud-hosted solution over an ISDN phone system:
High-speed fibre-optic networks deliver more bandwidth and low latency. If you do experience latency issues, you can prioritise voice traffic. While some believe that VoIP systems are unreliable and deliver poor quality, today’s connectivity and cloud platforms mean voice quality for both incoming and outgoing calls is excellent.
With voice and data running through the same connection, you gain built-in redundancy. The two streams can use the same connection but on different paths connected to different hardware. If one path goes down, the other is still available.
With cloud-based VoIP, you’re not charged a rental fee for each phone number … and those numbers are not tied to a physical location. You gain great flexibility to assign numbers to different users or locations as needed. Incoming calls can also be routed quickly to other locations automatically.
Many businesses have cyclical or seasonal variance in their call volume. Additional channels can be removed or added easily.
Your company will immediately see cost savings via reduced access charges when you move from two internet connections to one. In some cases, businesses use some of that cost-savings to purchase a backup connection … and still save money. Your per-call costs will drop, too.
Most existing PBX solutions are SIP-compatible. If your PBX is not, and you do not want to migrate to the cloud, you can use a voice gateway to convert your ISDN handoffs to SIP.
At Steadfast Solutions, we help businesses migrate to cloud-based business phone systems with minimal disruption and well ahead of the ISDN sunsetting. Based in Melbourne and Brisbane, Steadfast Solutions is Australia’s choice for business technology solutions. To learn more about how to migrate from ISDN, start the conversation with Steadfast Solutions today.