During a BT Group Q3 2014/15 results announcement Gavin Patterson, BT Group CEO, has stated that BT intends to migrate all customers on to the IP network by 2025. There has been much deliberation in the industry as to when BT might switch off the PSTN and ISDN networks but there has never been a date set, until now.
Patterson highlights the future of the BT network on the analyst call, see the link below, where BT envisages their network will be a single IP core network replacing all legacy networks and platforms.
Patterson commented, “We already serve many thousands of customers in businesses using IP, our goal is by 2025 all of our voice customers will be served using an IP with a premises solution and will migrate off the traditional telephony platform.”
For BT, this convergence onto the IP network will require them to migrate all of their customers off the ISDN network at some point in the next 10 years. Although this may seem like a long time, the process will take a lot longer than expected and it is expected that this will start relatively soon to end of life the service by 2025. BT will be moving fast to ensure that they keep all of their customers on their service but the forced move off ISDN may make some customers look elsewhere for their voice service.
As of August 2013, there were 3.2 million ISDN channels in the UK and although BT does not have all of these on their network a significant number of ISDN customers in the UK now have a date from which they will no longer be in service and customers who are using them will be looking to move.
For the many service providers selling SIP in the UK, there is now a huge opportunity to migrate ISDN customers over to their SIP service as the network will force them to move at some time in the future. There are a large number of potential channel partners not selling SIP who have continued to sell legacy voice products to their customer base who will now be looking for a SIP Provider to partner with.