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Are Traditional Landline Phones A Thing Of The Past?


Bearing in mind it was announced in 2015 with little fanfare, you will probably be surprised to know that BT are going to switch off all of their ISDN phone lines by 2025!

Fear not though, in this blog will explain what is going to happen and answer the question; Are traditional landline phones a thing of the past?


Let’s start by giving you some background, as a VoIP reseller it is a good idea to gain as much knowledge about developments in the communications sector and have a good understating of the technology involved, both in traditional phone comms and VoIP solutions.

Way back in 1986, BT launched their Integrated Service Delivery Network (ISDN) which was designed to be able to carry both voice and video calls.

ISDN also offered the fastest internet speeds in those days, a whopping 128kbps…

At the time, this was a major development in UK communications and Businesses leapt at the chance to have quicker internet and start to use video conference technology.

Of course, a lot has happened since 1986 and the advent of VoIP technology has gone from strength to strength.

Why Don’t BT Just Use ISDN & VoIP?

This is a very good question, if BT invested in the ISDN system and the infrastructure is already there, why not just keep using it, if only as a back-up?

The answer to these questions is most likely to be primarily for financial reasons. Like all successful technology companies, BT knows it has to change and invest in new technology if they don’t want to get left behind.

As BT have for some time decided that they are going to invest heavily in VoIP as they (quite rightly we think) see it as the future of communications, they aren’t going to want to or even be able to justify paying for the upkeep of both comms infrastructures.

The move from traditional phone lines to VoIP wouldn’t have been a decision that BT would have taken lightly either.

With over 16 million existing phone lines it is a huge amount of work to get existing customers switched to digital lines seamlessly and ensure the infrastructure is working to its full potential.

What Does This Mean For Traditional Phone Lines?

It certainly means that VoIP technology is the future for telecom communications around the world.

Orange have also decided that by 2020 all of its networks will be digital (IP) and other communication companies are putting similar plans in place.

Larger global companies are more likely to be cautious about drastic changes in their business model, so if the likes of BT and Orange are moving from PTSN to VoIP then it is certainly looking like traditional phone lines are going to be a thing of the past.

When you think about it, how many people do you know that still have a landline?

We are willing to bet it’s only one or two people at the most.

The popularity of video calling, whether it is WhatsApp, Facetime, Skype or the dozens of other applications available, means that video calling has become normal rather than an exception when you are talking to your Uncle in Adelaide or just for an important business conference.

Similarly, the fact that anyone with smart phone can make a video call has made it all the more accessible, rather than having to gather round one laptop with the software installed on it in the office.

As to whether they will become totally obsolete it is too early to say, the amount of traditional phone line infrastructure all over the world means that it will be years and years before they are not used at all.

VoIP And 5G

Historically, one of the main criticisms of video calling and we are sure as a VoIP reseller that you will be asked this, is that the quality of video calls is in-consistent and the audio/video quality can be poor.

The rollout of 5G technology should put pay to that argument once and for all.

Here at VIP VoIP we have written before about 5G technology and how it could potentially be a game changer for communications technology.

Get In Touch

If you do have any more questions about VoIP and moving from traditional phone lines to digital, have seen any stories in the news or have questions from customers that you would like help with, then please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Our team of experts here at VIP VoIP will be more than happy to have a chat and also give you further information on our VoIP solutions and reseller options.

You can telephone us on 03300881182, email or via our online contact form here.