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It’s comms, Jim, but not as we know it

People have been forecasting the demise of the PSTN for many years now; well over a decade.

Of course, the trouble most product managers have in making such predictions is inaccuracy. It’s almost ten years since shipments of IP lines overtook TDM lines and it’s over five years since any equipment manufacturer (what we used to call TEMs) spent any development dollars at all on TDM-based development. And still what we like to call the legacy network persists.

Maybe now, however, we’re closer than ever before to the end of ISDN.

I say that, because there has been a lot of pertinent news activity in Europe over the last 12 months or so. The newswires have reported several telecom operators announcing their intention to terminate ISDN access, in favour of its replacement with SIP trunking.

In Germany, for example, Deutsche Telekom appears to have made public a strategic program (Telekom Deutschland 2018 – TD18) to switch off all its ISDN connections in 2018. The telco intends to replace them with universal IP connections. Swisscom may be likely to follow suit.

If such a strategy becomes widespread, many businesses will be under pressure to future-proof their telecoms installations. And that pressure will come from what is really a very short timeframe.

If you think 2018 is far in the future, think again – it’s only 22 months until we celebrate the festivities heralding that New Year.

In plain language, all manner of businesses and enterprises and organisations will have to do some serious thinking over the next few months about their strategic plans for communications.

The options for businesses range from a ‘fork lift’ upgrade, replacing their legacy system with an all-IP solution and a direct connection to SIP trunking, through to the installation of protocol converters or gateways between their existing PBX equipment and the new SIP trunk offerings from telcos and service providers.

The former is deterministically strategic, whilst the latter options are more short term and tactical. However, in that latter case, if your connection to the PSTN is SS7-based, gateways are probably still a medium term solution and, therefore, a reasonable investment.

Regardless of your market sector – healthcare, education, public safety, contact centre, vertical market private enterprise – now is very much the time to think strategically about your next generation communications.

If you are say a vendor or service provider, you may want to talk about IP-based telephony resources for your solutions. There are many hardware, software and cloud-based options to discuss. For those considering gateways, several options are available.

Whatever you do, act now, before it’s too late.

Archive

The Aculab blog

News, views and industry insights from Aculab

  • Preparing to meet the EU GDPR rules with Aculab Cloud

    Firstly, lets establish what the GDPR is, and why it’s important to Aculab and its customers in the EU region, and also for our non-EU customers who use Aculab Cloud for their customers who reside in the EU.

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  • Improved Aculab Cloud documentation and a new console

    We’ve been busy in the background recently at Aculab with a major website refresh. Aculab has evolved over decades (40 years this year!) from a vendor supplying hardware to a much more software-centric product company. We still sell telecom gateways extensively, but nowadays the bulk of our enabling technology business is software, and in particular our communications platform-as-a-service (CPaaS) product, Aculab Cloud.

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  • Interoperability is predictable

    Way back in 2007, while presenting a seminar in Prague, someone asked me for my prediction on when SS7 would no longer be in use. My answer was suitably vague, but something on the lines of, “at least 10 to 15 years.” Ten years on, I wasn’t wrong. Still, I may not be right. SS7 is showing its age, but it’s not about to draw its pension just yet.

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  • Fax is not yet dead

    You might think that fax would be as extinct as the Martinique Parrot. That parrot vanished in the 17th Century. Fax was invented two hundred years later, by the Scottish clockmaker, Alexander Bain. It took a while though, until the late 20th Century, for facsimile machines to become popular. However, if the lack of commentary by the majority of today’s technology observers is anything to go by, you’d be forgiven for thinking it too had died out. The truth is that it remains extant, and it shows little sign of going the way of the Martinique.

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  • “Daoruni gimi, Ionos Sonaro.” *

    Languages, eh; who would have thought that in the 21st Century there would still be so much diversity?

    In Westeros, in the world of George R. R. Martin’s epic Game of Thrones, there are spoken only two major languages – the Old Tongue and the Common Tongue. But what about computer languages?

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