Preparing your Business for the PSTN Switch Off
With 2025 fast approaching, businesses must consider their plan of action surrounding “The Big Switch Off”. Although this may sound scary and confusing, our team of experts at Three Cherries are able to guide you through this looming change and what will most suit your exact needs to embrace this new era of telephony and communications.
What is the PSTN Switch Off?
The Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN for short) put simply is the traditional landline telephone. It uses telephone lines and copper wires to transmit and connect calls. The demand for this type of telephony has decreased dramatically due to the introduction of VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol). This has led to the PSTN Switch Off and as of January 2026, all calls will be hosted over VoIP rather than PSTN. This change is being led by BT Openreach and their reasoning behind this is that the analogue equipment used for PSTN lines is costly and hard to maintain compared to the newer VoIP technology.
What is VoIP?
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, and that’s essentially what is it – a telephony system delivered via an internet connection. Instead of having multiple telephone lines, a VoIP system enables businesses to function using a single broadband connection, streamlining operations.
It works by converting a user’s voice into a digital signal which is transmitted to another connected user. The technology allows users to make calls in various ways: from computers, desktop phones, mobiles, and other devices like tablets. This flexibility can be invaluable to businesses in the modern work environment, providing better reliability, and future proofing business systems in the face of rapidly changing technology.
What are the benefits of VoIP over PSTN?
- Cost Savings- VoIP comes in at a much cheaper rate due to the fact that it uses an internet connection to make calls. This means that all of the infrastructure required for it to operate already exists. Calling plans tend to be much cheaper also compared to their PSTN counterparts and there isn’t the hardware to get outdated and need upgrading a couple years down the line.
- Flexibility and Scalability- With VoIP, the ability to add more lines or extensions is quicker and easier than PSTN. This means that your business is able to scale up or down depending on growth and other factors much easier at a much lower cost. With working from home becoming a common theme in many businesses, the need for access to the phone system at home is becoming ever more important. This will be much easier with the PSTN switch off as many VoIP services offer app integration. This means that the telephone system will be accessible on your computer or mobile device at home. This makes the process of working from home seamless and simple.
- Increased Number of Features- VoIP comes with a multitude of features included with the service that PSTN lines don’t have. Examples of these include call recording, call forwarding and do not disturb. These typically come at no extra cost to the service compared to PSTN where most extra features come at great costs. VoIP also has a great number of integrations to CRM systems compared to PSTN ensuring that customers also have a better experience.
- Environmental Impact- VoIP systems require significantly less infrastructure compared to PSTN lines and also use a great deal less energy than their counterparts. This means that as a business you will be reducing your impact on the environment without making any major changes or investments.
What are the Disadvantages to VoIP?
The main issue surrounding VoIP lines are internet connectivity reliability. Compared to standard PSTN lines which have been reliable over the many years it has been active, VoIP suffers from downtime if the internet also goes down. This issue has improved with networking and the internet also becoming more reliable as of recent however it will forever be an issue due to its connectivity. This also means that during a power outage there will be no usage of the phone as it is not powered through the phoneline itself. Number spoofing may also be seen as an issue with VoIP. This is when telemarketers or other malicious companies disguise their caller ID to make it more likely for you to answer the phone. However, even on PSTN lines telemarketing and malicious calls exist therefore it cannot be seen as a major downfall in which PSTN is immune to. Being that the PSTN switch off is set to happen in January 2026, changing to VoIP is inevitable and the future therefore these disadvantages will be mitigated over time making it a much more effective service than PSTN in the long run.
The Big Switch Off: How can Three Cherries Help your Business?
Making the switch from PSTN to VoIP seems like an inevitable task now and truly is a case of embracing the future. Therefore, it is vital to ensure that you have a plan of action on how and when your business will be making this switch. Three Cherries are a leading provider of telephony systems in Bristol and the Southwest and can help you navigate the PSTN switch off. Our team of experts are able to best advise you on what will work best and implement it across your business seamlessly making sure that you have minimal downtime during this impending change.