January 31, 2014, marked the beginning of the end for the copper lines of the PSTN with the FCC deciding in favor of deactivating the network in favor of a nationwide movement towards IP communications networks. And two of the largest nationwide telephony providers have gone on record stating they plan to sunset their portions of the PSTN by 2020.
Yes. 2020. With a global target of 2030 for the complete phase out of PSTN and the copper lines that have been the lifeblood of voice communications since 1876.
Declining PSTN Subscriptions are Driving the PSTN to be Phased Out
Already, PRI and PSTN usage are less than digital telephony solutions like VoIP. Software Advice’s survey from 2015 was already reporting PRI use at 11% and PSTN use at 24% with VoIP accounting for more than the PSTN and PRI combined at 36%. With Gartner research also finding that almost half of the business world will migrate towards VoIP in the near future, and the estimated $2 trillion in operating costs that will be saved with the retirement of the copper lines at the center of the PSTN, it’s clear why Verizon and AT&T are pushing so strongly for the switch.
As Network World so eloquently stated, “The PSTN to VoIP transition was always on the map, but now we are beginning the routes to get there, and we may even have an “estimated time of arrival.”
Now is the Time to Make the Switch
While it can seem overwhelming to replace the entire telephony structure of your business, there are things that can ease the transition. One such strategy is to take a phased approach to the migration.
There are two approaches to a phased migration. The first is to migrate specific services to the cloud while retaining the current infrastructure. Services like voicemail, line-level services, call forwarding, etc. can be separated from the mainline of service and delivered independently, enabling you to move features one at a time. This can give you a good idea of how well the solution works and how well your employees transition to the new way of accessing their information.
The second approach is to migrate specific sites, one at a time. By using this approach, you can focus on getting one site at a time up and running properly and smoothly before moving on to the next. By focusing on one site at a time, this allows a smaller group of IT staff to manage the migration without a bottleneck.
MIX Networks Unique Solution Helps You Migrate on Your Terms as the PSTN is Phased Out
The PSTN retirement does not need to give your business an added headache. MIX Networks can help you manage the transition as the PSTN is being phased out and maximize on your telephony investment. MIX Networks offers boutique level solutions that are made to work with your business on your terms. Our flexible, robust, and reliable network keeps your business running and only paying for what you need. 5G LTE backup means your communications will never go down, and geo-redundant servers further enhance the reliability of your solution by helping your system stay up regardless of local events. Learn more about how MIX Networks can ease your migration to hosted VoIP in this short video.