Beginner’s Guide to Telephony

As we approach the 2025 deadline for the PSTN switch off, the focus is shifting more and more towards IP telephony, but many businesses don’t understand the change, and are not prepared. According to Ofcom’s Connected Nations Report 2019, only one fifth of telephony services are currently supported on IP networks, meaning 80% of the UK still need to migrate their services in anticipation of the withdrawal.

How traditional telephony works

Traditional telephony utilises copper pairs to route the call through a series of public exchanges (PSTN), and then on to the endpoint receiver by using analogue signalling.

Why Openreach are withdrawing the network

This network has been used in the UK for well over 100 years, with little change to the infrastructure. As such, the underlying hardware is degrading and maintenance is costly. Use of the PSTN has also been declining as mobile has become more popular, meaning the costs of the upkeep were no longer justified.
Furthermore, the increasing availability of broadband, which is supported on this network, has meant that the PSTN has evolved into an almost completely digital network. This means there is no longer a requirement for traditional fixed line telephony.

What is the future of telephony?

Openreach are now moving forward with a fibre-first philosophy, bringing superfast connectivity to more locations throughout the UK. These more reliable and robust networks will enable users to access broadband that is capable of supporting IP communications. VoIP will become the replacement solution for traditional telephony, particularly in businesses, however, this technology will not be provided by Openreach. Communications Providers will have to administer and maintain the over the top voice service themselves, giving them the opportunity to bundle connectivity and voice services together and capitalise on convergence.

If you’re not yet selling hosted telephony, we can support you in transitioning your customers. Contact our teams today or check out our Beginner’s Guide to Hosted VoIP to learn more.

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