UPDATE: PSTN & ISDN days are numbered
what happens next?

With the progressive rollout of the NBN™ network, over the next 2 years or so PSTN & ISDN will eventually be phased out. This means that all businesses using PSTN & ISDN will need to transition to a VoIP based phone service.

Arrow offers a complete migration service so you can transition to the cloud seamlessly. Call us today to discuss the best option for your business or read more here »


So you’ve just been told that the business is expanding and you need to look after the communication services at the new office. You immediately go into a panic as you don’t know where to start, there are too many acronyms and the technical jargon is all too confusing!

Well, today you’re in luck! I’m about to simplify some services to make your life a lot easier.
Let’s talk about the most common services in communications; PSTN, ISDN and ADSL.

PSTN or Public Switched Telephone Network is simply or most commonly known as a ‘telephone line’. This is the most commonly used method by all users that only have the need to use one line for one conversation at a time using only one phone number. PSTN uses an old technology whereby circuit-switched copper phone lines are used to transmit analogue voice data. It is the basic service that you have at home and in a small business.
As a dedicated service, a PSTN line cannot be used for any other purpose while a call is being made. A PSTN phone number is equivalent to one phone line.

ISDN or Integrated Services Digital Network provides digital transmission of voice and data services. Although now it is primarily used for Voice as it give you the options of having more than one Channel (line). They come in many ‘flavours’… 2, 10, 20 and 30 and you can also increase the number of Channels as your business expands by multiple ISDNs to meet your requirements. Medium to large businesses prefer this product as it gives them the option of integrating it with their phone systems (PABX) and takes advantage of multiple features. Like using a 100 number range, groups, queues, on hold music and RVAs, etc.
When ISDN was launched it was able to simultaneously support early video conferencing systems and analogue phone lines. A few years ago ISDN was the fastest Internet speed available (128 kbps) but its popularity is rapidly declining due to the introduction of cloud communications.

ADSL or Asymmetric Digital Subscriber line or in other words ‘the Internet’. Ok, not quite the Internet, but it is the means to connect to the Internet. This type of service is most commonly used by small businesses because it provides enough bandwidth for a small group of users to access the Internet. It works only over an existing PSTN, so you need to have an active PSTN to be able to have ADSL.

ISDN and PSTN days are numbered:
what you should do

Does your business still use PSTN or ISDN for its phone system? With the progressive rollout of the NBN™ network, over the next 2 years or so PSTN and ISDN will be phased out. This means that PSTN and ISDN users will need to switch their phone systems to a VoIP (also known as voice over IP) based service.

If your business uses a traditional PBX the hardware will need to be replaced so it’s compatible with a cloud based phone solution or IP based voice services. But just replacing your PBX hardware may not be enough to keep your business efficient and competitive.

With communications technology rapidly changing everyday, it’s crucial for business success that you understand the risks and costs of keeping your old PBX system. These include:

  • Possible system outages and/or unplanned downtime that damages your business profitability and reputation
  • A loss of ground to competitors who have future proof, seamless communication capabilities
  • Expensive outlays to keep PBX server environments up to date

Still feel attached to your PBX system? Here are some scenarios that may make you think again!

When your business grows it can be challenging to easily scale your communications. From moving offices to launching new locations and hiring remote employees. If your current PBX business communications don’t keep pace with your business growth, your business may be out of pocket with expensive, labour intensive ‘solutions’ of countless routers, wires and switches.

A state of the art cloud based communications system can give your business the flexibility and agility to respond to your communication requirements. From adding phone lines and locations, to disconnecting them when they’re no longer needed. Our cloud system only needs an Internet connection.

And if your business needs hot desking, call monitoring, mobile collaboration and CRM integration an Arrow and 8×8 Business Phone system delivers. From a single application and workflow, your employees can easily locate, check, click to chat or call and/or click to collaborate. With minimal IT assistance required, a cloud communications system can easily deploy new features remotely and centrally via the Internet.

One of the main considerations for your choice of business communication needs to be the future growth of the business. It’s also important to choose a solution that can easily adapt to a growing and perhaps increasingly remote workforce.

5 signs you need to update your business communication systems

If your current communication system isn’t efficient or effective, you’re not alone. A recent survey of IT decision makers found that:

“only 1 in 4 organizations are highly satisfied with their current communications and collaboration solutions.”

The survey also revealed that 71% of IT professionals face challenges with unified communications complexities. While they can step in to solve many of the problems, this can end up being costly and complicated. A unified communication solution (the preference for 72% of IT professionals) can provide your business with a single, unified platform for collaboration, voice and conferencing.

A more connected and productive workforce not only boosts morale and productivity for your business. Your customer service and ability to engage in real time can make your business stand apart from the competition. The common drivers for business to introduce unified communications include:

  • Reduced costs
  • Fast, easy to use communication platforms, systems and devices
  • Increased productivity
  • Improved internal and external collaboration
  • Seamless support of mobile and remote employees

When your medium to large business is looking for cloud communications options, it’s important that they provide unified communications, contact center capabilities, analytics and team collaboration in a single, open, real-time platform. The 8×8 Communications Cloud reduces communication costs, improves productivity and enhances customer experience. And with the ease of migration to 8×8, your IT professionals can get back to working on your core business.

Not sure if your business needs unified cloud communication? The following 5 signs indicate that your unified communication needs to be updated.

1. Your legacy PBX has disjointed, inefficient multi-vendor communications

Many medium to large businesses legacy communication systems have separate solutions from multiple vendors. Over time these disjointed capabilities can become costly and reduce the productivity of your organisation. When you switch to cloud communications these silos are eliminated and your communication capabilities integrate seamlessly.

2. Your business is expanding but your legacy PBX can’t accommodate this growth

As your medium to large business grows, it’s important that your communication system can adapt easily. Increasing the scale of services on your legacy PBX can be expensive and labor intensive. Cloud communications systems easily adapts to your business growth including opening up new offices locally or internationally to providing future proof communication solutions for remote and mobile employees.

3. Your legacy PBX is unable to support the communication features you need

If most of your employees are using a mobile device for work, your PBX may not be able to accommodate the ever-increasing needs of a mobile, wireless world. Switching to cloud communications will give your business the agility and mobility now and in the future with features including hot desking, call monitoring, CRM integrations and mobile collaboration.

4. You’re unable to get the reporting and analysis your business needs

Does your PBX system give you the timely, relevant information your business needs to succeed? Using open technologies, cloud based communications can give your business the insights, reporting capabilities and analytics from all your communications.

5. If your business faced a disaster your communication system would fail

Does your PBX system give you the timely, relevant information your business needs to succeed? Using open technologies, cloud based communications can give your business the insights, reporting capabilities and analytics from all your communications.

In the event of a natural disaster, onsite PBX systems don’t have the capability to provide continuous connectivity for your business. Unlike PBX, cloud communication systems have no single point of failure, ensuring your business stays connected no matter what happens.

How your business can benefit from using cloud communications

There is an alternative to trying to wrestle functionality out of your out-dated PBX. Cloud communications (also known as hosted voice over IP – VoIP) is a smarter business phone system with the features, mobility and reliability your business needs to stay competitive and be ready for anything.

The cloud based VoIP Arrow and 8×8 Business Phone system has capabilities that provide your business with a lot more than your traditional PBX system, at only a fraction of the cost. All your business needs for this future proof, easy to use communication system is a high speed Internet connection with a phone of your choice.

Benefits of the 8×8 communications solution include:

  • Single interface for all communications: phone calls, chat, meetings, faxes and customer interactions
  • Improved team collaboration
  • Real time platform
  • Contact centre capabilities
  • Efficient collaboration

Combine these benefits with 8×8 disaster recovery capabilities and service reliability and it’s easy to see why more medium to large businesses are converted from PSTN and ISDN to cloud communications.

Need some help with your unified communications solution? Contact Arrow today.