What does 2020 mean for the imminent ISDN switch off?

Monday, 9th December 2019

It’s no secret that BT are switching off their ISDN network in 2025. With the phase out beginning in 2020, now is the time for businesses to start exploring their options in regard to their communication needs.

Even with the introduction of ISDN in the 1980’s, that allowed for both voice and data services to be delivered simultaneously, these traditional lines are essentially the same as they were when they were originally conceived in the 1800’s. As time has gone by, maintenance and running costs have steadily increased and are now proving too high for continuing use to be viable.

While 2025 may seem like a long way off, 2020 is literally just around the corner and customers will no longer be able to purchase traditional business phone systems from providers. Therefore, the sooner you start to consider your options, the easier it will be to transition to a new system and take full advantage of the opportunities that alternative communication solutions can offer your business.

What are the alternatives to ISDN?

Ahead of the ISDN switch off, you have two choices in regard to the future of your telecommunications; Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

SIP is an efficient and reliable communications protocol that enables users to communicate via the internet using a range of devices. SIP is a preferred solution for an increasing number of businesses, due to the fact it can carry all forms of voice, data and video. In comparison to VoIP, setting up and managing SIP systems can prove to be a more complex process, making it more suitable for businesses with a strong IT support presence.

With the ability to send voice messages across any internet connection, VoIP is proving to be an increasingly in demand solution for businesses globally. Furthermore, VoIP telephony services are interoperable, meaning that they work well across a range of networks. They are also highly portable and will work with any IP-enabled device, which is particularly advantageous for remote and flexible workers.

What are some key business benefits of SIP?


By discarding traditional phone lines, you will be spending significantly less, with savings of up to 50% on line rental and 25% on calls. Additionally, SIP trunking will allow you to make free calls between connected sites, locally and internationally.


Unfortunately, unforeseen events happen that can result in a lack of connection for your business. With SIP however, continuity isn’t a problem and emergencies are handled with ease, due to its ability to automatically reroute any calls to a back-up site within seconds.


For businesses looking to develop and improve upon their unified communications strategy, SIP is an ideal option. With email, instant messaging and video conferencing available via a range of devices, SIP offers a heightened level of functionality that promotes increased efficiency and productivity.

What are some key business benefits of VoIP?


Using any broadband connection, you’re able to log into your VoIP phone system, thus providing a level of convenience and accessibility that traditional phone lines simply can’t provide. Regardless of your location, if you have access to the internet, you’ll be able to effectively connect with colleagues and customers anywhere, any time.


VoIP provides you with the opportunity to multi-task with a wide range of devices, allowing you to greatly enhance your productivity. With features such as call ID, virtual numbers, contact lists and voicemail, VoIP gives you the freedom to work more dynamically and boost your operational efficiency. Additional features can also be added, to create a system that’s completely tailored to the individual needs of your business.


Whereas traditional phone systems are extremely difficult to scale, VoIP grows with you but remains cost effective at all times. With VoIP allowing you to add and eliminate new lines as and when you need them, you really will only ever pay for what you need and your phone system will always reflect the needs of your business.

Although the demise of ISDN and the subsequent transition to an alternative phone system can seem like a daunting task, the additional features and advanced functionality of SIP and VoIP will bring an abundance of new benefits to your business that will undoubtedly boost your bottom line.

Want to find out how our telephony solutions can help you increase your productivity and reduce your costs, or just some friendly, impartial advice on the best tools to make comms a breeze? Contact us today via our live chat, 0333 3603 723, or email enquiries.uk@enreach.com.

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Enreach UK Ltd, Communications House, Hadley Park, Telford TF1 6QJ
Call us: 0800 097 6543 Email: enquiries.uk@enreach.com

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