The upcoming switch off of the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), paired with the daunting degree of disruption spurred on by the pandemic, is forcing businesses to consider what the future of their communication system will look like. Why should businesses consider a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) solution, and what benefits can this system bring? Here, Kristian Torode, Director and Co-Founder of business communications services provider Crystaline, explores the reasons why VoIP is the best choice for businesses looking to future proof.
There’s four years until previous voice communication options become obsolescent. The PSTN has formed a large part of the UK’s telephony infrastructure since 1875, facilitating voice calls using analogue voice data. However, the increasing digitalisation of telephony is sparking a move away from this system, and BT will completely cease the PSTN’s operations in December 2025.
For those businesses using communication methods that rely on the PSTN, the switch off with require a huge upheaval of current practices and a transition to a digital system. Pressure to modernise has been heightened by the pandemic, which completely shattered our perceptions of how businesses should operate and placed a greater focus on flexibility. With both issues realising simultaneously, business leaders are left contemplating how to futureproof their operations.
The answer lies in VoIP
A VoIP phone system replaces all of the traditional services offered using PSTN-based solutions. VoIP phone systems transmit voice calls over the internet, rather than using phone lines. The audio at one end of the connection is compressed and encoded by codecs, which converts them into digital packets. These digital data packets are transmitted via the internet to the other end of the connection, where they are converted back into audio files, resulting in almost instant, internet-enabled phone calls.
VoIP calls can be made through both hardware and software-based solutions. Hardware VoIP solutions are similar to traditional handsets, providing all of the same services including voicemail, call routing and call transfers. Software VoIP solutions are applications installed on smartphones or computers, which users can operate in the same way as standard calls. Skype is an example of a software VoIP solution.
Not only does VoIP perform all of the same functions of a traditional landline system, it also offers other benefits that can help businesses prepare for the future of working practices.
A flexible, scalable solution
The pandemic forced businesses to implement remote working strategies in order to remain productive, but the realisation that many tasks can, and perhaps should, be completed remotely has changed what businesses need from their communication system moving forwards.
An Institute of Directors (IoD) survey estimates that 74 per cent of businesses are planning to keep at least some element of remote working post pandemic, so a communication system that offer the same level of flexibility is essential.
Traditional phone systems confine employees to working at the office if they need access to their business phone number, yet with VoIP, location does not matter. As long as employees have an internet connection and the relevant software, business calls can be made and received internationally without any extra charges or detriment to service quality.
The transition away from rigid infrastructure also makes VoIP scalable. A traditional phone system requires expensive hardware, so scaling up a communication system as a business grows is financially intensive. Since VoIP just relies on an internet connection, expanding the system is simple. It’s even possible to add extra features, such as a virtual receptionist and automated call handling, without breaking the bank.
At Crystaline, we work closely with our customers to provide a comprehensive telecommunications service tailored to their needs. Upgrading your business communications system can be overwhelming, but our team is on hand to provide expert advice and support throughout the entire process. We can even offer trial periods, for those who still have reservations about upgrading.
The past year has been testing for all businesses — at times it can seem that obstacles just don’t stop appearing. Switching to a VoIP solution now prepares business operations for both the PSTN switch off and the future of working at once, giving you confidence in the flexibility and scalability of your communications system.
If you want to Want to learn more about how a VoIP solution could help your business? You can get in touch with the Crystaline team here.