The PSTN switch-off refers to the process of phasing out the old analogue phone service known as the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). In December 2025, the PSTN will be permanently switched off, requiring businesses and individuals to transition to digital phone systems like VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol).
This switch-off will affect not only landline phones but also devices such as alarms, lift emergency phones, card machines, and fax machines.
While the switch may require some planning and adjustments, there are several benefits to moving to digital phone systems, including cost savings, increased reliability, and more.
Making the switch sooner rather than later can result in additional months of cost savings and business improvements.
What is PSTN?
PSTN stands for Public Switched Telephone Network. It is the traditional analogue phone system that has been in use for many years. PSTN, or Public Switched Telephone Network, refers to the global network of interconnected telephone lines and switches that allows for the transmission of voice and other forms of communication. It is the traditional landline telephone system that has been in use since the late 19th century.
PSTN operates based on analogue technology, where voice signals are transmitted as electrical signals over copper wires. It consists of various components, including local exchanges, long-distance trunk lines, and international gateways, which enable communication between different phone users worldwide.
What are the benefits of the PSTN Switch Off?
Digital phone systems like VoIP often have lower line rental costs and are more cost-effective to run compared to a traditional phone system. You only pay for what you use and can easily add new lines as needed.
VoIP systems are more reliable than traditional phone lines. They are not disrupted by updates, do not go down in high winds, and are less susceptible to physical line damage. Calls are made over the internet, so as long as your internet connection is running, your phones will be too.
Improved call quality
With a good internet connection, the call quality on VoIP phones is significantly better than analogue calls.
Flexibility for remote work
VoIP phone numbers are not fixed to a location, allowing employees to have a phone in their home office. Calls can also be easily directed to other devices, ensuring employees can be reached wherever they work.
Better customer experience
A VoIP system offers more call options, such as call forwarding when lines are busy, better hold options, and conferencing features, all of which contribute to a better customer experience.
Potential for upgrading internet connection
The switch to digital phone systems may require upgrading your broadband internet connection to full-fibre, which is faster and more reliable. This can improve productivity and efficiency in your business.
Additional months of cost savings and business improvements
Making the switch to digital phone systems early allows for additional months of cost savings and business improvements.
VoIP service providers can help businesses navigate the transition to digital phone systems and provide advice on the best solutions for their specific needs.
Make the switch today and contact us for a full assessment of your needs. We’re able to support upgrading your internet, managing your IT systems, switching to a VoIP phone service and more.
What are the alternatives to PSTN?
The alternatives to PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) include:
- VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol): VoIP allows phone calls to be made over the Internet instead of traditional phone lines. It offers cost savings, improved call quality, and more flexible features.
- Mobile Networks: Mobile networks provide an alternative to landline phones. They use cellular technology to transmit voice calls and can be used anywhere with network coverage.
- SIP (Session Initiation Protocol): SIP is a protocol used to establish, modify, and terminate communication sessions over IP networks. It enables voice and multimedia communication over the Internet.
- Unified Communications: Unified Communications integrates various communication channels, such as voice, video, messaging, and collaboration tools, into a single platform. It allows for seamless communication and collaboration across different devices and platforms.
- Virtual Phone Systems: Virtual phone systems are cloud-based phone systems that utilise VoIP technology. They offer features like call routing, voicemail, and call forwarding, without the need for physical hardware.
- Softphones: Softphones are software applications that allow users to make phone calls over the internet using their computers or mobile devices. They typically use VoIP technology and can be a cost-effective alternative to traditional phones.
- Wireless Communication: Wireless communication technologies, such as Wi-Fi calling and wireless headsets, provide alternatives to PSTN for making and receiving calls without relying on traditional phone lines.
It is important to evaluate the specific needs and requirements of your business before choosing an alternative to PSTN.
If you’re unsure, please contact us for a thorough evaluation of your business needs and we can provide you with our recommendation.
VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is a communication technology that allows you to make and receive phone calls over the Internet instead of traditional phone lines. It has become a popular solution for businesses due to its numerous benefits.
How does a VoIP phone system work?
A VoIP phone system works by converting analogue voice signals into digital data packets and transmitting them over an IP network, such as the Internet. Here’s a step-by-step process of how it works:
1. Voice Conversion: When you make a call using an IP phone, your voice is converted from analogue to digital format. This conversion is done by an Analogue-to-Digital Converter (ADC), which samples the analogue voice signal and breaks it down into a series of digital data packets.
2. Packetisation: The digital voice data is then packetised, meaning it is divided into small chunks or packets. Each packet contains a portion of the voice data, as well as additional information like the destination IP address, source IP address, and sequence number.
3. Transmission: The packets are then transmitted over an IP network, such as the Internet, using the Internet Protocol (IP). They are routed through various network devices, such as routers and switches, to reach the destination IP address.
4. Voice Reconstruction: At the receiving end, the packets are reassembled in the correct order based on the sequence number. Once all the packets are received, they are passed through a Digital-to-Analogue Converter (DAC) to convert the digital data back into analogue voice signals.
5. Call Management: VoIP phone systems also include call management features, such as call routing, call forwarding, voicemail, call recording and conferencing. These features are typically controlled through a software-based interface or a web portal.
6. Integration with Traditional Phone Systems: VoIP phone systems can also integrate with traditional phone systems, allowing calls to be made between VoIP phones and analogue phones. This integration is usually done through a VoIP gateway or a Session Border Controller (SBC).
What are the advantages of VoIP telephones?
One of the biggest advantages of VoIP is cost savings. With a VoIP phone system, you only pay for the internet connection and the service provider, eliminating the need for expensive landline phone systems and separate phone lines. Additionally, international calls are much cheaper with VoIP, making it an ideal choice for businesses with global operations.
VoIP is also highly flexible and scalable. Unlike traditional phone systems, VoIP allows you to easily add or remove phone lines as your business needs change. This scalability is particularly beneficial for growing businesses or those with fluctuating call volumes.
Another advantage of VoIP services is its reliability. Traditional phone lines can be vulnerable to disruptions caused by weather conditions or physical damage to the lines. However, with VoIP, calls are transmitted over the Internet, making them less susceptible to such issues. Additionally, VoIP providers often have built-in redundancy measures to ensure uninterrupted service.
Furthermore, a VoIP phone system offers a range of advanced features and functionality that can enhance your business communications. These include call forwarding, call recording, voicemail-to-email transcription, auto-attendant, and conference calling. These features not only improve the customer experience but also increase productivity and collaboration within your organisation.
One important consideration when implementing VoIP services is the need for a reliable and high-speed Internet connection. VoIP relies on a stable Internet connection to ensure good call quality and uninterrupted service. Upgrading to a full-fibre connection can provide the necessary speed and reliability for optimal VoIP performance.
VoIP is a technology that is constantly evolving and improving. As businesses embrace digital transformation, VoIP will likely remain at the forefront of communication solutions. Its flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and advanced features make it a reliable choice for businesses of all sizes.
Overall, VoIP is a versatile and cost-effective solution for businesses’ communication needs. It offers numerous benefits such as cost savings, scalability, reliability, and advanced features. By transitioning to VoIP, businesses can improve their communication capabilities and prepare for the digital future.
How can Woodstock IT help?
We can provide valuable assistance with the switch from PSTN to a VoIP phone system.
We offer an initial assessment of your telephony needs and can design a customised VoIP telephony solution that suits your specific requirements.
If needed, we also handle the supply and installation of VoIP phones, equipment, and software, provide training for your staff to effectively use the VoIP system and offer ongoing support, maintenance, and upgrades.
With our expertise, you can smoothly transition to VoIP and enjoy the benefits of low-cost telecoms, flexibility in communication, advanced tech features, simple conference calling, and enhanced reliability.
Contact us for help and advice on VoIP installation and support to improve your business communications and competitiveness.