You might hear this Myth..."Quick!! You must upgrade your telephone system now because ISDN Lines are being switched off."

We Say - Don't Panic!! Yes BT ISDN Lines are to be switched off, but not until 2025!! 

Gavin Patterson, The BT Group CEO, stated that BT does intend to migrate all of it’s customers to the VoIP network by 2025.

There has always been much speculation into when the industry will see BT switch off the PSTN & ISDN lines, there has never been a set date until Now.

How will this affect your business? What action should you take to ensure your business stays strong throughout the changeover? Maybe your system already has VoIP Compatibility. 

Here at Vibe Telecom we have had several reports from out Customers that they have been receiving calls from Telecoms & IT Companies stating that if they currently have ISDN Lines then they will have to change their Phone System ASAP.

For the following reasons we feel these calls are being very "Economical with the Truth" in what they are telling our Customers...

1: The ISDN Lines will not be Switched off until 2025 (and may still not happen)

2: They're not even asking what current Telephone System the Customer has, it may well be that if you have had a New Telephone System fitted in the last 5 Years then it will already be Compatible with the replacement SIP Trunk Technology.

Below are the FACTS of the Situation and what You Should Be Doing About it.

What exactly is happening?

BT have announced that they are moving to turn off their ISDN network for voice calling in 2025. They will stop taking new orders from businesses in 2020.

OK, what is ISDN? And what does this all actually mean?!

ISDN essentially describes the infrastructure that is in place to carry your telephone conversations when you talk on the phone. Don’t worry! The fact that BT are turning off their ISDN network is something that has been expected for some time and, of course, there is an alternative in place. We will get onto that further down. The change does mean a few things for businesses, but none of them are any reason to panic. We’ll come on to those shortly too.

Why are BT turning off ISDN?

The infrastructure behind ISDN is essentially the same infrastructure that underpinned the first telephony networks in the 1800s! It has, of course, been significantly overhauled and upgraded since then, but the core logic underneath the network is the same. The costs of maintaining such an old infrastructure are rising and with alternatives available, it doesn’t make sense to keep it up and running in a way that works for BT’s clients.

This makes sense. What will be in place instead?

BT is moving their network to be based on IP. You may have heard the more common acronyms involving IP; VoIP and SIP. In essence, instead of having an old connection that carries both voice and data, you’ll have one, fast data connection, which also carries your voice calling. Bear with us, we know this creates more questions…

So, what difference will this change actually make?

The change will provide businesses with plenty of additional options when it comes to voice calling but, in essence, you don’t need to do anything drastic if you don’t want to. You will still be able to buy a normal-looking desktop handset, pick up the receiver and dial a number. However, in this scenario, you may need to upgrade your current desktop phones, particularly if they are already quite old.

What if I don’t want to do that? What else can I now do?

The change from ISDN will make it easier for businesses who want to take advantage of some of the advance features that using VoIP and SIP creates. For example, pairing a SIP line with a cloud-based telephone system can give you the ability to easily transfer calls between offices and locations, to use your work line whilst anywhere in the country and to see which members of your team are available to take calls.

Sounds great, but we’re a bit busy right now; what do I absolutely have to do at the moment?

Nothing! There seem to be plenty of articles around at the moment which almost qualify as scare-mongering (dangerous place, that internet!). The truth is that if you are one of the 2 million BT ISDN clients then you have the best part of 7 years to review your options and, once you’ve settled on a way forward, changing is relatively easy (this is another advantage of moving away from an ISDN network!).

OK and what about when we’re ready to start making a change?

Do some research on what’s available, what you need and what you might like to have. That will start getting you to a point where you have some set up options to consider and prices to compare. Don’t forget: because calling can essentially be free on VoIP set ups, and line rental can often be much less than ISDN lines, this doesn’t necessarily need to be an expensive project.

Great! Where can I get started on my research?

We’ve got a few more resources like this blog to help you to go a bit further:

  • You can review some SIP-friendly bits of telephony hardware here.
  • Here are some options for cloud-based telephony software.

And if I need a bit more help?

We’ll happily have a conversation with you to help a bit more with the questions above. Feel free to send us a question in the live chat box at the bottom of this page. Or call us (using your mobile, ISDN or VoIP phone - we don’t discriminate!) on 0800 999 3668 or click here to Contact

If You'd Like To Convert To Sip Lines

However if you still wish to convert to SIP lines (for the right reasons) it certainly has benefits, such as saving money on line rental and call costs, plus SIP Lines from VIbe Telecom offer free call reporting and call recording.

You have 3 Options...

1: Purchase an On Premises SIP Trunk Compatible Telephone System (unless you already have one of course)

2: Implement an Offsite Hosted SIP Telephone System. (there are good and not so good ones available)

3: Legacy "ageing" Telephone Systems using ISDN lines (but which are not SIP compatible) can still use SIP!! Vibe Telecom is one of the only Telecom companies that can show you how. It's inexpensive to do, and could save you a fortune if you're looking to change your telephone system for no other reason than you would like SIP Lines.

Whichever you choose, we can help you...

All options have plus and minus points, and can all be offered to you by Vibe Telecom. You can be assured that we'll always provide you with an honest and unbiased view on which solution we feel is the best fit for Your Business.


0800 999 3668

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