by Elli Bauer

ISDN switch off - What you should know about it.

Source: Pixabay CC0 Public Domain/ Fotocitizen

Why is ISDN switched off?

The infrastructure behind ISDN is essentially the same infrastructure that underpinned the first telephony networks in the 1800s! It has, of course, been significantly overhauled and upgraded since then, but the core logic underneath the network is the same. The costs of maintaining such an old infrastructure are rising and with alternatives available, it doesn’t make sense to keep it up and running in that way.

Advantages of All-IP over ISDN:

  • Simplified all communication channels, they are no longer necessary gateways.
  • Only a single connection for data, voice and multimedia services necessary.
  • Flexible use of devices.
  • Easy scaling of services.
  • Cost reduction.
  • wider performance range.
  • Services available anywhere, provided Internet access exists.
  • Administration via Web.
  • Better combination of data and voice services, in the form of enhanced interaction between computers and phones.

Is ISDN switch off a critical business issue?

The telephony network is undergoing a major transformation with the end of the ISDN network. Throughout Europe and beyond, Customers will be migrated to a single IP core network that ultimately will replace all legacy networks and platforms.

Many companies in Germany are still using the original version of the Odette File Transfer Protocol (OFTP) over ISDN to exchange commercial and engineering information with their business partners but the ISDN service will soon no longer be available.

Network operators in Germany have confirmed that the ISDN service will be phased out by 2019 so companies using ISDN will need to move to IP-based services as quickly as possible.

When to migrate?

We would advise businesses to start thinking about migrating sooner rather than later. Now that ISDN is essentially viewed as a legacy platform, investment in it is likely to fall. This could mean that the standard of the existing network, and support infrastructure, could begin to suffer the effects of being retired well before the 2025 switch off date.

ISDN switch off effect on your company.

We would recommend that your business moves to other alternatives in the near future, ISDN is now just seen as a legacy platform which means investment and maintenance will slow in the coming years. This could result in current infrastructure and the standard of current networks suffering ending in poor telephone service.

Three Alternatives to ISDN.

1. Setup a gateway.

An FXS gateway is used to connect an analogue PBX to VoIP so that you can use it to make and receive calls through VoIP. An FXO gateway is used to connect a VoIP Phone (usually located in another geographic location) to the analogue PBX to enable remote extensions.

Advantages: + Minimal costs
Disadvantages: - Poor features
- No updates
- Old technology
Alternative 1 to ISDN switch off - integration of a VoIP (SIP) / ISDN gateway
Integration of a VoIP (SIP) / ISDN gateway

2. Buying a new PBX telephone system.

PBX stands for Private Branch Exchange, which is a private telephone network used within a company or organization. The users of the PBX phone system can communicate internally (within their company) and externally (with the outside world), using different communication channels like Voice over IP, ISDN or analogy. A PBX also allows you to have more phones than physical phone lines (PSTN) and allows free calls between users. Additionally, it provides features like transfer calls, voicemail, call recording, interactive voice menus (IVRs) and call queues.

Advantages: + Updates available
+ New simple features
Disadvantages: - High cost
- Located phone system
Alternative 2 to the ISDN witch off - migration to a VoIP (SIP) PBX (PBX system)
Migration to a VoIP (SIP) PBX (PBX system)

3. Skype for Business.

Skype for Business, formerly known as Microsoft Lync Server, is a unified communications (UC) platform that integrates common channels of business communication and online meetings, including instant messaging (IM), presence, voice over IP (VoIP), voicemail, file transfers, video conferencing, web conferencing and email.

Advantages: + Maximum flexibility
+ New features
+ Alternative communication methods
Disadvantages: nothing
Alternative 3 to ISDN Shutdown - functional drawing of deHOSTED Skype for Business as a VoIP service
Ffunctional drawing of deHOSTED Skype for Business as a VoIP service

The selection of a suitable provider.

You have decided to step into the cloud? Then it is time to find a suitable provider for the provision of the services. It should be noted that Skype for Business and other VoIP solution need enough bandwidth for the correct transmission, otherwise there may be a delayed transmission of the language, etc. Minimum should be about 100kbit / s available for upload and download. Therefore, you should make sure when choosing your provider that this can provide the desired bandwidth also. In addition, it should offer high availability and end-to-end encryption. Of course, if your company is located in Germany, it makes sense to select a German provider for the provision of the services. The advantage of this is that the German providers must adhere to the German data protection laws and thus ensure a high level of security of your data.


Now it is important to be well prepared for the future with the right strategy. In addition to pure telephony, Skype for Business offers a lot of meaningful extensions that support your team in their daily work.

If you are not sure yet where to go, we would be pleased to advise you on the use of Skype for Business and the replacement of your ISDN telephone system. Arrange now with us online for personal consultation.

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NetTask is a leading "Modern Work" cloud service provider in Europe. With our many years of expierence in the field of information and communication technology, we could develop cloud-based, high-performance and secure services for digital communication and collaboration.Our Services(deHOSTED Exchange, deHOSTED Skype for Business, deHOSTED SharePoint, IoT - Technologie) are built on the basis of Microsoft technology.

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