International VoIP Wholesale Provider – The Death of PSTN

Telephony in the UK is the middle of a quiet but potent revolution as we herald the death of PSTN and the rise of the VoIP wholesale provider. The traditional analogue and PSTN networks with their fixed copper wiring are on the way out to be replaced by digital telephony and VoIP. In a few years, all voice calling will be internet based and UK consumers will be able to enjoy a broadband connection without a landline.

In Germany, the transition is well on its way, as Deutsche Telekom is planning for all phone lines to be digital by the end of 2018. While domestic consumers may not be significantly affected by the transition, for businesses there are many advantages to embracing digital systems and VoIP. Some people who use technology such as Skype or Vonage are already using VoIP and may not even be aware of it.

A mixed bag of communications tricks

The number of landlines in the UK is currently around 33 million, and this figure has not changed for a number of years. Although the number of calls that are conducted over fixed lines has been in decline for some years, many consumers still need a landline in order to have broadband. Ofcom figures show that calls via landlines fell by 9.2 percent between 2014 and 2015 to around 74 billion minutes. At the same time, calls conducted on mobile devices rose by 3.9 percent to total more than 143 billion minutes. In 2015, subscriptions to mobile services rose to more than 91 million – an increase of 2 percent.

Income generated by fixed lines has remained relatively stable, as telecoms providers have boosted it with increased line rental costs and associated bundled services. While many consumers still have to pay for a fixed line to get broadband, around two thirds have indicated that they would jettison the fixed line if it was not necessary.

Providers are adapting

Broadband and telecoms suppliers are aware of changes in the market and some are adapting their products accordingly. The ASA – or Advertising Standards Authority – has put pressure on ISPs to combine the cost of broadband and line rental in one tariff. Other providers are moving to a position of broadband first when it comes to supplying internet and fixed lines. Either way, there may be some reduction in costs for consumers who do not require a line for voice calling.

Whilst significant changes to infrastructure will undoubtedly accompany the evolution towards digital platforms, some existing elements will still be needed. One example is final stage cabling to premises which will be necessary for delivering broadband services in many locations.

An international VoIP wholesale provider delivers cost savings

There are no borders in business and for many businesses communications now cross the globe on a daily basis. VoIP can ensure significant cost reductions in international calls, and mature providers with a network of global termination partners, such as IDT, can provide high-quality VoIP services at extremely competitive rates. A VoIP system also offers other advantages for businesses, including the flexibility of dedicated numbers for important clients, increased security and the removal of the requirement to invest in a lot of cumbersome hardware that requires constant maintenance. With an efficient VoIP system, most of it can be managed from a web page.

BT is also introducing new services, as it plans total migration of all customers from PSTN to digital by 2025. The provider is believed to be testing new services in the lead up to this point, with full commercial launches anticipated once trials have concluded. Virgin Media is also expected to move to digital voice services and replace its current offering which is via PSTN. Sky Broadband and TalkTalk offer digital services now, although they still use analogue transmission courtesy of infrastructure leased from BT’s Openreach.

The move away from PSTN is also being driven by other VoIP wholesale providers who offer a data-oriented solution via optical fibre with no analogue option. Openreach is similarly developing an alternative fibre hybrid broadband offering that will not require a fixed line for voice, which would be an option via VoIP. Some of these changes may require an upgrade in hardware, such as a router that is configured for VoIP.

On balance, it is anticipated that most of the move to digital should be relatively painless. In addition, with digital services it should be easier for businesses and consumers to retain their numbers if they need to move, as awkward transitions between different physical networks will no longer be required. Ofcom is also trying to ensure that those who prefer VoIP or mobile services as their primary platform for communications will be well served with reliable performance and comprehensive coverage.