The telecoms network will be undergoing an enormous change over the next 5 years…This includes the way voice is delivered, how alarm lines work, how fax works, how numbers work.
Unless you are already using a VoIP service, no matter how basic your service, even a single line at home, you WILL need to make changes.
By 2025 the WLR (Wholesale Line Rental) network will be retired. This is the whole of the current phone network, including traditional, analogue PSTN lines, all of which will be replaced by internet-based IP services. This is not a removal of the copper lines, but rather a change of how the voice service over those lines is delivered.
There are 15 million lines to move and a lot companies who need to do this. 5 years is not that long. VoIP, which currently enjoys around 35% penetration in business, will rise to 100%. Try to avoid the migration rush hour as the deadline looms and plan ahead. If you do not act soon, there is a strong possibility that at some point your service provider will do it for you – better to retain control and be in charge.
So, how to prepare for the digital age?
Plan based on your future business needs. Ask yourself what your business looks like; what your team needs from the service; is it time to make those long overdue changes?
- Assess your network capabilities – is your broadband up to it? If it’s barely OK for your computers, it’s not going to be great for voice – a dedicated voice service may be required.
- Broadband is a shared service whether domestic or business. And can easily become congested. Do you need DIA (dedicated internet access)?
- Is your office network good enough? Review your cabling, switches, routers. They may be OK for the computer network – will they work for a voice system?
- Check your firewalls and anti-virus. There are settings that can interfere with voice traffic. Do you need to separate them out? Do you need QoS (quality of service)?
Having assessed your requirements, what next?
Migrating to VoIP
In the future ALL communication will VoIP based.
VoIP is like email and uses data packets to transmit voice:
- In the same way you can receive email on any suitably enabled device, you can pick up voice on anything, anywhere with a suitable internet connection and the appropriate programme.
- As there is no longer a need for fixed exchanges and fixed lines you are no longer tied to a location.
- As long as you have a suitable data connection you can use your number ANYWHERE.
- This is what enables remote/flexible working. This is how you can have service in your office and then take it anywhere.
Benefits of using VoIP in a Cloud environment
The benefits of Cloud voice service are many:
- Easy management via web-portal – as the service is internet based, whether hosted or premises, management is easy from any location.
- No expensive site visits. No annual support charges. Even premises-based equipment can be accessed securely.
- Hosted services are “fully loaded” and apart from a full telecom feature set also include other features such as: Inclusive calls to UK landline and mobiles – Video Conferencing with expensive equipment not necessary – Instant Messaging to alert team members to important news/updates and the prospect you have been chasing is now calling you – File sharing, instantly sharing files in a conference call. How useful can this be if WFH and you want to involve others or clients?
- Cloud voice services will always be updated to keep up with the latest developments and at no cost to the user.
- As more features are added they all become available to the subscriber. No need for upgrades/new cards/engineering – it’s all there for you.
- Moving to cloud services can reduce costs in most cases.
- Existing equipment can be repurposed.
Future proof your telecoms system – once done no need to change for 2025
If you already have planned or use a VoIP service, great – well done. However, if you or companies you know are not prepared, this could have a negative impact on both your and their ability to do business. We’d be delighted to help.