22 Nov What you need to know about the PSTN switch-off in 2025
What you need to know about the PSTN switch-off in 2025
The UK’s telephone network is going through a major transformation. The Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), which has been the backbone of the UK’s phone system for decades, is scheduled to be switched off on 31st December 20251. This means that all phone lines in the UK will have to move to a fully digital network that uses Internet Protocol (IP) across a fibre-based service.
But what does this mean for you and your business? How will it affect your voice and broadband services? And what do you need to do to prepare for the change?
Why is the PSTN being switched off?
The PSTN is an analogue network that was designed to carry voice calls over copper wires. It is an old and outdated technology that is becoming increasingly difficult and costly to maintain and repair. The telecoms industry is finding it hard to source the parts required to keep the network running, as suppliers are no longer manufacturing them2.
Moreover, the PSTN is not able to meet the growing demands of modern communications. As people switch to mobile and internet communications, they expect more than the traditional phone network can offer. They want clearer and better quality calls, as well as new features and functionalities, such as video conferencing, collaboration tools, and cloud services2.
That’s why the telecoms industry is moving to a new digital network that uses IP to route calls over the internet. This network is more reliable, efficient, and flexible than the PSTN. It can deliver higher quality voice services, as well as support a range of new digital applications and devices3.
What are the benefits of the new digital network?
The new digital network will bring many benefits to consumers and businesses alike. Some of the advantages include:
- Better call quality: Digital calls are clearer and more consistent than analogue calls, as they are less prone to interference and distortion. You can also enjoy features such as HD voice, which enhances the sound quality and reduces background noise4.
- More choice and flexibility: Digital calls can be made and received on any device, from wherever you are, using the same number. You can also choose from a variety of service providers and plans, depending on your needs and preferences4.
- More features and functionality: Digital calls can be integrated with other communication and business applications, such as email, instant messaging, video chat, and CRM systems. You can also access features such as voicemail, call forwarding, call waiting, and caller ID, as well as advanced options such as anonymous caller rejection or three-way calling4.
- More security and resilience: Digital calls are encrypted and protected from eavesdropping and hacking. You can also benefit from backup and redundancy solutions, which ensure that your service is always available, even in the event of a power outage or a network failure4.
What do you need to do to prepare for the switch-off?
The switch-off of the PSTN is not a government programme and does not result from a government decision or policy. It is a market-led initiative by the telecoms industry, which will upgrade the UK’s phone network to a new digital standard5.
This means that the exact migration process will depend on your service provider and the equipment they use. However, there are some general steps that you can take to get ready for the change:
- Check your current phone and broadband services: Find out if you are using the PSTN or ISDN for your voice and broadband services. You can do this by contacting your service provider or checking your bills and contracts. If you are using the PSTN or ISDN, you will need to upgrade to a digital service before the switch-off.
- Review your non-voice services: Think about any other services or devices that you are connecting to your phone lines, such as alarms, EPOS machines, door entry systems, CCTV, and faxes. These may also be affected by the switch-off and may require an upgrade or a replacement.
- Look out for communications from your service provider: Your service provider will contact you ahead of the migration and inform you about the options and the timeline for the switch-over. They will also advise you on any actions that you need to take, such as replacing your phone equipment or installing a new router.
- Consider moving to the cloud: The switch-off of the PSTN is a great opportunity to embrace the benefits of cloud communications. By moving your voice and broadband services to the cloud, you can enjoy more flexibility, scalability, and cost-efficiency, as well as access to a range of new features and functionalities. You can also avoid the hassle of maintaining and upgrading your own hardware and software.
The PSTN switch-off is a significant milestone in the evolution of the UK’s telephone network. It will mark the end of an era for the old analogue system and the beginning of a new digital age for communications.
The switch-off will bring many benefits to consumers and businesses, such as better call quality, more choice and flexibility, more features and functionality, and more security and resilience. However, it will also require some preparation and action from you, such as checking your current services, reviewing your non-voice services, looking out for communications from your service provider, and considering moving to the cloud.
The switch-off is expected to be completed by the end of 2025, but the migration process has already started. You should start planning your move today, as there could be a lot to do. Remember, it’s not just about calls, it’s about everything else that currently uses the old phone network.
If you have any questions or concerns about the PSTN switch-off, or if you want to find out more about the benefits of cloud communications, please contact us today. We are here to help you make the most of the digital transformation. Contact Newman on 01892 664155