ONE of the latest big stories in the telecoms world is that Gavin Paterson, the CEO of BT Group, has now made it official that by 2025 everyone currently using ISDN (the traditional platform with miles of copper in the ground) will have to switch to VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol).

SIP trunking is a form of IP telephony or the standard protocol for VoIP use, and a more advanced replacement for traditional ISDN.

Since BT already started planning for the decommissioning of its soon outdated ISDN infrastructure, businesses should start thinking about their migration process to IP telephony, which has already become a preferred solution for businesses of all sizes.

But what does this actually mean for your business?

SIP enables voice systems to be provided over the internet instead of over traditional telephone lines.

Because of this, businesses will no longer need multiple systems for voice and data networks, as they will have a single system that can support both.

The list of advantages to SIP includes very quick provisioning (as opposed to waiting for an Openreach engineer to attend your premises to install the service three weeks after you order it), channels increase within 24 hours and in the event of a service issue or losing power, diverts can be placed immediately (up to 4 hours for a divert on ISDN).

Moreover, with a much lower line rental SIP is more cost-efficient and it provides businesses with a tremendous amount of flexibility - since your phone number won't be tied to a geographic location, calls can be routed to any pre-defined destination, including mobile, alternative site or remote office.

Businesses can go ahead and unlock the benefits of VoIP by switching to SIP Trunking, but before converting, it is very important to ask yourself whether your current telephone system supports SIP and if your office internet can handle VoIP.

If your current phone is not compatible, the choices include investing in a new premises-based SIP PBX (which can be quite expensive and time consuming), or take advantage of the opportunity to move to a hosted VoIP platform.

Also consider the speed of connectivity and the bandwidth currently available to you, as without sufficient resources the advantages of VoIP are lost - you’ll experience poor call quality, intermittent service, and other difficulties.

Since the phase out of ISDN is a certainty, BT’s investment in the technology will diminish and the network will no longer be developed, therefore it is very likely to become less reliable.

The decrease in the number of engineers trained on ISDN along with the foreseen lack of spare parts for telephone systems, which will become difficult to obtain, results in businesses having all the reasons to start thinking about the benefits of SIP Trunking and VoIP.

With BT paving the way for full IP network migration, the process of transition to SIP technology begins now and as experts in communications, 2 Circles Northeast recommends that businesses are starting to look for a trusted provider, which is able to offer the full range of telecom services all under one platform and that can provide the service across multiple carriers.

Over the next few years, every business will benefit from high quality, highly flexible telephony and businesses should be forward-thinking and embrace this change as an opportunity for expansion, as SIP will facilitate the ease and pace of growing a business.