ISDN is Dying: To choose a SIP or a hosted pathway?

Posted 13 May 2021

ISDN has been around since 1988, but its days are now numbered. By 2020, businesses will no longer be able to purchase ISDN lines and by 2025 it will be switched off completely. So what’s the best switch option for business communications? 

Businesses considering their communications strategy following the termination of ISDN have a number of options from a technology standpoint. Undoubtedly, their decision will be based on what proves the most cost effective, and what functionality is needed to serve their business and their customers both today and in the longer term. 

This means, not only choosing the right tech, but also the right reseller. One that is agnostic and can deliver a suitable solution, rather than pushing the business down a particular path that suits their portfolio and bottom line.

The technology question boils down to SIP or Hosted.

With the ubiquity and ever increasing bandwidth and resilience of Internet connectivity, and the fact that more and more business critical applications are shifting to the cloud, the hosted model presents an increasingly compelling option in many instances. Hosted – or cloud based – communications offers simple migration paths, reduced up-front costs, easier scalability, lower support overheads, security and the ability to easily take advantage of new features. 

According to Markets And Research, the global hosted PBX market size is expected to grow from US$4.73 billion in 2018 to US$9.5 billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 14.9% during the forecast period. The analyst attributes this, in part to, the rising need for enterprise mobility, low capex and TCO and the rising adoption of the cloud and UC. It also presents opportunities for a full range of business sizes and requirements. 

Many larger organisations, those at the forefront of innovation, or those that want to differentiate by providing seamless, intuitive customer services experiences are turning to hosted telephony and full unified communications (UC) – a trend that’s also being driven by the availability of rich functionality and powerful integrations available in a cloud/ hosted environment. These feature-rich, multimedia UC options allow users to contact anyone, on any device, from anywhere. They can enjoy effortless multimedia conversations, collaboration and conferencing with colleagues and customers alike – no special software required. 

A hosted solution, however, will not suit all businesses. For them, the pathway taking centre stage is to migrate the backend to a SIP trunk. This is a good customer-premises equipment (CPE) choice for customers that want deploy their own hardware or virtual systems like on-premise PBX and a gateway to connect the Internet telephony service provider to a PBX. For most businesses, however, this means they’ll need to upgrade their PBX platform to allow SIP trunk connectivity – unless, uniquely, they have IPCortex installed, which already allows seamless and rapid switching from ISDN to SIP. One of the key benefits to a CPE platform, is the ability to continue to use ISDN until it is finally switched off, and then migrate to SIPT without further additional hardware cost. This gives businesses the chance to maximise the RoI on a hardware based solution before making the step to hosted in the future if they so wish. 

The key to the switch is to understand your own business needs, both today and in the future, what technology route makes most sense – whether its hosted, virtual, on-prem – and choosing a partner  that can tailor a solution to meet these requirements. 

Talk to IPCortex about your ISDN migration pathway today. We’ll be happy to help.