PSTN Misconceptions

Jul 4, 2022

The PSTN switch-off is a significant change for the U.K.’s phone network and will significantly impact businesses and consumers. At Larato, we measured business people’s perceptions of the PSTN and ISDN switch-off in May 2021 and again in May 2022, and the results were telling.

We identified that although businesses are aware of the switch-off, there is still some work to do around understanding exactly how it impacts them. Here’s a breakdown of the results, and what they mean for business operations:

Telephone numbers will have to change

Good news for the 23.38% of businesses who think they’ll have to change their phone number: you don’t. That’s right; you can keep your number after the switch-off.

Changing your business telephone number can be costly and disruptive. Porting your business telephone number can avoid the expense and disruption that comes with changing your number. Contact a telecoms expert supplier and put a porting plan in place ahead of the switch-off.

Fax transmissions will be unaffected

As the world continues to digitise at a rapid pace, it’s no surprise that more and more businesses are ditching their old-fashioned fax machines in favour of more modern methods of communication. However, many businesses still rely on fax machines to send and receive important documents.

We uncovered that 19% of businesses still believe that fax transmissions won’t be affected by the switch-off—the same number as last year.

While analogue fax machines have been around for decades, they are quickly becoming obsolete. When the analogue phone lines used by fax machines are finally discontinued, businesses that haven’t switched to a digital solution will be left in the dark.

ISDN lines will be unaffected

It’s hard to believe that there was ever a time when we didn’t have the internet. But there was, and back then, ISDN was seen as a huge upgrade. Instead of using an analogue signal that could only carry a limited amount of data, ISDN used digital signals that could carry more data at a faster rate.

Admittedly an improvement on the technology that came before, ISDN still simply couldn’t keep up with the demands of our digital age. Nowadays, we rely on high-speed internet for everything from work to entertainment, and ISDN just can’t provide the bandwidth or the reliability that we need. That’s why switching to I.P. is essential for anyone who wants to stay connected in today’s world.

While 91% of businesses are aware that ISDN will be impacted, 9% of businesses still do not realise. This is the same split as last year, demonstrating that some businesses still haven’t appreciated the extent of the switch-off and could be left scrambling to find a solution when their analogue services are switched off.

All calls through the cloud

VoIP is no longer just the trendy option. The switch from copper networks to VoIP means that all telephone calls will be made through the cloud.

Our survey shows that while awareness of the switch from copper networks to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has increased 10% this year, more than one in two remain unaware that their calls will be delivered through the cloud. It could be said that organisations do not need to know how their calls are carried. However, businesses reliant on high call volumes may need to adapt their broadband service to make sure that no calls are missed.

Broadband usage will be unaffected

This year, 42% of respondents believed that their broadband usage would be unaffected, a 20% increase on last year. To dive deeper, we spoke directly with 20 businesses and found over half did not appreciate that ADSL broadband will also be discontinued.

VoIP will add increased load and pressure to business broadband services, which may not be able to cope with the additional load. The performance of your VoIP system depends mainly on your network connection, and your current broadband service may not support the increased load that I.P. telephony will bring.

This lack of awareness could prove costly for businesses that are unprepared for the change. Check with your service provider to avoid unnecessary disruption to your broadband services.

With the switch-off looming, businesses that have a reliance on PTSN and ISDN need to plan how they will stay connected and avoid disruption. There is a common misconception that telephony is simple. We have become so accustomed to it simply working that it is easy to take it for granted. Telephony, especially modern telephony, is complex. It makes sense for businesses to seek expert advice on how to benefit from the switch-off and avoid disruption.

About Larato

Larato are business development strategy specialists. Please feel free to get in touch if you believe we might be able to help one of your clients. We take pride in helping businesses to grow and achieve their objectives.

Telephone: 01494 216201