Three reasons why your provider wants you to rot away on ISDN

BT has followed many of Europe’s other big operators by announcing the complete withdrawal of ISDN.  Caput.  Finito.  But not until 2025.  Another nine years!

So what’s all the fuss about?

ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) services remain entrenched in British businesses despite being superseded in almost every respect by an alternative, and more cost-effective, voice technology that offers far better flexibility and reliability.  Namely, SIP (Session Initiation Protocol).

So if you are on ISDN and don’t feel you have the impetus to switch to SIP – here are three reasons why you should consider it:

  • ISDN customers are seen as cash cows

For the millions who have already switched from ISDN, the SIP providers have embraced them with open arms.  This has driven down SIP subscription costs, and increased service levels to unprecedented heights.

But over in ISDN-land, the story is very different.  ISDN is a profitable bit of business for those who keep their customers penned in to this outdated technology.  Hence many ISDN customers are unaware of the benefits of SIP because of their providers’ vested interests!  Would you believe there are still more than two million active ISDN channels in the UK?!

  • The benefits of SIP make the ISDN-pushers look bad

SIP doesn’t just make ISDN look dated it proves it is criminally insane.  SIP is a 2016 Ferrari F1 car while ISDN is more like a Penny Farthing; such is the distance between the two in every single facet.

Let’s look at some facts:

  • SIP line rental costs can be up to 50-60% cheaper than ISDN
  • SIP call costs can be up to 30% cheaper than ISDN (and many providers even offer inclusive minutes as part of their regular monthly fee)
  • SIP-based telephony solutions are inherently more flexible, scalable and resilient than ISDN.
  • Capacity can be increased and decreased easily as and when it is required, unlike with ISDN
  • Faults on ISDN lines often mean long delays while infrastructure is repaired. With SIP-based telephony, resilience is built into the system so that voice traffic is instantly rerouted to an alternative line or calls redirected immediately to different locations or even to mobile phones.
  • Fear, uncertainty and doubt is persuasive

So why are so many businesses still reluctant to make the change to a more cost effective, flexible, scalable and resilient technology?  No doubt the effort of transition is putting some people off but that is a bullet that will have to be bitten sooner or later, now that the demise of ISDN has been given a deadline.

Fear of change, reluctance to disrupt existing practices, a resistance to explore new possibilities – these are all understandable within any business.  However, preying on these concerns is a deeply cynical marketing ploy.

Break the habit – kick the ISDN addiction!

It’s like the nurse who tells you it won’t hurt when the jab goes into your arm – it’s a blatant lie but at least it wasn’t as bad as you feared.  Any move from ISDN to SIP will involve some work.  It may even lead to a planned disruption to business, an inevitable auditing of existing systems, as well as the documenting of backup plans and the scoping out of the potential benefits likely from an upgrade.

However, these are the sort of things that any business should have in place as part of a business continuity plan.

There are plenty of reasons why your provider might want to keep you languishing on ISDN, but can you think of any good reason to keep it ahead of a technology that’s proven to be better and cheaper?

Trial SIP for free

Comtec provides a range of fixed line and mobile communications and connectivity services and has specialised in SIP trunking since the technology became commercially available in the UK.  Contact us today to discuss your requirements or to arrange a trial.