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September 25, 2019

How To Switch To Business Voice As ISDN Shuts Down

If your business currently depends on ISDN for voice communications, it is time to look at the replacement solution and start making the switch to business voice.

How To Switch To Business Voice As ISDN Shuts Down

Here we unpack the potential impact on your business operations when the ISDN network is decommissioned starting 30 September 2019, and the steps your business needs to take to make the switch as smooth as possible.

You may have heard all the different terms for the various new voice technologies, such as SIP or VoIP. In this article we will make it easy and refer to this technology simply as business voice.

Technological and digital disruption has become part of doing business in the 21st century. Just when you think you have mastered the complexities of your organisation’s technology, the goalposts shift and you have to adapt to a new way of communicating.

The most immediate disruption facing Australian businesses is the termination of the ISDN network, which is due to be completely decommissioned in Australia by 2022, with disconnections starting as early as 30 September 2019.

The technologies and platforms supporting ISDN are nearing the end of their lifetime and technologies like business voice will soon be the industry standard.

Business voice uses broadband connectivity to deliver more superior and reliable telecommunications solutions, and allows you to seamlessly make the switch from old to new technology while keeping your existing numbers.

This change in the landscape of telecommunications in Australia presents a chance to reflect on the current state of your business operations and embrace the opportunities that will come with the implementation of new technology and the long-term benefits that will subsequently follow.

WHAT TECHNOLOGY WILL REPLACE ISDN?

If ISDN has served Australia well for so many decades, then why change a winning formula?

The answer is quite simply, the National Broadband Network, or nbnTM.

The introduction of the nbnTM has meant that business voice has emerged as the future of voice technology and is far cheaper and more efficient than its predecessors.

BENEFITS OF BUSINESS VOICE

With hosted voice you have the ability to bundle your telecommunications into a single platform and interface, with calls delivered via the Internet, making telephone system hardware such as dedicated telephone lines and hardware unnecessary.

Some of the potential advantages of a SIP-based communications platform (the business voice protocol that a lot of businesses are choosing), include:

Scalability

SIP-based solutions can seamlessly – and in real time – scale as needed, meaning organisations only pay for what they use. As opposed to ISDN services which need to be added on in “blocks” (every small business knows the pain of hiring one new person but needing to add a block of five (or more) new call connections instead of just one). ISDN services can also be difficult to shut off if a business decreases in size.

Mobility

SIP-based connections are not tied to a physical location like ISDN services are. This means businesses can easily have phone connectivity in remote locations, such as satellite offices.

Video

ISDN and video calls have always been relatively expensive and unwieldy. With a SIP platform, video becomes an option even for the smallest business. It is more engaging and often more useful as a communications tool, giving organisations an additional value add for customers and clients.

Services

ISDN solutions require an onsite PBX box and local management of the solution. SIP solutions can be better delivered as a service and managed remotely, meaning businesses can also ask their channel provider to deploy and manage additional services over the network.

MAKE THE SWITCH TO BUSINESS VOICE AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE

We advise making the switch to business voice early and not wait until the disconnection date reaches your area.

Here are some reasons why:

Avoid the risk of getting cut off

Switching to business voice early gets you set up in advance and with 30 September 2019 soon approaching, more and more businesses will rush to make the switch. You do not want to get caught up in that!

Bundle with NBN as it becomes available

Timing is everything - coincide the switch with nbnTM availability in your area. If your area already has nbnTM, you’re ready to bundle your new data and voice services.

Less business disruption and downtime

This means you can get on with running your business!

HOW TO MAKE THE SWITCH

Business voice functions in a similar way to ISDN, but the technology itself is different. With business voice there must be some sort of hardware to support it and there are more and more phone systems on the market with these capabilities in preparation for the change.

SIP Trunks are the technology that will be replacing traditional phone lines. These “trunks” need to connect to a PBX, which enables multiple users to share lines, a feature many businesses will benefit greatly from.

Getting Set Up With Business Voice

Simple 4 Step Process

  1. Set up an Internet connection
  2. Configure your hosted PBX
  3. Connect SIP trunks to your PBX
  4. Keep your existing numbers and continue smoothly running your business!

BREAKING DOWN THE ACRONYMS

ISDN - Integrated Services Digital Network

ISDN is a digital network currently used for voice and data services that can be delivered simultaneously over digital lines and has served Australia well for many years.

When ISDN was launched in the 1980’s it was able to simultaneously support early video conferencing systems and analogue phone lines.

With the full cease of sale of ISDN services back in June 2018, Australian businesses have been forced to reevaluate their technologies before ISDN is shut down from the Australian public network in 2022.

PSTN - Public Switched Telephone Network

PSTN is a traditional analogue technology invented in the late 1800’s, where voice data flows through circuit-switched copper phone lines, or what we commonly refer to as a “telephone line”. One PSTN phone number is equivalent to one phone line.

A major drawback of PSTN is it uses one dedicated service, meaning the telephone line cannot be used for any other purpose while a call is being made.

VoIP - Voice Over Internet Protocol

VoIP is simply a phone service delivered over the Internet. If you have a reasonable quality Internet connection you can get a phone service delivered through your Internet connection instead of from your local phone company.

SIP - Session Initiation Protocol

SIP allows for the use of VoIP, making calls and video conferencing simpler and better than ever. Instead of traditional copper telephone lines, SIP uses virtual telephone lines that run over your Internet connection, called SIP trunks.

SIP trunks work alongside your on-premise business phone system and can be scaled up or down with no physical installation needed.

TALK TO AN EXPERT

If you are still unsure about how the shutdown of ISDN may affect your business, talk to us today for more information about making the switch onto the future-proof business voice technology, and how we can help transform your business communications.

Just give us a call on 1300 790 111 or email sales@ecn.net.au for more information about ISDN and hosted voice options for your business.