ISDN Phase-out – A Telecommunications Standard Is Laid to Rest

ISDN Phase-out – A Telecommunications Standard Is Laid to Rest

06. December 2016

Many of us grew up with ISDN. For over 30 years, it was our constant companion – now, ISDN is finally coming to an end. That’s all well and good, but how exactly will it affect you and what is the current state of affairs? Here’s a short overview of the changes and opportunities you can expect.

In Slovakia and Macedonia, ISDN is already a thing of the past. Without much ado, the telecommunications world there said goodbye to the supposedly irreplaceable standard. And there really weren’t any serious complaints. In Switzerland, Swisscom will be following this lead in 2017, and Germany will reach the milestone when Deutsche Telekom finally pulls the plug on ISDN in 2018. In France, Orange will do away with ISDN in 2020, and the British plan to say goodbye by 2025, making BT one of the last European providers to leave the standard behind.

The cut-off is certainly warranted – after all, ISDN technology hails mostly from the 80s and has simply become obsolete. The hardware is outdated, the service expensive, and the software, to put it mildly, inflexible. Since data communication over the Internet and telephony require two separate systems with ISDN, the energy consumption and staff costs can no longer be justified. The alternative to ISDN is called cloud telephony, and the benefits of this modern alternative enjoy widespread popularity.

ISDN Will Be Universally Replaced by All-IP

With cloud telephony, telephony is finally becoming digitalised as well. Will this make everything better? Yes, definitely, say some. Possibly, say others. And still others would just prefer to avoid anything new. What we can promise you: Things certainly won’t get any worse as modern communication solutions increase opportunities for fun, collaboration, and productivity – at work! Now is the time to find a new provider, transfer old phone numbers and evaluate the discontinuation of old ISDN functions, where applicable.

The industry is taking the entire process seriously. The migration to IP is underway with great fervour, and in Germany, for example, Deutsche Telekom began strongly urging its business customers who were spared the process at first, to switch to the new All-IP standard in 2015. Fewer and fewer manufacturers offer any ISDN equipment in Europe at all, and spare parts are increasingly difficult to find, compared to only a few years ago.

More Flexibility and Productivity, Thanks to Cloud Telephony

A note for your peace of mind: Should you desire, you can hold on to your old telephone equipment, provided you buy a router with an S0 interface that simulates the ISDN protocol. But there’s a good chance that the new technology will win you over and that you’ll forget all about ISDN in no time at all.

All-IP offers clear opportunities for your business. Perhaps today is the right day to switch to what is arguably the most attractive alternative to a traditional telephone system: cloud telephony. You can continue to enjoy traditional ISDN functions, such as ‘hold’, ‘switch’, ‘transfer’ and ‘busy’ – so why don’t you say goodbye to your old telephone system and expensive on-premises equipment? The benefits are wide ranging: higher speed, lower cost for greater service, superior voice quality, and excellent development opportunities for even better services in the future.

The transition from ISDN to All-IP is already underway, and it won’t be long before the last ISDN connection in Europe is laid to rest. But thanks to the many new possibilities offered by cloud telephone systems, switching to the new All-IP standard doesn’t have to be a difficult challenge. Quite the contrary: New features such as one universal phone number for multiple devices, web conferencing, unified communications, mobile integration, and system access from any place in the world can make your business communications more refreshing and far more flexible. Your employees will thank you with increased productivity and more fun at work. Find out more about the many extras of cloud telephony, faster connections, and higher quality at a lower price.

The bottom line: In the near future, ISDN will be disconnected throughout Europe. Stay ahead of the game and look for an alternative now, instead of getting stuck with last-minute stress.

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