PSTN & ISDN switch-off
What is the PSTN?
- The Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) delivered over WLR (Wholesale Line Rental) forms a large proportion of the UK telecoms infrastructure.
- Its functions include connecting voice calls using analogue voice data and supporting digital services such as ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network).
- Broadband products also rely on this service to work.
What is happening to the PSTN?
- All ISDN/PSTN voice services will go to complete end-of-sale from September 2023 starting with a series of trial zones in the coming months. Click here for a full table of affected areas. You will find replacement solutions below.
- From December 2025 the traditional phone network (analogue) also known as the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) will reach end-of-life.
- From now until 2025 this network will be phased out and infrastructure will be built to transfer over to an ALL-IP network/configuration.
Why is the PSTN closing down?
- The PSTN is known as a ‘Legacy’ system. The equipment used to run the PSTN is ageing and will reach end-of-life in Dec 2025.
- Many of the spare parts needed to maintain the PSTN are becoming unavailable and additionally many of the people who designed, built and operated the system have retired so skills to maintain this system are increasingly scarce.
- This means the analogue telephone voice services that are reliant on this network will no longer be operational after Dec 2025.
What do 'stop sell' and 'end-of-life' mean?
- Stop sell is where a supplier no longer sells a product to new customers. Existing users of a product on stop sell will not see any outages in service. This is only applicable for new customers looking to purchase.
- End-of-life is where a product is no longer supported by a supplier and that product does not operate anymore after this date. This means that customers will need to be migrated by their supplier to replacement products before this date.
What products will be affected by this closure?
When the PSTN shuts down, a large number of common telephony products and broadband products will stop working. Small or large businesses will have to migrate to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) products, or a new broadband product delivered over copper or fibre network.
Existing products affected by this shut down are:
- Basic and Premium PSTN lines
- ISDN2 /30
- Broadband Products that rely on WLR services
What does this mean for you and your business?
Although 2025 may seem like a long way away, it will approach faster than you may think. So if your current ISDN/PSTN telephony or broadband contract is due for renewal within the next few years, now is the time to start exploring the benefits of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) services for voice calls, or SoGEA (Single Order Generic Ethernet Access) and FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) for broadband products.
Why make the switch now?
With the right technology you can future proof your company while improving current processes, performance and services.
The benefits to your business of implementing the right products can go beyond just cost efficiencies and a faster connection. These new products increase speed and reliability and reduce latency, enabling you to maximise the performance of these areas within your business.
What are SIP, VoIP, SoGEA and FTTP?
- Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is a protocol used in Voice Over Internet protocol (VoIP). SIP allows users to make voice and video calls globally using computers and mobile devices through an internet connection.
- SIP & VoIP offer you flexibility over the traditional fixed line as you are able to make calls anywhere globally as long as you have an internet connection vs being fixed in one location with a traditional connection.
- Single Order Generic Ethernet Access (SOGEA) will offer similar connectivity to FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) without the need for an underlying voice access (PSTN) product, offering speeds up to 80Mbps. SOGEA has wide availability with coverage in over 28 million UK premises.
- Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) is a service offering ultrafast broadband speeds of up to 1Gbps download and 220Mbps upload and can be purchased on its own. FTTP availability in the UK is not as broad as SOGEA but this will expand significantly over the next five years.
What is the impact on the energy, water and utilities (CNI) sectors?
- Withdrawal of the WLR (Wholesale Line Rental) brings challenges to lots of different sectors that use the PSTN Network for services other than Voice.
- Energy, Water and other critical national infrastructure industry (CNI) businesses rely on the PSTN network to communicate data gathered from remote sites.
- Customer-specific use-cases will require solutions to ensure that services run as normal, with replacement solutions involving applicable fixed and mobile connectivity.