In 2015 BT announced its plans to migrate all customers to an IP network by 2025, switching off the company’s ISDN network. As the largest communications provider in the UK, this change will affect hundreds of thousands of businesses across the UK.
Even though IP telephony has been available for 15 years, many organisations still prefer traditional digital ISDN lines. As of August 2013, there were around 3.2 million active ISDN lines in the UK however, by 2025 alternative arrangements will required, with SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) being the frontrunner for replacing much of the ISDN infrastructure.
Although 8 years may seem like a long time, we believe that the migration process will begin soon, and that now would be a good time to consider your options - particularly what SIP can offer your business.
What is SIP?
SIP trunking is the latest established call delivery technology, which delivers telephony using an external data connection as the bearer for making and receiving calls.
What are the benefits?
Using SIP allows you to keep your phone number no matter where you are. This is because your number sits in the cloud, not at an exchange or on a physical telephone line. This permits out of area geographical number ranges to be used, displaying a number which looks like a local one, regardless of the users location. Existing numbers can be ported on to SIP, allowing far greater flexibility and more features.
With traditional ISDN, your voice and data connection are delivered separately. By combining these, with SIP, you will be able to save money by having both on one service. SIP trunking can reduce your line rental costs by up 50% and save you over 25% on calls. Depending on the type of connectivity used, it is often possible to provide a more resilient service, with a better service level agreement; while improving the service and saving you money.
SIP trunking gives you complete control of your how your calls are handled. You can add additional capacity when demand is high and reduce it when demand drops. Calls can also be delivered to different locations or people, depending on the type of call or where it comes from, making handling more effective and delivering a better customer experience. These features and the flexibility which they offer will help you to remain in total control of your communications.
Incidents that cause an interruption to services, such as bad weather, power failures and natural disasters can have a detrimental impact on your business’ reputation. This can lead to an abrupt decline in customer retention and loyalty, as customers struggle to contact you. With SIP trunking if something bad happens, calls can be diverted en masse or on a number by number basis, presenting calls to different offices, mobiles, or even your employees’ home phones. This avoids an inconvenient situation becoming a disaster for your business, allowing your customers to contact you without difficulty.