The future of communication starts now

Shutdown of ISDN and analog calling

Come along with us as we move into a new age of communication  

Is your company ready for the communication of the future? Swisscom will shut down the current analog and ISDN telephone services by the end of 2017, but you just have to sit back, relax, and wait for the change: Thanks to our attractive telephony solutions, Business Sunrise offers you the choice of continuing to use your existing telephone system after January 1, 2018, or upgrading to the latest state-of-the-art. With Business Sunrise, you are always connected and well prepared for the new age of communications.

All IP: All questions – all answers
On December 31, 2017, the traditional landline network (analog, ISDN) will be deactivated across Switzerland. It will be replaced by All IP, a standardized next-generation network for every type of communication and data exchange. What does this mean for the company?

Technology


  • IP is the acronym for “Internet protocol.” It is a technical directive for the exchange of data over the Internet. With All IP, the connection between the call participants is only fixed and physical at the end points, meaning from the caller to the provider's first transmission point. The connection between the providers' transmission points, however, is no longer a fixed connection. Data is transmitted over the best available path in the network. To ensure that data “reunites” at the end, rules – such as the “Internet protocol” – are needed. The Internet protocol itself, on the other hand, encompasses around 500 different network protocols. These are often also referred to as TCP/IP protocols and are the foundation of network communications.
  • No, because Sunrise networks are not the public Internet. Instead, they are private data networks that are not available to the public.
  • Simply put: The spoken words are continuously bundled into data packets. The Internet protocol assigns “delivery instructions” to these data packets and sends them into the network through the connection line. There, a packet independently makes its way to the recipient (server) – always taking the best route. This makes data transmission via IP much more reliable than traditional transmission through fixed connections. If a data path to a certain destination fails – which could happen for many technical reasons –, the packet will automatically seek out an alternate route through the network.
  • There is really nothing new. The technology has been around for more than 30 years and is mature today. For years, Sunrise has been transmitting voice exclusively over private data networks, using IP. Most voice connections newly activated over the past few years already use this technology. Only old services based on Swisscom connections will have to be converted over. The technical infrastructure (wiring, router, etc.) in use today offers voice transmission quality equal to or even better than that of the current landline network.
  • Literally, it means “Voice over Internet protocol.” Put simply, it's making calls via the Internet protocol, VoIP for short. Once Swisscom deactivates the traditional landline network in Switzerland, voice transmissions will be done exclusively over VoIP.
  • That is the technical abbreviation for the old-generation landline network: Time-division multiplexing refers to the process that always keeps several direct connections or lines between two participants open. This ensures that several calls can be made simultaneously.
  • It stands for “session initiation protocol” which works in the background – before you hear the dial tone – and manages the connection set-up between two terminals or the telephone software of two participants in a call. Customers dial a phone number as usual.
  • This is a technical rule for the continuous transport of audio and video data. It ensures that the voice is transmitted interference-free and in good quality when you make a phone call.
  • That is the classic telephone network that will be deactivated in Switzerland at the end of 2017. When it was first developed, a call would be cut off when a connection between two phones became disconnected. Later, there were telephone switchboards where an “operator” would establish connections manually by pulling and plugging cords. At the end of the 19th century, automatic switchboards became widespread in the telephone network.
  • The telecommunications networks that have been in use, especially through traditional telecom providers, work on the basis of a fixed connection between two call participants. This approach is changing with the Next-Generation Network (NGN). The NGN is the new, standardized network infrastructure for all telecommunications providers in Switzerland. It is the All-IP network. It will standardize the entire infrastructure on the basis of IP technology with packetized transmissions and is no longer dependent on a fixed connection or line. Data packets independently find their way through the network using their address information. Sunrise has been using this modern technology for several years now.
  • It goes without saying that the integrated services digital network (ISDN) is indeed a digital network. In principle, however, it works just like the traditional analog network, meaning a direct connection between call participants always has to be established. The difference is that voice signals are transmitted digitally. With the deactivation of the traditional landline network, ISDN is just as outdated as analog calling.

Deactivation

  • Swisscom will deactivate the traditional phone network on 12/31/2017. By then, all existing analog and ISDN connections must be switched to IP.
  • For years, Sunrise has been transmitting voice exclusively over private data networks, using IP. Most of the voice connections activated in the past few years already use this technology, even if the telephone system is connected to an ISDN interface. Only older services relying on Swisscom connections (preselection, access rebilling) will have to be switched over.
  • Nothing really. All changes will be made “behind the scenes.” As a result of these changes, you will connect your phone system to an Internet router or a VoIP gateway instead of plugging it into a traditional phone socket.
  • Yes, with the exception of rotary dial phones. Sunrise is already using connection products with VoIP today – without the conventional landline network. This means that there is already a VoIP connection on-site that can be connected to existing devices or via a cloud-based phone solution. Existing ISDN phone systems are connected to the IP network through a VoIP gateway. State-of-the-art IP phone systems are directly connected to the IP network.
  • This is a technology that allows an IP-based phone system to manage multiple phone numbers with just one access account. With the traditional process, each terminal requires an account with user name and password for each phone number. This technology was developed to make it easier to connect phone systems to the All-IP network.
  • No, you will have to exchange them for IP phones or for a plain software-based solution to make calls from your PC.
  • Yes, you can continue to use your ISDN phone system on a Business voice direct connection until it reaches the end of its service life. The Business voice direct connection is a state-of-the-art VoIP connection. To connect your ISDN phone system, we will use a VoIP gateway with corresponding ISDN interface.
  • No, you will have to replace old, analog phone systems, ideally with a Business cloud PBX managed by Sunrise.
  • No, phone numbers will remain and will continue to be assigned to new connections and expansions. When you switch providers, you can port your existing phone numbers to Sunrise. This will ensure that your customers can reach you as usual.
  • No, modem applications were designed for traditional phone networks and work with acoustic signals, not with IP data. Sunrise recommends that you promptly get in contact with your application's supplier.
  • You can continue to operate your traditional fax machine through an IP analog converter. This will, however, reduce the reliability of your fax service. Sunrise recommends that you turn off the “error correction mode” on your fax machine and reduce the transmission speed to a maximum of 9600 bps.
  • No, today's elevator phones rely only on conventional, analog connections. We recommend that you switch to a mobile communications-based system offered by all leading elevator manufacturers. Such connections can be configured redundantly through several mobile base stations. In-house coverage can be optimized with the help of Sunrise GSM repeaters.
  • If your system transmits alarms over analog or ISDN connections, you will have to find another solution. Alarm system manufacturers have several options in their portfolios. Alarm systems that combine landline network IP and mobile communications in their transmission path are even more secure and better than the old solutions. We do not recommend analog IP converters, since they do not work reliably.
  • Yes, if a cash register supports an internet connection (WLAN, LAN). Systems that are only based on ISDN should be replaced now.
  • That's correct. It served a purpose. However, the demands placed on a telecommunications network have changed considerably since phone communication was invented at the end of the 19th century. It is no longer enough to set up a voice connection. The network has to offer a variety of different functions at a good price. Users want to speed up processes, optimize procedures and link information without having to worry about their source: An audio recording with a Word file, a video conference with an Excel file, or an e-mail with voice mail. They want to be able to work everywhere, be available, and take their own personal switchboard with them on their smartphones. All-IP combines all these demands into one – one that advances companies, employees, and all people. And, lastly, business as well: All-IP is a prerequisite for the digitalization of the Swiss economy and for Industry 4.0.

In Use

  • All VoIP solutions offered by Sunrise are based on the phone number principle. Unlike with traditional calling, however, these phone numbers are no longer tied to a physical location. They can be used with any Internet-capable terminal with VoIP software. This means that you can be reached anywhere in Switzerland and can make phone calls from this number no matter where you are.
  • In general, you will need a microphone, speaker, or headset. And the appropriate software. And a phone number.
  • We anticipate a bandwidth of 100 kbit/s for uploading and downloading per simultaneously placed phone call. This means that if 500 calls were made simultaneously from the same network to external numbers, the bandwidth necessary would be about 5.0 Mbit/s (symmetrical). Therefore, bandwidth is not a problem when it comes to most Internet connections; what's more important is the quality of service. To visualize this, just imagine that voice data packets need the “right of way” on the network – from the caller to the recipient.
  • Unlike traditional phone systems (often also called PBX), cloud phone systems do not consist of hardware that is installed on-site. Business cloud PBXs are servers located at our Sunrise computer centers. Your own telephone system is set up virtually for you on these servers with all of your phone numbers and features. The Business cloud PBX from Sunrise is comprised of three parts: The virtual phone system itself with its phone numbers and rate plan, the connection of the customer's location over an Internet connection (whenever possible with quality of service), and the integration of the Business cloud PBX itself into the customer network.
  • You don't have to invest in any expensive systems. IP systems are scalable and flexible, business processes can be accelerated with software and multiple communication channels can be linked. During a video conference, for example, you can work on a document together with a colleague. Your phone number is no longer tied to a specific terminal at a location or network. Instead, it is associated with you. Consult with our IP and business process specialists at Sunrise to get the greatest benefit from full-scale IP communications.
  • Get rid of your old telecommunications infrastructure. With IP you can simplify your infrastructure and reduce costs. All-IP will also allow you to improve productivity, for example by reducing the number of ghost calls or by integrating calling and video conferencing into workflows. Our Sunrise specialists will be glad to assist you.

Security

  • A better question might be: How secure is traditional calling? Wiretapping is relatively easy, as you surely know from spy movies. With IP calling, there are significantly more technical options available for hiding the data stream from eavesdroppers. Encryption is only one of them. When all is said and done, Internet calling is just as secure as your application requires it to be. Its basic level of security is already very high. With the right investments and technical effort, the security of conversations can be further increased, for example for banks and law offices. This can make phone calls even more secure than those made over traditional telephone connections.

    At Sunrise, phone traffic is not sent over the public Internet, but over a private network (IPVPN) that is protected from outside attacks with appropriate infrastructures.
  • To be honest: Every single ICT infrastructure could be attacked. But cloud phone systems run in highly secure Sunrise computer centers. These are security-certified and meet the highest standards, in keeping even with the requirements of banks. Additionally, cloud phone systems are generally monitored. If distinct deviations from normal phone behavior are detected, the system is locked and you will be informed.
  • Technically they could, unless the data streams are encrypted or travel across different locations through secure connections (e.g. VPN). But this is not only a technical question: Trust is established through companywide security guidelines.
  • As long as employees continue to write their passwords on Post-It notes or send Dropbox links without thinking, IP calling remains the least of your worries. Especially since there are technical means to make them very secure.
  • By selecting secure devices that should meet the latest WLAN security standards (WP2, IEEE 802.11i). Activate authentication and encryption features. This is the only way to ensure that there aren't any unauthorized users lurking in your IP network. A special VoIP firewall can identify unusual calling patterns and sound an alarm when it suspects an attack. Use a separate Internet connection for your VoIP system. VPNs (virtual private networks) offer a high level of security. This is a technology for establishing a stream of data between sender and receiver that cannot be detected. Ultimately, the same rules applying to any computer system apply to VoIP: Always have the latest antimalware software installed and keep all your systems updated.
  • Analog and ISDN connections in the traditional landline network are powered through the power grid (public remote power supply). This doesn't work with IP calling, since current cannot be packetized... To prevent outages, IP phone systems and the associated Internet router need a powerful and secure emergency power supply, such as via an emergency generator or UPS solution.
  • Then your phone will no longer work either. But the Sunrise All-IP network will continue to work normally. This means that calls can be forwarded to your mobile phone. Basically, Internet connections critical to your business should always be designed with redundancy. For example, if the IP landline network fails, it should automatically switch to the mobile network or to another provider.