The Final Countdown to PSTN Sunset

Telecom carriers are accelerating the transition from PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) to all-IP communications. Traditional voice services usually routed through the fixed-line analog network are then routed through a voice over IP digital network. Rather than using PSTN, calls are transferred over high-bandwidth internet links reaching home. This can be done over the existing copper lines with xDSL technology or over Cable or Optic Fiber installed for copper line termination.

The main reason for this change is that most carriers do not want to manage a twofold infrastructure with analog and digital equipment when a full digital architecture can offer at least the same level of service for end-users. Consequently, telecom equipment manufacturers are focusing on digital technology and are phasing out analog equipment making it more and more difficult for any carrier to maintain its analog infrastructure. Since digital technology can bring more services, telecom operators also prefer to invest on technology that may increase their average revenue per user (ARPU).

The All-IP Transition Problem

For basic voice services, this IP transition works smoothly by connecting legacy phones to the RJ11 port of Internet Boxes that operate a Voice over IP conversion (VoIP) using protocols such as SIP. Another possibility involves the incumbent operator creating a PSTN emulation on the existing copper line so that the end-user is not required to do any change to its existing installation.

For data services and special voice services over PSTN, this VoIP conversion may simply not work due to technical constraints (latency, incompatible voice codecs, etc.).

Millions of devices, many of them providing critical services, will become inoperable. Such devices include medical devices, fire alarms, franking machines, energy meters, industrial controllers, etc.

Several operators publish an informal list of such special devices to help users assess the risk of critical services shutdown:

PSTN Switch-Off: a Worldwide Move

This change is happening worldwide at a different pace depending on the country and the carrier. It is usually named PSTN sunset or POTS switch-off in the US, All-IP programme in UK, end of the PSTN in France, NBN roll-out in Australia, All-IP transformation in Germany, NGN migration in other countries.

Some disasters like wildfires and hurricanes can accelerate local All-IP migration. On the heels of US hurricane Michael in 2018, traditional POTS landlines have been discontinued in impacted areas.

PSTN phase-out schedule per country

Country Switzerland Germany Greece Australia New Zealand France UK Hungary
Carrier Swisscom Deutsche Telekom Deutsche Telekom NBN Spark, Vodafone Orange BT Deutsche Telekom
Phase-out date 2018 (consumer)
2019 (business)
2019 (consumer)
2020 (business)
2019 2020 2022 2023 2025 2017

All-IP Transition Solutions

eDevice is a leading provider of secure IoT solutions, with a special focus on all-IP Transition Platforms.

In the last few years we have helped major customers to quickly migrate nearly 1 million devices in more than 130 countries.

The eDevice network converters and network services are Plug&Play solutions for IP migration. Our solutions not only extend the life of legacy equipment using fixed telephone lines but also reduce drastically monthly telecommunication cost.

eDevice All-IP Transition Solutions

WireX, enabling connectivity transition from analog modem to cellular networks

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WireT, connecting data PSTN devices to Ethernet/LAN networks

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Global Cellular Network Services, offering mobile connectivity in 130 countries

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Contact your traditional network service provider for smaller sized projects.