The Big Switch Off: How to get your business ready by the end of 2025
By Chris Wade, Chief Marketing and Product Officer at Gamma
By the end of 2025, all UK businesses will have to say goodbye to the old Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) – switching to newer Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems and leaving landlines behind.
This shift in telecoms will launch the nation into fully digital communications, which is a much-welcomed move. But waving goodbye to old landlines and embracing newer technology doesn’t have to be so daunting.
With the national stop-sell in September fast approaching, here’s all you need to know ahead of making the switch.
What is the PSTN Switch off?
To put it simply, the current copper-based PSTN has been used since the invention of the telephone in the early 1800s – a system connecting households and businesses through an underground analogue wire for communication. However, over the years, communication has evolved, and the pandemic highlighted how important communication is, and a more digital alternative – an All IP infrastructure – is the only way to go.
The Switch Off, taking place at the end of 2025, is not widely known outside the telecoms industry. That’s likely due to many businesses not making the connection to how they will be affected. From September this year, WLR phone lines will no longer be available nationally for new contracts, and all businesses will need to use an All IP solution. But what does this change mean for your business?
This switch may be seen by many as a disruption – and in a way, it is, as we’re switching out communication systems – but it’s a catalyst for positive change. The Switch Off presents a great opportunity for businesses to look at their communications infrastructure and consider if it’s fit for purpose in an increasingly digital business world.
How does the PSTN Switch Off affect my business in the long term?
Switching to an All IP solution will help your business stay relevant, grow and drive your business forward, as the infrastructure that the solution is built on can grow with your business. You can mould your solution to suit how each customer wants to communicate.
That said, there are four main benefits your business will see from switching to a VoIP solution – increased flexibility, scalability, increased profit and running a more sustainable business.
The versatile nature of VoIP enables businesses to communicate to and from anywhere – which is key – especially post-pandemic – where remote and hybrid working has become the norm and essential to business success and productivity. In addition to this, as the system does not require much physical infrastructure, as you look to scale your business, the system can be replaced and updated much quicker than older products.
Integrating VoIP solutions will also save your business more money moving forward, as calls made over an All IP solution is significantly cheaper than calls made over analogue communication systems – positively impacting the bottom line and increasing your profits.
Lastly, switching to VoIP is the best move for businesses looking to make a sustainable impact and do their bit, as the technology requires less energy compared to PSTN lines, which are highly resource intensive.
Where do I start to prepare for the Switch Off?
There is no time like the present – don’t wait for 2025 before exploring your options. The Switch Off presents an opportunity to upgrade your communication system, and it’s important to know what’s out there before making a rushed decision due to leaving it to the last minute.
To get ahead of the curve and understand which digital alternative makes the most sense for your business, speak to a provider like Gamma, to ensure you can make a seamless transition, when the time comes.