Today I’m going to talk about upgrading your ISDN30 connection to a hosted phone system and what you have to look out for and what you can expect.

So in 2025 ISDN is going to be withdrawn by BT. That means that you have until 2025 to either move your ISDN30 numbers to a new hosted phone system, or alternatively, the other option is to move your numbers to a SIP Trunk. A SIP Trunk is an internet based connection that acts just like ISDN. It does a bit more actually, but it means that you’re retaining your phone system so you still have your updates to do on your phone system. You still have to pay for maintenance and so on. You still also have to pay for SIP channel line rental. So for the vast majority of small businesses, up to say 250 users, a hosted phone system is more than likely going to be your better option rather than a SIP Trunk.

Moving to Hosted VoIP – first points to check

So the first thing to know is you do need to check your contractual liability with your supplier. I should also say that if you wanted just to move your ISDN to us or to a different supplier for better rates, you can do so until you want to upgrade, until you’re ready. But in either case you do need to check your contractual liability with your supplier. Now you may have signed up for ISDN30 some time ago, so it may be the don’t have your contract to hand and in that case you’re going to need to ask your supplier to confirm your contractual liability. With these connections it tends to renew on a certain date each year and you would normally have to give a certain amount of notice to move the numbers and cease the connection before that renewal date happens. So we can assist you with finding out about your contractual terms and then responding to your provider.

How does the ISDN Upgrade work?

Now once we’ve agreed what you’re actually going to have in terms of a hosted phone system, the actual process is seamless. We agree a changeover date where your phone system and ISDN stops working and all your numbers seamlessly migrate to a new hosted phone system with the phone system operating and ringing just like a normal phone system will be, albeit with a hosted phone system. Your phone system is actually up in the cloud, so it’s using your internet connection .

What about my internet connection?

And we’d obviously make sure that your internet connection is fast enough to accept all of the voice traffic reliably with excellent call quality. Sometimes if you’re in a bad area for broadband for example, we might install a separate dedicated broadband just for voice, but more often than not, a fiber broadband would be fine. Many people are upgrading to fiber ethernet leased lines now because of government subsidies that are available. It makes it much more affordable and accessible. So we can discuss that, but that’s one of the things that we would look at.

Porting your numbers to Hosted

We would also check whether your numbers can be ported. That’s really important. In a few cases, your numbers won’t easily be portable to our supplier, which in our case is Gamma, and it may take a lot longer. But in most cases it will take around a month from when we place the order. So once we’ve agreed what you’re going to have, we you set up your hosted phone system on our portal and then we’ll apply to port your numbers and as long as your supplier is happy that you can leave, then those numbers will port on a given day about a month from when we start the order process. And we obviously liaise with you to ensure that that day is suitable and that we have had time to install any other equipment like power over ethernet switches to power the phones and so on.

What happens on changeover day?

So it’s all pretty seamless. On the day of changeover your phone system in the cloud would already be pre-programmed with all your user information. All necessary hardware and handsets would have been put out onto desks. People with soft phones on their laptops at home, for example, or smartphone apps would have all been given training and given the necessary licenses. So on the given day, normally about lunchtime, all of the numbers on your ISDN will cease to work and they’ll start working on the hosted phone system when we will then be on hand to provide further training and support. So that is pretty much it. I’m not going to cover hosted phone systems in too much detail.

How do I make it happen?

You can check out our website, which is tecwork.co.uk for more information. If you have any queries, please do get in touch with us. Our number’s 01892 578666, or you can email us at helpme@tecwork.co.uk. And thanks very much for reading and listening.

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