What is the big analogue switch-off?
Learn why traditional analogue services are coming to an end, what that means for your current solutions and how to make sure it’s a positive change with minimal disruption.
Tomorrow’s world won’t work on yesterday’s tech
Work is underway across the telecoms industry to phase out traditional telephony services and switch off the PSTN (the Public Switched Telephone Network) and Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN), and move everyone to the cloud. This means replacing outdated systems with up-to-date VoIP (voice over internet protocol) solutions, impacting residential and business telephony services across the UK.
Don’t keep putting it on hold — get a wriggle on!
The move to all-IP networks has already begun in the UK with all services scheduled to be switched over in the coming months and years. All UK communication providers are moving to fully IP networks and other providers globally are at different stages with upgrading their legacy networks. Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and the Netherlands have already gone fully IP in the past few years.
Telephone exchanges providing traditional analogue voice solutions will be decommissioned in phases, with work already underway in some areas. We will contact you well in advance of the decommissioning date, and work with you to get the best solution in place. But it’s important to start this early to keep any disruption to a minimum.
We have an exciting portfolio of IP voice and data solutions that can help you take advantage of the additional features, such as improved mobility and flexibility that cloud services have to offer.
A chance to reimagine connectivity
Since the transition to all-IP networks has already begun, it’s time for you to take action and start your journey. We are on-hand to help, answering any questions you may have along the way. It’s an exciting opportunity for digital change that will have a positive impact on your people and customers.
We’ve been helping organisations like yours make the switch to digital IP voice and/or fibre broadband for years, and we have different solutions to choose from, always bespoke to your needs.
Want to learn more about our VoIP and Cloud Based offerings? We’ll work with you on an individual migration plan to make sure that happens. But the sooner we get started, the easier things will be.
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The big analogue switch-off FAQs
Why are you making this change?
The old phone network is fast approaching the end of its useful life. Designed and installed decades ago, the aging infrastructure is no longer able to cope with current demands and is becoming ever harder to maintain. To meet modern requirements and prevent increased disruption as the network deteriorates, communications providers are moving their customers onto newer voice over internet protocol (VoIP) telephone services. This change isn’t unique to Virgin Media Business – it impacts all providers.
When are the changes taking place?
They’ve already started. And they’ll continue to take place over the coming months and years ahead.
How will I know when my services will be impacted?
Switches providing the traditional analogue voice solutions will be decommissioned in phases. We will contact you at least six months in advance of the decommission date to notify you and give you ample time to change your service to an alternative solution using our VoIP or cloud-based digital technology.
What if I want to keep my existing analogue service?
Regrettably, this won’t be possible. When the switch is decommissioned, voice connectivity will be lost and your existing service will stop working. This is why we are encouraging businesses to be proactive and migrate to a new IP solution well in advance of the switch-off date.
Will I be charged if you turn off my service?
If you are still within your minimum period of service at the time services are ceased, then no, you will not be charged any cancellation fees.
I don’t just use my telephony service for phone calls, I also use it for other special use cases – what happens now?
Many suppliers of alarms, telemetry, lifts, point-of-sale equipment, etc have developed new IP-based hardware or analogue telephony adapters that work with digital data services. Please contact your supplier to find out more.
I only use my service to make phone calls – how do I do this over a VoIP or cloud-based service?
We appreciate the needs of every business are unique. We can work with you to ensure you have the most appropriate service to meet your needs. You can easily make IP phone calls over an internet connection and we have a variety of broadband, VoIP and cloud-based solutions depending upon your specific requirements.
Which Openreach services are impacted by these changes?
The PSTN supports a number of Openreach services which will be withdrawn as part of this upgrade, namely:
- ADSL/FTTC WLR3 analogue Broadband
What are the alternative all-IP products?
All-IP products are products that are broadband-only, and don’t come bundled with an analogue telephone service.
- VOOM Broadband
- Direct Internet Access
- FTTP Broadband
- SOGEA Broadband
What happens to my existing local area network (LAN)?
We are happy to review your existing infrastructure and recommend any changes. If your LAN is wireless or fixed, it can already carry digital voice traffic.
What happens to my existing features on my Centrex or PBX?
When you transition your existing analogue telephone service to one of our digital solutions you will benefit from an enhanced range of features based on newer technology.
What will happen to my existing phones?
If you choose to keep your existing PBX and move to a SIP service, your phones will not need to be changed.
If you choose to move your service to one of our new cloud or VoIP services, you’ll have a variety of options available, such as new IP phones, laptops or mobiles.
What about a hybrid dial plan – can I keep my old one in migrations?
Your old dial plan will not be compatible with the new solution. We will work with you to talk you through setting up a new dial plan using the newer technology.
Resilience is really important to my organisation – what happens to phone calls with digital-based solutions?
As calls on VoIP and Cloud-based solutions are routed through data networks, these services need to be connected to local power. In the event of a power cut, we do recommend having a backup line (such as a mobile).
The good news is you can easily divert VoIP and cloud-based services to home numbers, mobiles, etc. without end callers seeing those numbers (sales and marketing outbound calls excluded), providing more flexibility in most disaster recovery situations – power loss or unexpected weather conditions, for example.
I use this service for my contact centre – what happens here?
Our digital VoIP and cloud-based offerings provide very similar solutions and are totally scalable to meet the needs of your business.
What about existing lifts, telemetry, alarms in toilets/buildings or personal alarms for the vulnerable?
If you have any connected devices that you use currently with your phone service (such as payment machines/EPOS terminals or security alarms etc), you’ll need to check they will work with VoIP/Cloud based solutions. If you need the device to operate 24/7, including during any power outages, you’ll need to ensure they have their own battery and network backup. The best way for you to check this is to call your device provider and speak with them directly.
What about 999 calls?
As the VoIP or cloud-based phone service is provided over our broadband network, if you have a local power cut, your phone service will not work and you will not be able to make or receive calls, even to emergency services.
Calls will connect to 999 services when there is power.
Vulnerable employees calling 999 – what happens using VoIP or cloud-based solutions?
Most employers will have a plan to ensure vulnerable employees can escape an emergency situation. If vulnerable employees are working at a site without the support of other employees with mobiles, it is important that the vulnerable employee has access to a personal or work mobile to dial 999, just in case there is a power cut.
Learn more about analogue switch-off and VoIP solutions
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