This content is part of the Essential Guide: The VoIP basics every enterprise should know

How do you effectively transition from PSTN to VoIP?

Expert Chris Partsenidis offers guidelines for a smooth and successful PSTN to VoIP migration.

Migrating from PSTN to VoIP requires careful planning and cross-checking to ensure the transition proceeds smoothly...

with minimal or no downtime. While the migration process depends heavily on the size of your infrastructure, there are some guidelines you can follow to help make the transition as smooth as possible:

  1. Ensure your current PBX supports SIP termination. If your PBX supports SIP, provide the PBX make and model number to your telecom operator so it can verify your PBX's compatibility with its SIP service. In case your PBX doesn't support SIP, you need to either purchase a voice gateway to connect the PBX with a SIP provider or replace the whole PBX with a VoIP PBX.
  2. Make a list with all lines and associated numbers. When migrating from PSTN to VoIP, you'll most likely move the existing company numbers to a SIP provider -- this is also known as local number portability. In this case, it is very important to ensure all company numbers are included in the migration – otherwise, they are likely to be lost or cancelled by the PSTN telecom operator.
  3. Use a test number before the final migration. It's always advisable to move a single line first. This tactic will provide you with the necessary time to test your new SIP provider and ensure the line quality is up to standards. Once the SIP line has been extensively tested, you can then safely proceed with moving all other lines.
  4. When upgrading to an IP PBX, install it parallel to the existing infrastructure. While it's not always possible, I highly advise running the new VoIP infrastructure parallel to the existing one. This strategy will allow more time for users to adapt to the new system and uncover possible problems that would otherwise not be noticed, like network bottlenecks and high latency.

The above guidelines should help provide some insight on a few important points in the PSTN to VoIP transition process that should not be missed.

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