As the telecommunications landscape continues to evolve, the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) is gradually being phased out in favour of modern communication technologies. It will be completely switched off by the end of December 2025. This transition presents both opportunities and challenges for businesses that rely on traditional phone systems. In this blog, we discuss important considerations for organisations preparing for the PSTN turn-off, helping to ensure a seamless transition to alternative communication solutions.
Assessing your current infrastructure
The first step in preparing for the PSTN turn-off is to assess your current telephony infrastructure. Evaluate the number of PSTN lines, hardware devices and associated costs. Identify any dependencies on legacy systems, such as any analogue connected devices for example fax machines or alarm systems, that rely on PSTN connectivity. This assessment will help you understand the extent of the impact and plan for suitable alternatives.
Explore cloud communication solutions
Cloud-based communication solutions, such as Microsoft Teams Voice offer a powerful alternative to traditional PSTN services. Evaluate the benefits of migrating to these platforms, including cost savings, scalability, enhanced collaboration features, and integration with other business applications. Determine which solution best aligns with your organisation’s needs and consider engaging with a trusted technology partner for guidance.
Network readiness and infrastructure upgrades
Ensure that your network infrastructure is ready to support the new communication solution. Evaluate your internet bandwidth, network equipment, and network security measures. Depending on the solution, you may need to increase internet bandwidth, upgrade your network to accommodate increased data traffic and prioritise voice quality using Quality of Service (QoS) settings. Work closely with your IT team or network provider to address any necessary infrastructure upgrades.
Consider connectivity options
When transitioning away from PSTN you need to evaluate the available connectivity options for your chosen alternative. Common options include Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams Voice, SIP trunking, or partnering with a telecommunications provider that supports VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) services. Assess the pros and cons of each option, considering factors such as geographic coverage, call quality, pricing, and regulatory compliance.
Develop a rollout and adoption plan
To ensure a smooth transition develop a comprehensive migration plan that outlines key milestones, timelines, and responsibilities. Undertake a network readiness assessment, identify a pilot group of test users against a user acceptance test plan, before moving to a full production rollout. Plan for training and change management activities to help employees adapt to the new system. Consider communication strategies to keep stakeholders informed and manage expectations throughout the transition.
Address regulatory and compliance requirements
If your organisation operates in regulated industries it is crucial to ensure that the chosen alternative communication solution meets regulatory and compliance requirements. Evaluate data privacy, security measures and any industry-specific regulations that may impact your choice of communication solution. Work closely with legal and compliance teams to address any concerns and ensure adherence to relevant standards
Provide user support and training
Transitioning to a new communication solution requires adequate user support and training. Employees should be familiarised with the new system’s features, functionalities and best practices for optimal usage. Provide comprehensive training materials, conduct workshops, appoint champions and establish a helpdesk or support channel to address any questions or issues that arise during the transition.
The impending PSTN turn-off presents an opportunity for organisations to embrace modern communication technologies that offer enhanced features, scalability, and cost savings. By considering the above factors businesses can navigate the transition successfully. Embrace the future of communication and proactively prepare for the PSTN turn-off to ensure uninterrupted connectivity and improved collaboration within your organisation.
If you’d like to discuss any challenges your facing with the impending PSTN switch-off, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to help!