ISDN (integrated services digital network) is a communications standard designed to transmit audio and data over telephone copper wires. For years, it has been the go-to telecommunication solution for Aussie businesses because of its reliable connections and ability to support multiple devices. However, ISDN-powered phone systems are going the way of floppy disks, and businesses need to act fast.
Telecommunications provider Telstra will begin disconnecting ISDN products on September 30, 2019. These include:
- ISDN2 enhanced
- ISDN 10/20/30
- DDS Fastway
- Frame Relay
The company stated that these platforms will be fully disconnected across the country and no longer receive additional support from vendors by 2022. Keep in mind that the ISDN shutdown is in line with the National Broadband Network (NBN) rollout schedule. This means you may have slightly more than six months to find an alternative phone system if NBN services are still unavailable in your area. Though it’s best not to delay migrating off ISDN.
Why is ISDN being disconnected?
ISDN is quickly becoming obsolete as businesses are increasingly dependent on internet-based communications. The transition to high-speed NBN and fibre services means businesses can access cutting-edge VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone systems.
Compared to ISDN phones, VoIP is a superior solution. For starters, it uses the internet to make and receive calls rather than traditional phone lines, which significantly reduces costs. VoIP also offers features like call forwarding, auto attendant, and video conferencing. Also, it can integrate with other cloud-based apps like Office 365 and customer relationship management (CRM) software.
How can you prepare your business for the shutdown?
The best thing you can do is to move to a VoIP phone system right away as ISDN services become more expensive over time. What’s more, it’s better to migrate early since VoIP and internet service providers will probably be busy working through a backlog of other requests closer to the cut off date.
Here’s what you should do to transition from ISDN to VoIP:
- Choose a suitable VoIP service – When migrating to VoIP, you must decide between hosted and on-premise services. The former means a provider maintains VoIP systems for you at a monthly fee, while the latter means your business has full control over how VoIP features are setup and managed.
- Create a feature wishlist – Ask yourself what features you need. Do you need CRM integrations? High definition audio and video calls? Call monitoring and whisper functionality?
- Find a reliable provider – Top-notch VoIP providers customise a VoIP system based on your needs, oversee the installation and cabling process, and provide round-the-clock support.
- Evaluate network capacity needs – The quality of your VoIP calls depend on the amount of bandwidth you have. In general, you want to have at least 1Mbps for video conferencing and other VoIP features. A standard 40Mbps broadband plan is sufficient for small- and medium-sized businesses.
- Assess your hardware – The type of phones you’re using may not be compatible with VoIP. Consider purchasing higher-quality routers, phones, and headsets as these will give you access to more robust features and improve call quality.
- Secure your communications – Since VoIP phone systems use the internet to transmit and receive calls, it’s important to protect your network with up-to-date firewalls, intrusion prevention systems, and advanced encryption systems. These prevent hackers from eavesdropping in on your calls.
- Make final preparations – This involves importing your contacts database into the VoIP platform and training your staff how to use new features.
How we can help
If you need help upgrading to VoIP, Empower IT Solutions is the answer. We specialise in designing, deploying, managing, and securing high-speed networks and powerful VoIP platforms. We also offer a wide array of business phone system plans that empower your communications and save you a lot of money. Drop us a line today to get well ahead of the ISDN shutdown deadline.