How Businesses Can Prepare Themselves to Deal With ISDN Switch Off?

ISDN switch-off

In 2018, ISDN switch-off was announced and the network operators were given 7 years to switch their technologies. Several business owners are worried about the impact of the switch-off and looking out for ways to make a switch to digital communications. This blog will throw light on how businesses can prepare for the switch-off in 2025. 

ISDN, also known as Integrated Services Digital Network, was first introduced in the UK in1985. It is a circuit-switched telephone network system that is used to transmit data as well as voice over a digital line. These digital lines are usually copper lines. The network was designed with the intent to move outdated landline technology to digital. Since its introduction, ISDN connections have created a positive reputation for delivering better speeds and superior quality service as compared to traditional connections. The faster speeds and better connections ensure more reliable data transmissions. 

What’s the history of ISDN?

When analog phone networks failed continuously and proved to be unreliable for long-distance connections, ISDN was created as a necessity. In 1998, the UN-based International Telecommunications Union (ITU), started recommending ISDN in 1988 as a new system for operating companies to deliver data. However, communication providers took quite a long time to start offering ISDN. By the year 1090, the National ISDN 1 was created. Motorola and US Robotics decided to make the changeover easier for everyone. After this, ISDN was launched across the US. It offered higher-bandwidth internet access at better pricing to the users. 

What’s the current status of ISDN?

In the current scenario, ISDN has been replaced by various other internet-enabled connections such as WAN, DSL, cable modems, etc. A few organizations are still using ISDN as a backup in case the main connection fails. 

Many people choose ISDN over other networks due to the assorted benefits that it offers, such as:

  • ISDN provides multiple digital services that operate via the same copper wire
  • It offers digital signals broadcast through telephone lines 
  • ISDN assures a higher data transfer rate
  • It lets users connect devices easily and allow them to operate over a single connection
  • It is easy to set up and runs faster as compared to other modems

The working style and set-up process of ISDN

In the absence of DSL or cable modem connections, most people prefer using ISDN for high-speed internet. 

With the help of an Internet Service Provider (ISP), one can easily Set up ISDN. The ISDN is usually plugged in via a traditional POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) line that can access both phone numbers at once. The users just need to make sure that they have a working POTS line and allotted phone numbers to get started with.

After this, the users need to follow the below steps to complete the ISDN setup process: 

  • Installing the modem driver disk and programming the modem
  • Setting the modem correctly toward the right phone numbers
  • Setting the connection speeds for each line
  • Setting up the modem to dial the required ISP (Internet Service Provider) 
  • If required, setting up the modem for Bonding, the ability to achieve higher speeds by letting the modem dial both phone numbers simultaneously. 

The impact of ISDN switch-off announcement

After the announcement of the ISDN switch-off, many organizations are planning to adopt cloud-based communication systems. Several organizations including small businesses to large enterprises have started implementing and using cloud-based communication systems and few are still on the route to make a switch to cloud-based systems. 

The switch-off of ISDN, which was a concerning factor for several organizations, has become a necessity, especially after the hit of the pandemic. Due to the increased shift towards mobile and hybrid working environments after the pandemic, many companies are forced to make a switch to cloud-based communication systems. As a result, by the time the switch-off will finally roll around, it’s likely to be a virtual non-event. It means that cloud-based solutions have already gained a lot of prominence and acceptance among a large number of organizations. 

There has been a huge rise in the cloud adoption rate, especially among SMEs as most of them have already made a switch. Many organizations are now comfortable with cloud technology and have realized its capability to enhance efficiency and productivity. Another key reason why cloud-based technology is gaining popularity is its cost-effectiveness. One can implement a cloud-based system at much more reduced rates as compared to traditional communication systems. 

Instead of worrying about the end of ISDN, companies these days are searching for the next level of cloud-based innovation, functionality, and service. 


The bang in home and/or hybrid working post-pandemic has a great role in fueling the demand for cloud-based telephony systems. It might seem quite difficult to manage remote teams and productivity. However, with the help of advanced tools, platforms, and applications, organizations can easily overcome their worries regarding people management and productivity.  So, it would be correct to say that after the ISDN switch-off announcement, people still have enough time to prepare themselves to make a switch from ISDN technologies. Cloud telephone systems, VoIP, and SIP Trunks are some of the great options available to businesses that are planning to make the move away from ISDN.

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