Telecommunications specialist Mike Odysseas is warning that a large proportion of businesses will be seriously affected by BT’s decision to switch off the ISDN network by 2025.
Mike, who is managing director of Stockton-based Odyssey Systems, believes the lack of publicity surrounding this issue will lead to companies making considerable investment in telephone systems that will have a limited lifespan.
The ISDN network has been the most common system of delivering phone lines for more than 20 years. According to the most recent statistics from 2013, there were more than 3.2 million ISDN channels in the UK.
BT has confirmed that it intends to migrate all customers on to an internet-based IP network in the next ten years. However, it has yet to make great strides in informing businesses of the change.
With the growth of superfast broadband the pace of migration of IP-based telephone systems has increased dramatically with businesses benefitting from hosted-telephony delivered through the internet.
However, Mike believes that more than 70 percent of businesses will be affected by the planned switch off. This not only includes those already on the traditional platform, but also businesses investing in their operations or moving to new premises or that will be targeted by providers selling ISDN systems.
Mike Odysseas said: “With very little information out there about the switch off there is a danger that businesses will spend money on a system that will become obsolete very quickly.
“There will be providers still offering ISDN systems and without the right knowledge their customers will be sleeping walking into throwing their money away.
“I believe there are around 70 percent of businesses that will be affected by this decision, which demonstrates how significant the impact will be on companies and concerning that this decision was only announced within a recent BT financial results announcement.
“In business terms, ten years is not a long time and, in fact, the switchover will take a lot longer than expected so companies really need to start thinking about this now. For example, a company with an ISDN system that has 120 users could take about six months to fully migrate across to an IP system.
“While ISDN has served businesses well for many years, hosted telephony is the future and is an investment that will last firms beyond the ISDN switch off deadline and more likely another decade after 2025.”