Business Telecoms

What is the ISDN Switch-Off? It won’t affect my business…will it?

It is time for businesses to get ready for the PSTN and ISDN Switch-off.

Research by broadband provider Zen Internet has shown that over a third of small businesses are still completely unaware of the transition to IP lines.

Amongst recovering from the ongoing global pandemic, and Brexit impacting Businesses UK-Wide, the ‘Great British Switch Off’ – is getting lost in the fray. ITCS is advising that business owners take heed of the imminent changes and grasp the opportunity they represent – after research revealed that it is UK SMEs who are the least prepared for the change – as well as over reliant on traditional telephony systems.

So, what IS the ISDN Switch-Off?

BT began shutting down networks in 2020 and will stop taking new orders starting 2023. By December 2025, PSTN circuits will be shut off completely.

This is a major step towards the United Kingdom’s mass IP-network migration, with VoIP core networks set to replace all of the outdated legacy technology.

What are PSTN Circuits?

PSTN (The Public Switch Phone Network) is the traditional circuit-switched phone system that uses copper wires for the network. For an estimated 2.4 million UK Businesses, PSTN is still the foundation of their communications, which poses a business continuity risk as the country migrates to an all-VoIP environment.

What is an ISDN Network?

ISDN has been the recognised standard in business communications for the last 30 years. When the internet first gained popularity, ISDN lines became the international standard for switched, digital dial-up telephone service for voice and data, because it was faster than analogue modems.

See our glossary of VoIP terms for more Acronyms and telecoms jargon translations.

Why is Openreach switching PSTN and ISDN Networks off?

The nature of how we communicate has evolved drastically since the dawn of the PSTN Network. As a 20th Century technology, PSTN is growing increasingly out of date and is struggling to keep up with the growing demands for high internet speeds and large networks. Even ISDN networks can no longer support the speed, scalability and method of communications that businesses need today.

With that, Openreach has decided to stop investing any more money and labour into a technology that can’t fulfil the needs of the modern business landscape.

The switch to digital isn’t just a UK shift – it’s happening globally, and fast. As technology, the way we work, and customer behaviour evolves, telecommunications worldwide are moving from analogue to digital. Germany, Japan, and Sweden are already ahead of us in making the shift. Estonia and The Netherlands are already there and switched off their PSTN networks in 2019.

2025 is years away, why do I have to worry about it now?

We are strongly recommending that businesses waste no time in preparing for the ISDN switch-off – particularly if your business is still relying on an ISDN line. There’s lots to consider, and we can help, but you do need to start planning your strategy for the switch off as soon as possible.

There’s so much going on in my business at the moment – isn’t this just going to add to the stress?

It’s true that the copper stop-sell will result in a short-term upheaval for small business owners. But don’t panic – because the switch to digital will also offer widespread benefits – both in terms of cost, and in terms of helping SMEs navigate the issues faced with home working in the past 12 months. Transitioning away from traditional telephone networks to cloud-based technology – which carries communications over the internet – introduces a scalable and adaptable system for the modern day, which will also prepare your business for the future.

We are recommending that businesses transition to VoIP lines – mainly for the range of benefits the IP line offers. VoIP software integrates well with desktop computers to use as ‘softphones.’ This means you can make calls using your computer, smartphone or tablet using the same phone number – as long as it has audio input/output capabilities.

What are the Benefits of VoIP?

Better quality calls, dynamic call handling and more competitive cost per minutes – VoIP phone systems offer increased flexibility and more advanced features for any business. Some of the main benefits include:

  1. Lower Costs

Calls are cheaper on VoIP compared to traditional phone lines. VoIP routes calls through the internet – which means you don’t have to contend with other people for data carriage.

  1. Higher Scalability

If you have your eyes set on expansion, VoIP is an ideal solution for your business. You won’t have to purchase additional hardware or extensions to scale your operations since your phone network is digital. VoIP is able to accommodate a higher bandwidth, so accommodating surges during peak seasons will be a breeze. Opening a new branch will also be easier, since your communications will be unified in one digital network.

  1. Supports Multitasking

Making calls is just the beginning when it comes to VoIP lines. You can hold conference calls, install call queuing, and collaborate with your team by sending videos, photos and documents – all whilst in the middle of a conversation. VoIP also lets you collaborate on calendars, share presentations and desktops and send instant messages.

  1. Increased Accessibility

The world of work is changing. Cloud-based VoIP services let you make calls from anywhere using any device. All you have to do is add your device to the cloud network and route your calls. If you’re unavailable at the moment, you can direct your incoming calls to someone else or have the voicemails sent to your email.

What do I need to do next?

The bottom line is that you need to start planning for the ISDN switch-off as early as possible to make sure you’re making the best decisions for the company. This event isn’t only a chance to upgrade your phone system; it’s also an opportunity to make your entire business communications more seamless and efficient.

WebWhat is the ISDN Switch-Off? It won’t affect my business…will it?

12 Common Business VoIP Terms: Explained

“By 2025, an estimated 70% of the workforce will be working remotely at least five days a month.”

-Carolline Castrillon Forbes
Remote, flexible, hybrid working is becoming more and more commonplace in the modern business world. With large organisations like The Welsh government, Cardiff University, and Admiral Group saying they are all consulting with staff about a permanent set-up hybrid of home and office working, it’s clear that whether it’s just business communications as usual or if you’re transitioning to a hybrid work model post-COVID, you need voice over IP (VoIP).

It’s no secret that VoIP phone systems will save your business money and improve its efficiency. You’ll genuinely be amazed at all of the features and functionality this technology offers. But the technology definitely has its own lingo!

If you’re considering transitioning to VoIP, we thought it would be helpful to have a glossary of the most popular terms in front of you as you evaluate business VoIP solutions.

Our definitions will help you understand not only what they mean, but why they’re important to a reliable and powerful business VoIP system. We know that a phone system migration is no small decision, and the more knowledge you have in your arsenal, the better.

Show any VoIP Executive that you know your stuff by keeping this list of key terms on your desk, or bookmarked on your browser.

Web12 Common Business VoIP Terms: Explained

Coronavirus return to work checklist: IT Support and Telecoms

Coronavirus Return to Work Guidance: 

Is your IT Support & Business Telecoms equipped for the ‘New Normal’?

Find out how to embrace and optimize the new normal with our IT Support & Telecoms “Coronavirus return to work checklist”.

There is no doubt that 2020 has been a demanding year. Your employees were tasked with adapting almost instantly to remote workplaces, only to now be asked to transition back when they’ve just about settled in. These constant changes are difficult, but there are ways to help. Your business should no be longer reacting to Covid-19, but be strategising for it. As a business, you need to look at the business communications solution you quickly put in place and decipher whether it was the right solution for your company.

You need to be asking where your pain points have been and if the current ways of working are sustainable long-term.

See the return to work checklist

WebCoronavirus return to work checklist: IT Support and Telecoms

Benefits of VOIP for your Dental Practice

Missed calls, hang ups and poor customer service may seriously impact your practice as each missed call may mean a missed sale.

Missing just two phone calls a day can result in 104 lost sales per year, with more research suggesting that 85% of people won’t bother to call back. This can also have a knock on effect, as this poor experience will result a reduction of potential referrals. Missed calls will have the potential to damage your reputation, and your patients will be unlikely to give you a recommendation if they are constantly unable to get hold of your team

How can your dental practice benefit from VoIP?

Lost revenue due to missed calls is can be mitigated by implementing smart telecommunications systems. Voice-over Internet Protocol (or VoIP) is a cloud based phone system that uses internet connections rather than standard telephone lines. VoIP offers a range of features that help keep customers engaged while being held in a queue and helps reduce the likelihood of a hang-ups. 

VoIP can offer a number of benefits for your dental practice. Better quality calls, dynamic call handling   and more competitive cost per minutes it can help to lower call costs. VoIP phone systems offer increased flexibility and more advanced features such as;

Call Queuing:

Using a VoIP system will place callers into a caller waiting list and automatically estimate their position and wait time. Hold music and pre-recorded messages will keep your callers engaged while waiting to speak to a member of your team.  

Call Redirect:

A call redirect feature means that a caller can be redirected to another line if lines are busy.  This allows you practice to seamlessly transfer calls to the appropriate person with a touch of a button.  There’s no need to physically seek out the appropriate person and avoids sending users to voicemail.

Call Reporting:

In the event that you do miss a call, you will want to contact that caller as early as possible. Call reporting alerts you to any calls that you were unable to take and allows you to call the number back.

In Summary:

Investing in a VoIP telecoms system can help reduce some of your potentially lost revenue. Ensuring that customers receive a good service, and most importantly have their calls answered is one simple way of making sure that potential sales aren’t missed. 

Ready to find out more? Contact us today:

WebBenefits of VOIP for your Dental Practice

Get Started with Collaborate:

Giving you the tools to enable effective remote working: ITCS Cloud System is a complete Unified Communications solution, providing businesses with an easy-to-use and reliable collaborative experience across multiple devices and sites.

ITCS Cloud Phone Systems, along with a PC/Laptop soft-phone and mobile app, let you connect your office phone to your preferred business device. Your PC/Laptop or Mobile becomes an extension of your desk phone, allowing you to make and receive calls, transfer to colleagues, view any missed calls and record call statistics, just as you would from the office.

From every location, using any device:

Users can access the cloud service from wherever they are located – whether in the office, on the move, or at home – using desktops, tablets or smartphones. The service runs on Windows and Mac desktops, and iOS
and Android mobiles.

The user interface is intuitive and similar on all devices, and users experience seamless continuity when switching between types of device (e.g. leaving home or the office and transferring to a tablet or smartphone in real time).

What about meetings with clients?

The guest facility of My Room enables customers to be invited into an online meeting. If they have internet access, they can call directly as an IP call, or use call back. If they don’t have internet access, they can dial in using a pin.

Solve today’s workplace challenges with ITCS cloud-based tools:


Smart call routing and call handling – as a cloud-based service, whatever device is being used, communications are tied to your business identity (i.e. your business phone number) so call handling features work as usual. For example, if a user is working remotely using a mobile device, any incoming calls can automatically call forward from their desk phone with no disruption to the caller and without call forwarding charges.

SIP trunking extends unified communications – for locations that may have an on-premises phone system not yet fully depreciated, this enables smart team working tools to be extended to all users across a mixed on-premises and cloud communications service estate.

Support for multiple devices smartphones and tablets (Apple and Android), desktops and laptops (Apple and Microsoft, Chromebook and Linux).

Time is of the essence, given the current situation with COVID-19. We are working on a first come first serve basis for remote working setup, but understand the importance and working tirelessly to deliver these crucial services.

WebGet Started with Collaborate:

VoIP FAQs: Your questions answered about VoIP Phone Systems

With the Phaseout of ISDN Systems imminent, the technology that we are using to communicate is changing.  Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is the future of business telephony.

A common hesitation with business owners is that after years of doing things the same way, your team may be hesitant to embrace a switch to a new VoIP communications system. Both you and your staff may have concerns about the new technology, and what the change will mean for you all on a daily basis.

We have put together a few of the most commonly asked questions about VoIP systems and have answered them as clearly as possible to reassure you and your staff that the transition is well worth it.

1. What does VoIP stand for?

VoIP is short for Voice over Internet Protocol.

2. How does the technology work?

VoIP uses the internet to make phone calls. It does this by taking analogue voice signals and converting them into digital signals. These signals can then be sent as data over your broadband line.

A digital signal is more efficient than analogue, and costs less money. Anyone who has used a program like Skype has used VoIP to communicate.

3. Are VoIP phones secure?

VoIP uses your broadband lines to make calls, so as long as your internal network is secure, then your phone network will be too. Ensure you have a good Disaster Recovery System in place and you are using a trusted IT Support Provider, so the risk of falling victim to hacking or cyber-crime is minimal. ITCS ensure that security is a priority when we look at your system in readiness for VoIP.

3. What features do VoIP systems bring to businesses?

Some of the features with these systems include dynamic call handling, pre-recorded messages, and seamless transfers at the touch of a button. The systems completely erase the barrier between phone systems and internet browsers.  You can engage in video calls with any compatible device, incorporate other communication services like instant messaging, teleconferencing, receive voicemail and faxes via email, and much more.

4. Is VoIP complicated to use?

Although feature-rich and completely modern, VoIP telephones function much the same way as an old fashioned handset. You can configure the phone with the same keypresses to pick up, and transfer calls.

ITCS provide you full support when we introduce telecoms to businesses so that you’re confident with your new system. We provide training, number porting, provisioning, and assistance. This will give you complete peace of mind.

5. What equipment is required to use VoIP?

Besides the cost savings, setting up and maintaining a VoIP system is a much simpler job than with traditional telephone systems. This is because there is so little on-site equipment compared to traditional ISDN networks. Only pay for the users you need.

6. Is VoIP expensive? 

The expense of these systems is a very common myth. In fact, you’ll save money. Enjoy lower international calling rates, free calling features, as well as lower monthly service costs. The feature-rich element of VoIP systems means that you can get rid of single-use devices and enjoy voice, video, fax, voicemail and more in one device.

7. I’ve heard that the sound quality is really unreliable. Is that true?

A persistent myth surrounding VoIP is that because it relies on internet connections, the voice quality will suffer. This myth has really stuck around from the very early days of VoIP when networks were slower and less sophisticated. Broadband has come on a long way, but as with many things in business and in life, you get what you pay for.

In other words, the better your business broadband connection, the higher quality your VoIP telephone system is going to be.

Current internet and 4G connections represent a huge leap in technological progress – it’s a case of ensuring you have the bandwidth to support your network.

8. I don’t run a large business – is VoIP right for me?

You don’t have to be a large corporation to benefit. It is a truly versatile communications solution. SMEs and startups can benefit because it’s so easy to set-up and use, and you can add new phones as your business grows. Plus you can benefit from various business features that come with the system, adding to the professionalism of your company.

Are you ready to discover more about upgrading your business phone system to a VoIP solution? Do you have more questions? The ITCS team are always happy to help. Call us today on 08456 444 200, or email: You can also fill out a contact form.

WebVoIP FAQs: Your questions answered about VoIP Phone Systems

ISDN Phaseout 2020: Threat Or Opportunity?

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It is common knowledge amongst telecommunications experts that ISDN is a dying technology, and is planning an ISDN phaseout beginning next year.

BT will begin with a cease in supply in 2020. They intend on moving to a full migration by 2025, permanently switching off ISDN networks. The BT ISDN switch off could affect many businesses – especially if you’re unaware of the phaseout, and are looking to invest in or upgrade your current business telephone system.

ISDN’s days are numbered. Is your business ready?

What is ISDN?

ISDN (Integrated Service Digital Network) is a telecommunications technology that enables the transmission of digital data over standard phone lines. Known as the original high-speed internet service, it can be used for voice calls as well as data transfers. It sparked high-speed internet development between service providers in the 1990’s and revolutionised internet use.

ISDN is a communications network that relies heavily on physical infrastructure; specifically, copper wiring. It came to prominence because it provided the opportunity to transmit voice and data over the same lines. However, because of its reliance on physical infrastructure to manage calls and additional functionality via a PBX (or multiple), this takes up space within business premises and requires resources to administer and maintain them. Similarly, it is hard to add and remove new lines to an ISDN network because it requires the physical addition and removal.

Why the ISDN phaseout is important for my business:

The BT ISDN phaseout marks the next evolution of telecommunications technology. Despite being continually updated, ISDN phone lines are still cost far too much to maintain and run. Although the BT ISDN end of life of 2025 has not been set in stone, businesses will be unable to buy systems that use ISDN after 2020. If you currently have a traditional ISDN/PSTN based system, now is a great time to look into alternatives – and what many businesses don’t realise is just how beneficial the new systems are.

Hosted Telephony – what is it?

There are two future-ready solutions storming the market right now; the one we will focus on is Hosted Telephony.

Hosted telephony is a complete business phone system, delivered over the internet and provided by a host and/or telephony company.


IP Technology:

IP (internet protocol) technology is incredible advantageous for business, and many are beginning to realise the endless benefits. When it comes to facilitating communications, organisations are able to use IP technology build a single infrastructure that supports both their voice and data communications needs.

After the ISDN phaseout, all phone lines will be superseded by IP technology, which is vastly superior to what we have used in the past.

What is VoIP? We’ll tell you: 

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a telecommunications technology that allows users to make calls using the internet, rather than using traditional systems. VoIP works by converting sound into digital voice communication, and then transferring it through Internet broadband. Using a VoIP system has several benefits for many businesses:

1. It’s Cost Effective

Most importantly, the cost of using a VoIP telephone is much cheaper than using a conventional phone. Making long distance phone calls are also cheaper when using a VoIP provider. There’s no need for masses of on-site equipment either; only pay for as many users as you need.

2. Easy setup & maintenance

Besides the cost savings, setting up and maintaining a VoIP system is a much simpler job than with traditional telephone systems.

This is because there is so little on site equipment compared to traditional ISDN networks.

3. Greater Control

Furthermore, take complete control of your phone system with an extensive range of call handling and management features. These are all operated through an easy-to-use web interface. Ideal for home workers or multiple sites.

4. Freedom & Portability

VoIP technology is completely adaptable and flexible. This means you can easily add and remove users as you need. More importantly, physical location doesn’t matter either. Regardless of where you are, if you have Internet access, there should not be any problems in terms of costs and connections. In addition, VoIP systems are accessible via email or while you are travelling. Simply take your headset or IP phone, and you can contact staff or clients with a low cost call.

5. Provide better customer service to your clients

Enhance the service you can provide to your customers at all times. VoIP systems include dynamic call handling, pre-recorded messages and seamless transfers at the touch of a button.

6. Reliable and Secure

We provide full support including: training, number porting, provisioning and assistance. This will give you complete peace of mind.

Summing Up:

As you can see, the great BT ISDN switch off is as much an opportunity as it is a problem. The one thing we know for certain is that BT ISDN end of life is around the corner. Make sure you’re prepared for it. Make the ISDN Phaseout an opportunity for your business to cut costs and thrive.

Ready to find out what the advantages of VoIP for your company are? To discuss your particular requirements, or to discover more about the systems we offer, contact us by filling out our enquiry form or call us on 08456 444 200 for advice today. You can also email


WebISDN Phaseout 2020: Threat Or Opportunity?

ITCS welcomes ‘more durable’ Gorilla Glass for next-gen mobile phone handsets

Welsh business mobile provider ITCS are pleased to learn that handset screen manufacturer Corning are introducing an even tougher version of their famous Gorilla® Glass, which Corning claim is the most durable cover glass to date. Having been introduced in September 2007, and leading the industry since, Corning’s Gorilla® Glass screens have provided serious protection … Continue reading

WebITCS welcomes ‘more durable’ Gorilla Glass for next-gen mobile phone handsets

BT continuing plans to close existing phone network, with VOIP only calls from 2025

The UK’s main telephone network provider, BT, has this week announced plans to close the UK’s traditional PSTN telephone network in Britain.

As a leading business telecoms provider in South Wales, we thought we’d offer our customers some insight into why this is happening.

The old systems are out of date, having not changed much since the very first line in the 1800s.  The cost of ongoing repairs and upgrades means that the old analog technology will cease to be viable.  From 2025, all customers will be switched to VOIP telephony services, whereby customers will have to switch to a system of calls being made digitally over the internet.

Openreach has already written to communications providers advising them of the change and will be consulting with wholesale providers about the withdrawal of these services in May, although it’s not just ‘a problem for the future’ as existing services are already being phased out in some areas.   For example, BT stopped installing new ISDN lines in London in 2014, and in some areas fibre to the premises is being installed rather than fibre to the cab.

Who will the change affect?

As well as private homes, the move will impact on ALL businesses currently using traditional telephone services or ISDN lines.  Ofcom stats reveal that In 2017 there were well over 2 million companies still using ISDN connections in the UK, so this could impact a significant number of businesses..

Is this bad news for my business?

Provided BT are able to deliver on their promises for improving broadband speeds in rural areas, this is actually very good news for business, as VOIP delivers high quality calls for a fraction of the cost.  The announcement will further increase the mounting pressure on BT to improve broadband lines in more remote locations., but for most businesses, VOIP is already a viable and cost effective option for many of our customers, including those in Wales.

Many ITCS customers are already using VOIP technology, which enables us to offer call-inclusive packages from £15.00 per month for business users.  Callers still use a handset, and dial as normal, so from a user’s point of view there is little difference – but the monthly bills are a lot lower.

Our recommendation for businesses who haven’t made the switch yet is to get in touch.  With the end of the PSTN network now firmly announced, the old system is going anyway, so it makes sense to make savings as soon as possible.

Managing Director of ITCS, Brian Stokes, said:

“BT have not installed any new ISDN lines in central London since 2014, because many businesses have already moved on. Up until today, we’ve been advising our telecoms customers to switch to a VOIP system for cost benefits.  Now it’s not even a choice to make, with BT’s announcement of PSTN ending, it’s simply common sense to move to VOIP as soon as possible and benefit from the savings sooner rather than later.”

To find out more about our telecoms packages, contact ITCS on 08456 444 200.




WebBT continuing plans to close existing phone network, with VOIP only calls from 2025

Trying to pick the right mobile network? Why not pick all of them!

Choosing the right business mobile network for your business can be challenging.  ITCS partner with all the major networks, but up until now, business owners have had to make a decision as to which network to use – so how do you choose the right provider to ensure good coverage for your staff?

Sure, you can look at network maps and see who offers the best signal for your area, but if your staff include remote workers, on-site engineers and sales teams, chances are they won’t be in the same location (or even the same town) every day. 21% of the UK has partial ‘not spots’ which includes 10% of A roads and 16% of B roads. This is most acutely felt in rural areas, such as mid and West Wales, where coverage by each individual network is patchy at best.

The ITCS business telecoms team are therefore rather excited about their latest product. Teaming up with business-only network Gamma, the company are now able to offer multi-network SIMs. Using the MultiNet bolt-on, connections made on Gamma’s new 4G service will now ‘hop’ seamlessly from one carrier network to the next strongest one, wherever there is a signal in the UK.

Rhiannon Edmunds, ITCS Telecoms Specialist

ITCS Telecoms Specialist Rhiannon Edmunds explains:

“The new multi-SIM service is designed to empower business mobile users by removing the hindrance of poor coverage – and it comes from a network with a reputation for first class customer service. We’re proud to partner with Gamma on this service, and expect take up to be high.”

ITCS offer a range of business mobile deals with tariffs including Pay-as-you-go, single user plans, shared user plans and unlimited plans, and their specialist team will work with you to tailor a flexible package to suit your business needs. For more information, please call our Business Telecoms team.

WebTrying to pick the right mobile network? Why not pick all of them!