Landline phone calls have traditionally been delivered over the originally fixed-line analogue Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), which has undergone extensive digitisation over the past few decades. However, as cutting-edge technological advancements continue to push the boundaries of what is required and expected from technological infrastructure, PSTN has struggled to keep up with modern demands. As a result, it will be phased out completely in the coming years in favour of the broadband-based Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). Connectivity is a mission-critical aspect of operations in numerous industries, and therefore, organisations must ensure they are prepared to handle this changeover of technological infrastructure as smoothly as possible. One crucial part of the preparation for this changeover is ensuring that the mobile coverage in your building, site, or premises is strong and reliable.
The PSTN switch-off in the UK is scheduled to happen by 2025. This means that businesses relying on PSTN infrastructure must make the necessary arrangements to transition to VoIP systems before this deadline.
What Impact will this change have on businesses?
To put into context the wide-ranging use and effects the changeover will have, as of June 2022, around 2.4 million businesses were still reliant on PSTN infrastructure. This infrastructure supports network access for an estimated 500,000 point of sale machines, which is worth £30 billion to the economy. As well as its economic significance, devices such as lifts and alarms will be affected, along with mission-critical activities currently supported by PSTN lines in the gas, electricity, and water sectors. This creates an essential need for upgraded connectivity in those industries.
How can good mobile coverage help organisations ensure PSTN switch-off preparation?
Good mobile coverage is essential for businesses to stay connected with their customers, partners, and employees. In today’s fast-paced world, people expect to be able to reach others anytime, anywhere, and strong connectivity allows your organisation to satisfy this expectation by providing a reliably robust customer service for consumers, with the ability to respond to customer enquiries in a timely manner. Greater connectivity also allows better communication internally, with staff being able to communicate with each other in real time, which is especially beneficial when attempting to support communications between on-site/premises employees and other staff based remotely. This allows for a more efficient flow of information, which in turn positively affects the productivity of your employees.
Furthermore, it is not just telecommunication connectivity that this changeover can affect; numerous devices such as alarms, EPOS machines, CCTV, and others may rely on PSTN technology. It is important for organisations to conduct an audit on their devices and equipment to assess the full effects of the changeover on your organisation and the extent to which your devices need to be upgraded or replaced to ensure compatibility with the new VoIP infrastructure.
Good mobile coverage is also essential for businesses that rely on mobile applications and services to run their operations. For example, many businesses use mobile point-of-sale (POS) systems to process transactions and manage inventory. These systems require a strong mobile connection to function properly, and a weak or unreliable connection can lead to lost sales and frustrated customers.
When the switch over to VoIP is fully completed, businesses must be aware that power outages will now affect their ability to use landlines, as the switch over will see them connected to routers, which would render them unusable should there be an aforementioned power outage or suffer from network connectivity problems. This makes good mobile connectivity even more essential for organisations as there must be reliable lines of communication established to ensure that the internal flow of information is not halted, and external communication with both partners and clients can continue as normal.
Strain on Business WiFi:
As businesses transition to VoIP systems, it is important to consider the strain it may place on the existing WiFi infrastructure. VoIP relies on a stable and high-quality internet connection to deliver voice communication. If the WiFi network is not capable of handling the increased traffic and bandwidth requirements, it can lead to poor call quality, dropped calls, and overall communication issues. Therefore, organisations need to ensure that their WiFi infrastructure is robust enough to support the demands of VoIP systems. This may involve upgrading routers, improving WiFi coverage, and implementing quality of service (QoS) mechanisms to prioritize voice traffic.
Importantly, this is also a chance for your organisation to seize the opportunity of joining the next generation of interconnectivity. Ensuring good connectivity will allow you to introduce new innovations into your business operations, develop new ways of working, and create a more reliably integrated network of devices and processes while also being capable of handling the demands of the future. The world is constantly developing new technology that can enhance your business activities, and having the infrastructure to continue to support these innovations affords flexibility to your organisation.
In conclusion, from staying connected with customers and staff to relying on mobile communication methods and applications, businesses cannot afford to overlook the importance of a robust and reliable mobile connection. By investing in strong mobile coverage, your organisation can ensure that you are ready for the future and positioned for success in an increasingly digital world.
BoostPro Systems specialises in delivering mobile connectivity solutions to even the most remote locations. If this changeover poses problems to your organisation’s connectivity, we can provide a free desktop survey and work collaboratively with your organisation to determine the best way forward in providing effective mobile connectivity solutions that can help you address any connectivity issues you face arising from this changeover.