All IP, the new era of telephony

All IP, the new era of telephony

Business success with All IP

The traditional fixed network has had its day – “All IP” has arrived. This new IP-based network and service platform combines telephony and IT, providing many new options and opportunities.

Text: Urs Binder,

The writing has been on the wall for some time now: From the beginning of 2018, the complete conversion to All IP will be starting from region to region so that the dismantling of the old infrastructure can also be set in motion. The All IP era began four years ago. Ever since, classic telephony has been combined with the possibilities provided by IT – All IP provides a completely new platform for the network and the services running on it.

Universal network with digital DNA

The new infrastructure has been named “ALL IP” because the entire range of services, such as telephony, Internet access and supplementary services, are provided on the basis of the Internet Protocol (IP). However, this does not mean that phone calls will be made via the public Internet in future. This would be too insecure and would not meet the requirements of Switzerland’s data protection laws. Therefore, for several years now, Swisscom has been setting up a private IP-based network platform whose DNA is digital through and through.

One of the most important characteristics of All IP is the separation of services and network transmission technology: The same services can be provided based on IP via the fixed network or the mobile network without the user noticing any difference or having to put up with any inconvenience. And when completely new network technologies emerge in the future, the services will continue running smoothly on the new technology. All IP is a future-proof platform for the decades to come.

Future-proof network and service platform

All IP fulfils the promise “All services, everywhere and at all times” – you could say that All IP is the new operating system for the Swiss economy, which is increasingly reliant on mobility, new ways of working and the swift implementation of new projects and business models. The conversion provides the chance to use the new opportunities of digitisation and develop one’s business.

For example, private customers using All IP benefit from a call filter that counters unwanted advertising calls and the displaying of the caller’s name for incoming calls. For business customers, All IP provides many additional benefits.

Let’s take a look at a company with a number of branches: Up to now, each branch required its own telecommunications infrastructure with its own telephone system, an Internet connection and possibly a separate line for connecting the IT systems. With All IP only a single connection is required. Telephony, Internet access, IT connection and additional services can be combined in a modular system as each case requires, with standardised access via the All IP platform. And if no telephone system is wanted, it can be left out: A new, virtual private branch exchange takes care of the exchange functions, and is also available as a cloud service.

What exactly is happening?

At present, more than 1.7 million, or three quarters, of Swisscom’s customers have already converted to IP. By the end of 2017, practically all private customers and the majority of business customers will be communicating via All IP. With this prerequisite, in 2018 the old infrastructure in the telephone exchanges throughout Switzerland can be dismantled bit by bit. For new connections, from the middle of 2017 All IP will be the sole option, with previous products no longer being offered actively.

The change to All IP affects all existing telephony offers. These include the EconomyLINE (analogue) and MultiLINE (ISDN) individual connections – here the existing connection is replaced by an IP fixed network connection, or is left out entirely because it is no longer needed. Even if the telephone line is linked to a DSL Internet connection, Swisscom offers follow-on solutions that are All IP-compatible.

For business customers, along with individual connections there has usually been an additional Business Line as the primary or basic connection up to now. The telephone system is connected to the Swisscom network via this connection. The new solution for business telephony is called Enterprise SIP and provides, in addition to all of the main features of traditional telephony, more efficient network operation with lower total costs, the highest level of security via Swisscom’s own private IP network, as well as new options such as online configuration changes in real time via a self-care portal.

Five steps for the conversion to All IP

  1. Knowing what you have: Prepare an exact inventory of all existing connections and devices. How many connections are there at which location, and how many telephone numbers are actually being used? Also take into account connections for special uses, such as those for franking machines, lift telephones or alarm systems.

  2. Knowing what you want: Think about what your requirements are for communication, availability and collaboration. Do you require additional devices or telephone numbers? Do you want to manage numbers and redirections yourself? Do you use advanced services such as UCC/Skype for Business, or do you want to use them in the future?

  3. Knowing what you can already do: Check whether your existing inventory is IP-compatible. Newer systems and devices already “understand” IP. Work through this with your IT partner / system integrator / telephone installer. Work out alternatives for products that are not IP-compatible.

  4. Plan and develop: Working with your partner, and if applicable with your suppliers of special applications, prepare a migration concept and a budget for the entire All IP migration. Plan with foresight: Bear in mind that not only the replacement of the “old” infrastructure is important, but that future requirements and approaches will also have a role to play. And include your requirements for LAN and WAN infrastructures.

  5. Rollout and implementation: Take the last step together with your system integrator and electrician and convert to IP. Test whether everything works as you want it to. You’re now ready for the new era of communication.

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