Why should you consider keeping your old business number when switching?
When transferring your old PSTN landline to your new VoIP system, you will probably want to keep your current business contact because, after all, your telephone number is most likely very important for your business. Many of your existing customers have that number stored in their files, and you've accumulated many contacts, perhaps over multiple years.
Changing your contact adds a lot of work and pressure as you will need to inform everyone of the change, and those people might not even get the memo. Simply moving the existing landline phone number across is most likely the easiest option for your business.
What is a PSTN line?
A PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) is commonly known as a telephone line. Simply put, a PSTN line lets users make landline telephone calls to one another. This method allows one conversion to be conducted on one analogue telephone line using that single phone contact; meaning that you cannot have multiple calls on one number.
Having a PSTN line may suit your company now if you’re a sole trader or small business owner with a limited need for landlines. However, with BT's impending 2025 ‘The Big Switch Off’ coming right around the corner in a few short years, now is the time to consider transferring to PSTN to alternatives, such as VoIP.
Find out more about BT's "The Big Switch Off", how it will affect your business and what you can do to transition in our blog: ISDN Switch Off - Everything you need to know.
Can I keep my PSTN phone number?
Can you keep your old PSTN contact when switching? Yes, all numbers can be transported, but there can be few expectations. The only real exceptions are numbers with special features, such as ISDN. But in most cases, there will be an easy transfer from landline to VoIP.
With this in mind, as you are required to switch before 2025, will your business want to keep its old contact when switching? If your number is valuable to you, then keep reading to find our tips and advice on how to keep your number when switching.
How do I keep my number when I switch service providers?
Keeping your business contact makes it much simpler for you and your pre-existing customers to stay connected. It then makes sense to keep your old number when transferring phone systems. The good news is that keeping your phone number when making the transition is easy because your next provider will take care of the porting for you.
The most work that you will need to conduct when transferring your numbers is getting hold of a few pieces of information for your new provider.
What is the process of number porting?
As we have mentioned, transferring your old Public Switched Telephone Network is much simpler than you think. We’ve broken down the steps to make that easy transition from your old number to your new VoIP system.
- Before selecting, make sure that your intended VoIP provider offers a ported number service, especially if keeping your number is valuable to your business.
- When you’ve found your new provider and before transferring your number, do not cancel your old telephone service, as you will need them to port your old number.
- Once your account is set up with your new supplier, they will most likely need details from you. They may ask you to go online and fill in some information about the number you want to transfer and the required timing. You may also need to note your account holder's name and address.
- When you have updated your details with your new provider, enquire about a time frame from them as to when your service goes live; this will give you an indication of when to cancel your old phone service.
- Once your number is transferred and everything is set up, you can cancel your previous telephone service.
There we have it; transferring your old number and using your new VoIP system can be as easy as that. All your next supplier will need is a few simple details and they will do the rest for you.
How to switch from a traditional landline provider to a VoIP service provider?
The process of switching from your traditional landline provider to a VoIP service supplier is as simple as contact porting, as they will handle the transfer for you. They will deliver simple instructions on transferring your current landline number to your new provider. There are, however, a few things that you will need to check first before making the switch, which is as follows:
- Make sure you have the correct VoIP equipment in your business already. If you do not have the right equipment, you may need to invest in some new tech.
- Check your internet connection and its speed. VoIP runs over the internet, so you will need a reliable and efficient connection so that your phone line works most effectively and without issues. If it is patchy, you may need to research different internet providers or consider leased lines (find out more about leased lines in this blog).
- Research VoIP suppliers to ensure that you are choosing the best system for your business that aligns with your communication needs, company size and budget.
Recommended VoIP systems for SME businesses
If you are a small business, such as a shopkeeper, freelancer or restaurant, you are most likely using an analogue phone line. However, if you are a larger business with an on-site PBX, you might prefer to keep your existing equipment and update it to adapt to the change.
How many users you intend to use on the cloud-based phone system depends on the type of phone system that would be best for your business. Different communication systems are designed for various user numbers.
Phoneline+: Recommended for small businesses
If you are a smaller-sized business with 1 - 3 users, opting for a simpler system might work best for your business, such as Phoneline+.
Phoneline+, also known as the “simple phone line replacement service” is a great cloud phone service designed for small businesses. It is everything you can do on your traditional line and allows you to keep your existing company numbers and make or receive voice calls from internet-ready devices. If Phoneline+ is the phone system that you’ve been looking for, get in touch with us today for more information and advice.
Gamma Horizon: Recommended for businesses looking to grow
If you are a medium-sized business with a few more users or are a small company looking to grow, you may want to consider a cloud phone system with more features will be wise, such as Gamma Horizon.
Gamma Horizon is an excellent cloud-based phone system that is great for businesses of all sizes and those looking for a fully managed service. If Gamma Horizon is the phone system that you’ve been looking for, get in touch with us today for more information and advice.
Looking to make the switch from PSTN to VoIP? T2k are here to help
Is it time that you made the switch from PSTN to VoIP? Then T2k is here to help. We’re communication experts, helping small businesses to large corporations with their telephone systems for over 25 years. Our expert advisers are here to help you select the right phone system for your company and make the transition as easy as possible. We are also there to help with number transition so that you do not lose those hard-earned contacts. For a jargon-free conversation on how to transition from PSTN to VoIP, contact T2k today.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does number porting cost?
The cost of porting your number depends on the new provider that you choose. Some suppliers offer this as a free service, while others charge a single porting flat rate. We recommend that you have this conversation when researching your provider so you can get a complete breakdown of costs so you have an extensive understanding of how much to budget for the transfer.
How long does number porting take?
Again, the amount of time that number transferring takes depends on the provider you select. For some, it takes one business day, for others, it can take several days. Porting time frames can also depend on the size of your business. If you are a large-scale operation, you will most likely be waiting slightly longer than a small business might.
How do I get started with number porting?
Once your account is with your new communications provider, they may ask you to go online and fill in some details of the number you want to transfer and your required timings. The system should then tell you the estimated process completion. That is it; it is as simple as that.
What is the 2025 Big Switch Off?
In 2025, BT will be conducting the ‘Big Switch Off’, which refers to the gradual phasing out of BT's ISDN and PSTN. From September 2023, people will no longer be able to acquire PSTN or ISDN lines, and they will be redundant from the end of 2025. Make sure that your business is prepared for the switch-off by researching VoIP or SIP alternatives.
What happens to my broadband when we switch?
Until now, you have needed a traditional phone line installed to deliver broadband to a home or office. Most small businesses will have their broadband delivered over their PSTN line, so when the big switch-off happens, or they switch to VoIP, they will need also need a broadband connection that doesn't rely on the PSTN network.
However, with Gamma Horizon's SoGEA (Single Order Generic Ethernet Access) broadband, it doesn’t run over a phone line; instead, it uses the same fibre/copper network without the Wholesale Line Rental = Phone line element.
When switching from PSTN to VoIP, having SoGEA is a smart choice as you will only need to place one order with Gamma for your broadband data service. Find out more by getting in contact with us today.