Are you prepared for the BT switch off starting next year?
As the BT switch will begin from 2020 with a view to all ISDN networks been switched off by 2025 it is now time to look at alternatives to protect your business. Now is a good time to look for the best and most reliable way to change to a hosted phone system.
ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) lines are traditional telephone lines which have been used to transfer voice and data via a standard telephone line. But as technology has developed these have become outdated and are no longer efficient for businesses.
With the enhancement of connectivity and the roll out of superfast fibre the need for ISDN lines are declining. Customers and businesses now demand faster and more reliable connectivity which has seen an increase in FTTP (Fibre to the Premises). Openreach have confirmed that they will no longer be supporting the traditional ISDN lines by 2025 and instead will be upgrading to VoIP Technology.
What is VoIP?
Firstly, we need to understand what VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is, how it works, what you need and how much it costs. Many business owners will be baffled by the terminology and the various options, all whilst being under pressure of a switch off deadline.
Voice over IP or VoIP as it is most commonly known allows users to make phone calls over the internet. The technology converts analogue voice signals into digital information, which then allows conversations to take place over the internet anywhere in the world.
To have a hosted phone system within your business all you need is:
- a compatible handset
- a reliable internet connection
- a suitable computer if you wish to use it with your desktop or laptop
VoIP is a very cost-effective solution and overall works out cheaper than a standard landline, and with our rental agreements there are no upfront costs for those upgrading their systems.
Is VoIP reliable for business?
We see people debating the reliability of a hosted phone system on a regular basis and decided it would be a good idea to share our thoughts. People have different experiences with a VoIP system, but from our experience we have never had a problem with connectivity or poor lines. Having said that we always ensure that our clients have a good internet connection. For those businesses with high call volume, we would always recommend a dedicated line to guarantee speed and reliability. A dedicated line is a line directly from the local BT exchange to your premises and can only be used by your business, whilst this is more expensive it does guarantee reliability. See our testimonials from our clients for further information on their experiences.
As you will have no option but to move to a hosted phone system by 2025 it would be a good idea to factor these costs into your long-term business plan, especially if a dedicated line is something you are interested in.
Do not get trapped with an ISDN line
Whilst the switch over will begin from next year, BT are still selling their ISDN lines and are trapping people into 3 and 5 year deals but sticking with these old lines could be detrimental to your business. If you do take out a 5 year deal, by 2025 when everyone has switched over, you will only just be starting to explore your options. Not only could this end up been more pricey but it will also mean that your connectivity could be impacted over the years as BT stop investing into the ISDN lines. Therefore, we would advise you to explore different options before getting tied into a lengthy ISDN deal.
What are the benefits of VoIP?
There are many benefits of VoIP but we will explore the main ones below:
- Cost Effective – no limit on number of calls or users
- Portable – you can use your VoIP telephone system all over the world
- Flexible – You can increase the number of phones as your Business grows
- Excellent Call Quality – the quality of calls has surpassed that of a traditional line
- Secure - standardised encryption protocols, making your calls secure
- Increased Productivity – programmed to ring on multiple devices before proceeding to voicemail (if required)
- Multi- Site Connectivity – free calls between your employees even if they are located on different sites
- Multi-functional – video conferencing and calls from abroad. As long as you have an internet connection you are able to use your office phone anywhere in the world from a recognised app downloadable on both Apple and Android.
Which provider do I go with for a hosted phone system?
Look for someone who also understands and supports internet connectivity as it is important to have a reliable internet with a good speed to make the most of a hosted phone system. Here at Rainbow IT Services we offer a full all-round service from IT and broadband to telephony and cabling, so we have the knowledge and expertise to advise on the best system and the requirements to have good functionality. We are a proud supplier of Yealink phones and can offer a range of phones to suit your needs and budget. Yealink is one of the leading brands for hosted phones and not only are they good value for money, they are easy to use, don’t worry we will install them and show you how to use them as part of our package.
What are the features of a hosted phone system?
When you take out a hosted phone system with us you will be able to take advantage of the following features and benefits:
- Yealink Handset with rental options available so you have no upfront costs
- Voicemail to Email
- Auto Attendant
- Advanced Hunt Groups
- Call Recording packages
- Software options to be able to use your direct line from Android, Apple or Windows
- 5000 inclusive minutes to 01, 02, 03 & 07 numbers
- Reduced costs of calls and line rental
Still have questions?
Call our telephony expert today on 0330 124 5690 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be more than happy to advise.