The inevitable death rattle of the NZ PSTN

Hands up who remembers the terrifying tones of their 56k modem? The early consumer world wide web was tuned for low speed, high latency connections to pull data packets across a copper network designed primarily for the mid-range tones of human speech, and it was an interesting place. The state of NZ internet saw its first big boost when the 2 year construction of the Southern Cross Cable was completed in 2000 (That’s 17 years ago!) terminating Takapuna Beach in Auckland with the USA. These were the days where Netscape Navigator, Xtra and Yahoo became the default welcome package for Kiwi’s connecting online for the very first time, and the first introduction of ADSL via Telecom’s Jetstream plan. May 2006 saw the local loop unbundling which drove increasing competition between newfound ISPs that were coming into the market, with some eventually offering a “naked” plan that was sans phone line via the same copper network. How is that for a nostalgia trip?

Fast forward to 2017 and we have Fibre UFB in most regional hubs and an increasing number of VDSL users moving away from the archaic ADSL services when infrastructure finally reaches them (Thank you Chorus 998 bandplan bandaid). Gigabit speeds are extremely common, and Chorus are even looking at offering 10Gbps in the not so distant future thanks to more users coming online and the growing IoT surge.

Last week I traveled to Hamilton with the team to give an update around Sofsol’s VoIP offerings. It was a great event and it was fantastic to field some burning questions from the crowd. Typically at these events I come across the same question of where to easily identify VoIP opportunities in NZ. It’s actually a very simple answer. Can you guess how? Here’s a hint


Original image credit to Walker Books


9 times out of 10 it’s wherever a Chorus van is, or was parked. UFB areas hold bountiful opportunities for VoIP, especially considering that the antiquated copper isn’t included in new builds. It’s all Fibre! This means VoIP is a default go to for business’ in new build areas, or areas that are having UFB rolled out. Yes, VDSL can just about do the trick with QoS etc, but it’s a best effort service at best.

VoIP is an absolute no brainer for Fibre areas. No copper phone line required or needed and all the cost savings from removing that, plus using a SIP provider for terminating calls over the internet for even faster return. Compound that with using overseas SIP providers with least cost routing and we can easily see why VoIP is disrupting the geriatric copper POTS PSTN networks throughout NZ. Need further evidence? Spark announced in April they are ripping out the 1876 based landline tech over the next 5 years in favour of an IP based network. The PSTN backbone will be surgically removed to stay current with the new world of voice over IP we find ourselves in. It’s better quality, it’s cheaper and it’s growing at an increasing pace. Copper is taking its final breaths.

Our VoIP team are well versed in the state of the NZ VoIP market, and we have numerous solutions available for resellers to offer their end users. Want to know more? Touch base with our VoIP team today.