PSTN Switch Off- What You Need To Know

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What’s Happening?

The United Kingdom’s PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) is scheduled to switch off in 2027, transitioning voice communication and internet connections that traditionally used the physical wired infrastructure to digital solutions like Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and modern broadband services. This shift means that any devices, including those using dial-up internet connections, currently depending on the PSTN network will need to migrate to next-generation connectivity. It is critical for businesses and individuals using PSTN for voice and dial-up internet in the UK to begin the migration process before the switch-off occurs.


Why is this happening?

As technology advances, older networks are phased out to make room for newer infrastructure. PSTN is an analog technology that cannot keep up with the demands of modern communications. Initially designed purely for telephone communication, the copper network has been in use since the late 19th century. However, with the digital revolution, the PSTN can no longer deliver the capacity or service reliability required by its users, prompting the need for modern alternatives that can provide the necessary bandwidth and service quality.


Impact on Voice Communications and Dial-Up Internet Connections


The PSTN supports both voice communications and dial-up internet connections. Dial-up uses the PSTN infrastructure to connect to the Internet Service Provider (ISP) via a modem. Many older machines and systems still rely on dial-up internet, including some legacy systems in various industries that have not yet transitioned to broadband or other modern internet solutions.


Which Sectors are going to be most affected?


The PSTN supports more than just voice communications and it is estimated that over 200 IoT applications will be without network access when the PSTN switch off happens.
Common applications using the PSTN include:


  • Traditional Telephone Services
  • Older computer systems in rural or remote areas using dial-up internet
  • Legacy industrial and business systems
  • Some telecare and critical care devices
  • Lifts
  • Door entry Systems
  • Alarm Systems
  • Some types of ePOS systems
  • Traffic Lights
  • Streetlights
  • CCTV
  • ATMs
The PSTN switch-off means that these voice and dial-up connections will no longer function, necessitating a transition to alternative connectivity solutions.


What does this mean for my Voice and IoT devices?


If your voice communication systems or IoT devices utilize the PSTN, the switch-off might seem like a logistical nightmare. However, it also presents a unique opportunity to move to newer, more secure, and reliable solutions.


The Solution is Cellular Connectivity


With cellular connectivity, landline connections can be replaced with a secure and scalable network that unifies voice communications and cloud-based data services. Cellular infrastructure can be monitored and maintained remotely, providing cost-saving measures on maintenance. Technologies like LTE-M offer superior alternatives to PSTN by providing better penetration in buildings, supporting low-data applications, and preparing for future services such as 5G.


Pelion Offering

Pelion offers 4G LTE and 5G connectivity, future-proof IoT SIMs, and routers that facilitate the transition from PSTN. With over 20 years of experience, Pelion partners with businesses and individuals to navigate the challenges of switching to new technologies. We provide the essential ‘always on’ connectivity needed for a seamless transition away from the PSTN network, ensuring an end-to-end solution tailored to your needs.


“The PSTN switch-off is a catalyst for companies to upgrade from dial-up and legacy systems to robust cellular technologies. This transition enhances connectivity, security, and scalability, positioning businesses to fully exploit IoT capabilities. At Pelion, we are dedicated to supporting our partners in this essential modernization journey.”
-Alan Tait, CTO, Pelion. 

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