On 19 April Spark announced it is switching from the ageing Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). The replacement next generation IP-based network is the Converged Communications Network (CCN). The new network, to be progressively phased in over the next five years, will provide the foundation for Spark’s voice services into the future. It will bring together all voice communications – be it landline, mobile, video or data-based.
Spark says it will enable richer, better customer experiences with voice, video, and collaboration features over whatever Spark service is available to them at the time, and provide the platform for new voice products and services.
Some of mainstream media have suggested that this means customers will no longer be able to have a landline at home however this is not entirely true. People will still be able to get a landline but it will on the new CCN network rather than the current copper PSTN.
Spark’s challenge will be limited by where they can deliver these services, highlighted by the frustrations some people have in getting UFB to their locations, particularly in more rural areas. For business users this announcement should possibly be less of a surprise. Spark has been talking to their clients about moving to IP services for some time.
Most new voice contracts will include moving off copper and ISDN connections to SIP whether you are with Spark or not. These services have been available for many years now and are considerably more cost effective. Whilst these services can drive savings a considerable number of customers have not yet moved. It may not be a priority and quite often involves additional costs such as PABX upgrades or challenges with legacy services i.e. fax, alarms, etc. All of these can be addressed.
The other challenge for both Spark and clients is to match the reliability of the PSTN. The PSTN has reliably worked for many decades. IP networks are more complicated, and whilst they provide many advantages, the increased complexity can also mean increased problems.
Whilst Spark is making this announcement now, IP services have been available from Spark and many other providers for some time now. If you have concerns about your current services and want to understand what this may mean, or any issues you may face and what your options are, TeleConsultants is keen to assist and we look forward to hearing from you.