The End of ISDN


What does ISDN mean?

Integrated Services Digital Network – it relies on circuit switching and businesses have used it for the past 25 years.

However, as new options have come to the fore such as VoIP, ISDN has become a legacy solution.

Why is ISDN being retired?

Other technologies, such as SIP, are newer and more flexible. ISDN does have some useful features; however, SIP trunks and Cloud Phone Systems outshine ISDN by offering a far wider range of options.

In the modern age of business, the smartphone has become a key communication tool and this has resulted in employees demanding flexible working arrangements; VoIP solutions are perfect for this with the option to have softphone apps on remote workers’ smartphones which they would then register to an extension on a Cloud PBX.

These developments have resulted in ISDN’s downfall. VoIP services have many advantages including:

  • Geographic independence – move to a different part of the country and keep your area code (i.e. 0161, 0113, 0151, etc.) without incurring the call forwarding charges associated with ISDN.

  • Forward calls to mobiles on the fly by logging into an online Portal.

  • Lower call costs.

  • Call forwards can be set up on the Cloud Phone System to route all calls to mobiles in the event of a broadband outage.

So, don’t wait until the last minute to switch to IP telephony. Businesses are moving now as they realise the potential that the service offers compared to their dying ISDN solutions.

Replacing an ISDN system

The rise of low cost fibre broadband means that now there is no reason not to switch to VoIP.

Like any new technology, initial take-up was slow however businesses have since come to realise that SIP is a highly reliable solution. There are two primary options:

Cloud Phone System

Cloud Phone Systems are reasonably priced and easy to use which makes them ideal for small and medium sized enterprises that do not have an established PBX in place.

SIP Trunking

A SIP trunk is an excellent replacement for an ISDN line as the monthly service charges and call costs are significantly reduced. It’s excellent if your phone system is only a few years old and too new to replace.

When is the best time to update my telephony from ISDN to VoIP?

We recommend that you do it as soon as possible; you’ll see the benefits from day one, particularly if you make a large amount of calls. However, we understand that this may not be possible if you’re currently under contract to another provider, in which case we suggest you book a date in your diary to contact our sales team for a quote in the run-up to your contract renewal date.

Be aware that older PBXs aren’t compatible with SIP so you’ll need to upgrade to a Cloud Phone System or a newer hardware PBX if you wish to use a SIP trunk. The Cloud Phone System can often be a better option as the initial costs are low compared to purchasing a new hardware PBX.


What we provide

Orbtalk specialise in SIP and VoIP solutions for business and are unique in this market space due to our global reach. This allows us to offer SIP Trunking and Cloud Phone Systems to organisations across the globe for single and multi-sited companies. Our global presence also means that we have one of the largest offerings of international numbers available from over 8000 destinations globally.

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