NicoElNino -

BT Wholesale and IDNet move to beat PSTN switch-off

Comms player reminds channel partners of the need to talk about IP solutions ahead of changes coming in just a few years

BT Wholesale is reminding the channel that the PSTN (public switched telephone network) switch-off is coming and has been signed up by IDNet to manage the migration of the connections it handles.

BT’s channel arm will work with IDNet to get 4,000 lines transferred over to an IP solution ahead of the switch-off in 2025.

The project is expected to last five years and will be supported with bespoke licences and targets, and should remind BT’s channel of the benefits of keeping customers alerted to the forthcoming changes with PSTN.

“This is an important signal to the industry that established and forward-focused communication providers like IDNet are selecting BT Wholesale to migrate their analogue telephone lines ahead of the closure of the current analogue PSTN network in 2025,” said Gavin Jones, BT Wholesale channel sales director.

“There is still some way to go before the nation is fully ready for the switch-off and the transition to all-IP, but capabilities like BT’s WHC service will enable our channel partners to deliver a key IP solution to their customers to support their digital transformation journeys.”

Jones spoke to MicroScope at the height of the first lockdown, back in June, and revealed that the coronavirus had spurred some customers to review their comms plans and had accelerated the migration.

He warned that with big switch-offs, there were usually customers that waited until the last minute and the more discussions that the channel could have now around the subject, the better it would be.

“There is always a real bow-wave towards the end, but we would like it to go faster,” said Jones back in the summer.

The idea of taking action before it gets too late is one that appealed to Steve Waters, head of business development at IDNet, who said the business was aware that migrations had to start sooner rather than later.

“We knew that we had to get ahead of the game and be ready for the switchover,” he said. “Having worked with BT Wholesale previously, we knew the services and solutions offered would be best-suited for our products and customers. By acting quickly with BT Wholesale, we can ensure we stay one step ahead and prevent any base erosion to our business while providing new digital solutions.”

The relationship with IDNet comes just a few days after BT Wholesale introduced a number of special offers to support channel partners.

The comms giant revealed that it was giving partners the option to offer Softphones to existing users from this month through to the end of March and it was offering a 50% reduction on Centrex Core user licences and reductions on SIP Mobile user licences.

“We understand that our channel partners are experiencing a complex juggling act,” said Jones. “They are servicing existing customers with evolving needs and are looking to provide for new customers, all the while keeping their own businesses moving forward.

“We have taken steps to ease pressures, enabling them to service growing customer bases with access to our WHC portfolio, which provides the tools required for workplace collaboration and enhanced business performance – particularly important in this continued remote working climate.”

Read more on Voice over IP (VoIP) Services