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Is ISDN dead?


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I’ve long wondered about new cars and how, amidst all their exciting performance, efficiency, safety and comfort features, there sits some rather old hat in-car entertainment. Years after the CD had displaced the cassette as the default in-home choice, cars were still being produced with the radio/cassette as standard. DAB radio has been established for a while now but in-car it’s still very much the optional extra rather than the norm. I mention this because it just goes to show that technologies may grow obsolete but they can cling on very stubbornly, even when it’s hard to see the logic sometimes. And it’s the car stereo analogy I always think of when I see ISDN in a business proposal.

I’m increasingly asked, do I think ISDN is dead, but we still sell it and customers still buy it, so I think reports of its death are somewhat premature, despite the strong emergence of SIP Trunks. People know and trust ISDN and often overlook the benefits of using newer technology. But that’s not to say that I don’t struggle with the logic again. With ISDN you’re paying for a voice only network a cost of around £2.5K to setup and £15 per channel per month. It’s also invariably over-specified to cover for peak times flow and therefore under-utilised for the majority of the time.

With SIP Trunks, you’re looking at a greatly reduced cost of ownership with both data and voice service working across a single network. It’s also far more agile and scalable and comes with inherent business continuity. It also opens the doors to add on mobility, call recording and unified communications features to your existing PBX.

A clear case surely. I mean, given the choice of listening to Radio 5 Live on crystal clear DAB or crackly, muffly old AM, what would you choose?



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