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Migrating from ISDN to a Cloud phone system

ISDN lines are going to be phased out in the UK by 2027. Every month we’re fielding requests from more and more customers for ISDN replacements. If you’ve been relying on your faithful ISDN lines for years and need to ensure their replacement is just as reliable, secure, and cost-effective, then a cloud phone system is the solution you need.

You can find out everything you need to know about the ISDN switch off here.

There are estimated to be around 3 million ISDN lines still in use by UK businesses. As part of the UK’s upgrade to a superfast broadband infrastructure (AKA the WLR withdrawal), the UK’s PSTN network is going to be phased out by 2027. Since ISDN lines connect via the wider national infrastructure (the PSTN network), they too will be switched off in four years. Probably sooner, depending on your location.

Cloud phone systems are already gaining popularity in the UK. The ISDN switch-off is speeding up this process. If you’ve had questions about replacing your soon-to-be redundant ISDN phone system with a hosted VoIP solution, here’s everything you need to know about migrating from ISDN to the cloud.

Do I have to replace my ISDN phone system?

Eventually yes. After 2027 it’ll be inoperable, as the PSTN infrastructure it relies on will no longer exist.

However, that doesn’t mean the transition has to be made overnight. You could replace your entire phone system in one go if you wanted (we’ve helped customers do this more than once), but if you wanted a phased transition over the next four years this is also an option.

Let’s be honest, it can be difficult for your employees to switch to new systems. Phased transitions can be much less stressful, and allow for greater control of the impact any changes have on your business. A VoIP cloud PBX can be deployed on a per-extension or per-employee basis.

Cloud systems are incredibly scalable. Unlike traditional hardware-based phone systems such as your current ISDN PBX, you can deploy hosted VoIP in a gradual way that removes the risks associated with migrating whole organisations to an entirely new phone system. In short, migrating to the cloud won’t mean having to pay a massive work fee for engineers to rip up and replace every line and cable in the office overnight.

Plus, unlike ISDN lines, on VoIP-based systems numbers aren’t tied to a fixed extension or geographic location. You can keep your existing business number when you migrate over, and through any further changes to your phone systems further down the line.

Will I lose call quality when I replace ISDN with cloud hosted VoIP?

No. This is a very common question and one that we understand being asked. Cloud technologies are still in their relative infancy, and even as recently as a decade ago some IP hosted phone systems could experience lag or choppy connections during peak times.

The amount of available bandwidth has increased exponentially in the last few years though. Connection speeds are faster than ever. A VoIP call of ISDN-comparable quality requires roughly 80KBPS of available data (both upload and download). These days, superfast broadband connections that can easily provide ten times this speed are the norm.

These faster internet speeds have directly translated to better call quality. VoIP calls in 2021 come through crisp and crystal clear even on the most basic passage. So long as your business has a stable connection and adequate broadband, migrating from ISDN to the cloud you will actually see an increase, rather than a decrease, in call quality.

Will a cloud phone system cost more than ISDN?

A cloud-based phone system is much more cost-effective than ISDN. By moving to a hosted VoIP solution your monthly comms bill will be significantly lower. We don’t feel the need to beat around the bush about this, either. This isn’t one of those areas where there are lots of considerations to take or ‘what if’ situations to mull over; hosted VoIP is cheaper than ISDN.

Unlimited calls are an option for many hosted VoIP systems. As costs are tied into your data usage, rather than a separate phone bill, keeping them at manageable levels is as simple as ensuring your usage doesn’t exceed your allowance. If you have a cost-effective broadband package with plenty of bandwidth capacity you can pretty much guarantee you’ll never get stung by a larger-than-expected bill at the end of the month.

What’s more, international call costs don’t apply as the call doesn’t need to be carried across international phone lines. If your business has dealings internationally this can be a HUGE cost-saving benefit. That’s before you factor in that cloud-hosted VoIP is software-based, so mitigates the expenses associated with hardware upkeep costs and other maintenance.

Are cloud phone systems harder to manage than ISDN?

If you’re not confident with tech, reading lists of all the bells and whistles that come with cloud phone systems can feel a little overwhelming. It certainly did for a lot of our customers.

Don’t be put off by the endless lists of acronyms and configuration options. Hosted VoIP is much, much easier to manage. ISDN landlines require extensive management and IT specialists to keep operational. Cloud phone systems to not. Your entire PBX can be scaled and managed from a browser window or dedicated software platform.

New users and extensions can be added in just a few clicks. This is especially useful when moving location or scaling up your business. In the era of remote working and WFH culture, the flexibility afforded by not having to install a set of new lines when you add a new team to your workforce unlocks limitless growth potential.

Immervox: Here to help you migrate from ISDN to cloud phone systems.

These are just some of the most common questions the team here at Immervox find themselves answering for new and existing customers alike.

Cloud PBX and hosted-VoIP are going through a period of rapid adoption across the UK. Costs have never been cheaper, and call quality is the best it ever has been. With the PSTN switch-off just around the corner, the coming redundancy of ISDN lines has only sped up the process.

Obviously, every business is unique. You’ll no doubt have dozens of questions to ask and considerations to take before migrating from ISDN to cloud calling. If you want to know more about specific costs, some of the available packages and solutions, or have any other questions regarding the 2025 PSTN switch off, why not register your details with us or give the team a call?

We’ve already helped dozens of businesses migrate from ISDN lines to a completely cloud-hosted VoIP phone system. We’re always available to work with you on a bespoke hosted-VoIP solution that brings your business the power of cloud-calling so many Immervox customers already enjoy.

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Give the team a call today on 0333 014 6220, or register your details with us online and one of the Immervox team will be in touch to discuss the first stages of building your bespoke Immervox solution.