In recent years, the telecoms industry has experienced significant changes with new technology advancements and business requirements.

As more and more UK businesses outgrow their telecommunications solutions, they begin to look for alternative solutions that offer more flexibility, reliability and value for money.

As a result, we are now seeing a decrease in installations and use of ISDN lines with more and more businesses switching to VoIP solutions such as SIP trunks.

What is an ISDN line? 

Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) describes a set of standards that support voice and data transmissions over the traditional copper line network. It is a digital technology that offers advantages over analogue PSTN lines.

What is a SIP trunk?

In simple terms, a SIP trunk is a VoIP service that connects your phone system (PBX) to the PSTN (network) using the Internet. Since using a data connection (Internet), a SIP trunk can be defined as a virtual line replacing a physical line to connect your PBX to the telephone network (PSTN).

In technical terms, SIP trunking is a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) based on the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) by which Internet service providers deliver telephone services and unified communications to customers equipped with SIP-based private branch exchange (PBX).

SIP vs. ISDN? 

When it comes to which is better for businesses, particularly for SMEs, SIP is the clear winner. Not only it is a more modern solution, but it can also save businesses a lot of money for both installation and on-going maintenance.

The truth is that although ISDN allows data to be carried over the network, it doesn’t do it efficiently and cost-effectively and for these reasons, British Telecom (BT) the largest telecommunications provider in the UK has decided to start phasing out ISDN lines with a total closure of this network planned for 2025.

This means that by then, all ISDN users will have been transferred onto the IP network, using IP technologies such as SIP trunks for their voice and data communications.

What do SIP trunk services offer to UK businesses?

The benefits of a switch to SIP trunk services are numerous. To begin with, SIP does not require any additional hardware to be installed as most existing PBX can usually support SIP and will only need a configuration set up. Furthermore, no on-going maintenance of hardware is required as SIP is a virtual service.

Compared with the average capital and operational expenditures required for an ISDN-based PBX, SIP trunk services are far more cost-efficient than ISDNs.

On top of these, SIP solutions also offer cheaper line rental, cheaper call rates for long distance and international calls, faster set up, flexibility with the ability to allocate several numbers to one SIP trunk, scalability to adapt to any business requirement, greater resilience and security offering business continuity in the instance of a disaster.

SIP trunk services help businesses converge towards the future of business telecommunications by allowing them to consolidate both voice and data services under one IP network – reducing overheads – and introduce new IP telephony features such as call recordings, live call statistics and reporting, remote working as well as unified communications solutions so that businesses can further streamline communications and offer an increased level of customer service.

It is now clear why SIP trunk services are being adopted so quickly by many businesses in the UK. ISDN used to be the technology of choice, offering a great alternative to standard analogue PBX but it is now out-dated by newer IP technologies such as SIP trunks and Hosted Telephony.

As a business telecommunications provider, Shape Networks specialises in the implementation of IP-based telecoms solutions. So if your business has outgrown its current telecoms set up, our team of experts are available to help and advise you on the best solution according to your business requirements. Contact us on 0207 015 2100 or to request a FREE consultation!