The UK Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN) switch-off, which is set to take place in December 2025, will present a significant revenue and market share opportunity for smaller telecoms service providers, a GlobalData report has noted.
Ofcom and the UK Government have mandated that the UK’s analogue telecoms network be switched to Internet Protocol (IP) networks, with traditional fixed networks being phased out.
BT and other major telecom services have already begun rolling out pilots for PSTN switch-offs and will be moving the plans through the UK region by region until the summer of 2024.
The PSTN switch-off will mean that everything which currently relies on PSTN will stop working. This includes alarms, CCTV, door entry products and more.
According to the UK Government, the PSTN switch off will drastically reduce the costs of running networks as new fiber technologies are much more efficient.
In September, BT subsidiary, Openreach, announced it would be ceasing the sale of copper wiring after more than a century.
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For businesses, switching to a voice-over-internet-protocol system will be cheaper to run than PSTN phones. Businesses will also be able to scale-up their systems more easily than legacy PSTN networks.
Robert Pritchard, principle analyst at research company GlobalData, notes that this provides a good market opportunity for alternative network providers to small, medium and home-office businesses.
“Companies such as Gigabit Networks are urging their sales channel partners to ‘sell connectivity, not telecoms,’” Pritchard wrote in a recent GlobalData report.
“The rationale being that the sale is quicker and easier than transferring telecoms services: 10 to 15 days from order to delivery,” he added.
This comes as rivals to BT have often taken a different approach in going toe-to-toe with the telecom giant in the sale of telephony and other services.
“This has often proved a hard sell due to market inertia and the fear of anything going wrong with essential telephony, PBX, or email services that are still being delivered over analog lines, including legacy ADSL broadband,” Pritchard wrote.
The switch-off comes as the UK Government pledged to invest over £300m into improving digital infrastructure and data skill as part of its 2030 strategy to become a tech superpower.