Major telecommunications changes are coming! Change is constant in the telecoms sector but every so often, seismic shifts in the business landscape speed up transformation. Business attitudes, regulation and national network operators have sparked changes in how we communicate.
Three major telecommunications changes are inbound and this blog will take you through each one across infrastructure, delivery preferences and the numbers we used to be reached. Read on to learn more!
End of PSTN (And Line Rental)
By 2030, the copper line system that calls have travelled on for more than a century will be deactivated. Both PSTN and ISDN lines (POTS) will be retired in favour of cloud-based communications (more on that later).
What’s stopping them switching it off now? Well, it would leave many without any phone connection to essential services, particularly in low broadband reach areas. A viable alternative (VoIP) must be available nationwide before the switch off.
Reasons for the deactivation range include expanded network demand, high maintenance cost for legacy networks, and even higher employment potential. An OECD study in Sweden, for example, found that a 10% increase in broadband penetration boosted employment by 1.1%.
Ireland is lagging behind the European standard but there are efforts now being made to quickly bridge the digital divide.
On Site PBX to Cloud PBX
If copper lines are to be deactivated, what’s next? Everything is moving to the cloud and that includes your communications infrastructure. On-site PBX will still work for now. However, future-focused businesses have already joined the Cloud PBX revolution.
Demand for cloud-based telephony was growing exponentially prior to mass shift to remote working. In fact, 61% planned to move to hosted communications on their next contract (BCT Report 2018). Remote and future hybrid work have accelerated this trend. A massive 90% are demanding flexible work and most businesses with an on prem PBX are already struggling to support.
Lines will be deactivated soon and on-premises PBX support will be withdrawn by major suppliers. This foreshadows the end of the physical PBX. Maintenance equipment and specialists are growing in scarcity. As a result, repair pricing is rising and parts availability is limited – leading to downtime if the worst happens!
In addition to this, physical PBX have limitations on users, features and often require costly add-ons for essential communication features. This is particularly true with the onset of mass remote working.
Local phone systems, even hybrid PBX, cannot offer the same flexibility as fully hosted cloud telephony and over complicate communications. ComReg recently committed to simplifying another key aspect of business telephony – non-geographic numbers.
Non-Geographic Numbers are Changing
What are Non-Geographic Numbers (NGNs)? Commonly referred to as Premium of Freephone Numbers – 1800, 1890, 0818, 076 and 1850 – NGNs are numbers that are not linked to a location. NGNs will be consolidated into two numbers – 1800 (free) and 1890 (cost) by 2022.
Why are NGNs changing? According to research conducted by ComReg, 88% of callers were unable to estimate the cost of dialling a non-geographic number. 30% were unsure if an 1800 number was free to call (they are). In short, too many have no idea how to use them! As a result, numbers will soon be simpler.
Keep an eye out for communications from your telecoms provider. By January 1, 2022, you will start to notice big changes to numbers.
Stay Ahead of the Curve
Blueface, A Comcast Business Company, keeps our customers and newsletter subscribers up to date with all telecommunication changes. Sign up to the Blueface Newsletter or email email@example.com to learn more about NGNs, PSTN and cloud.