With the imminent demise of ISDN2e and ISDN30e there’s a bit of a mud-stir happening in our world of telecommunications. There are literally thousands of Schools, Colleges and Companies large and small using one flavour or another of ISDN.  These are the facts you will need to know RIGHT NOW



Believe it or not I was working for Portel when ISDN arrived on the scene way back when.  Initially it was called DASS, then DASS2 (Digital Automatic Switch System) arriving over 6 copper wires at great expense. Eventually the service became ISDN, in two flavours, ISDN2e (two digital lines) ISDN30e (usually 6 to 30 channels / lines) this didn’t stand for  Innovation Subscribers Don’t Need but Integrated Services Digital Networking, delivered over a single pair of copper wires, still cost lots but a quick way to deliver up to 30 lines over one pair of wires without having to dig up the road so cheaper for the client (they used to pay for the dig) and a superb method of expanding a business’s phone lines fast, remember all of this arrived before proper broadband ….. it was cutting edge…at the time.



With the bulk of Great Britain’s phone calls transported via Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), less businesses and educational establishments are using ISDN, it’s no longer profitable to provide, why buy 6 channels of ISDN30e when one standard broadband can give the equivalent of 50 phone lines for a fraction of the cost ?. The snag is you may have an existing ISDN2e or ISDN30e telephone system the cost of which to change out may seem draconian. Looking long term, it’s a lot cheaper to rent one line with broadband attached than either ISDN service, eventually you will break even on the cost of changing your phone system if only by losing existing line rentals.


What’s Required

A broadband service for the VoIP system.  If you have less than five phones then Cloud connection is the cheapest option, over five phones then we always recommend an on-site phone system, especially if you need to record calls (data protection). Remember we are the people who build these VoIP systems, we really do know what we are talking about !.

Fully programmed, ready to go handsets cost from £69.95 upwards, you need to spend time working out what exactly what’s required, how the phones are answered, are all users in one office, mulitple offices or home office, maybe home-working from abroad ?. Do you need to see the status of each phone, Voice Mail, Multiple Conferencing, Call Recording, Transfer to Mobile, Transfer Abroad, Transfer with three-way conference, Single or Multiple receptionists, the list is endless again talk to an engineer as they know all the answers, this is technical, you are not buying a block of wood.

Route Map

New Broadband installation (may not be required, the engineer will advise)

Install Phone system / set up the Cloud Phone System, again the engineer will advise

Install phones onto existing CAT5 wiring (or provide)

Install a Powered Router to drive the phones (not required for home office’s)

Ofcom transfer your telephone numbers to the new providers network (arranged by your new provider) There is a one-off fee, typically £30.00 + VAT per number ported then a fee to host the numbers, Portel charge £3.00 + VAT per month hosting fee per number, no line charge, no per-seat charge just a number hosting fee, no calls in a month?, your bill will be £3.00 + VAT.

type 7000 dial phone

Costs – Set up


Powered Router for office or school-based set up


Porting fee’s

Phone system, either office or cloud based depending on the number of phones attached


Costs – Ongoing - Monthly


Number hosting fee’s

Cost of calls, Portel charge just a penny per minute for 01,02 & 03 calls 24/7 

DO NOT enter into a contract of pay-monthly for everything, you'll end up paying twice

DO NOT pay per-seat for each phone attached

DO NOT pay per line, “each phone needs a line”, no it doesn’t, it’s a con.

The main cost of an office-based phone system is the ‘box’ Portel's range from a few hundred pounds to eight thousand pounds, it’s a lot, usually more than the cost of the telephone handsets.


 Portel AV Limited are giving a Liberty VoIP phone system ‘box’ or Cloud connection away for free, you buy handsets, router & broadband from Portel to receive a free phone system up to the value of £8,000.00,now if you hadn't read all the way down to the bottom you would have missed that !! Just quote this blog to claim your discount.


ISDN Argent Phone System





Useful Links:


Phone system: http://www.portelav.co.uk/telephone-systems/liberty-voip-sip-isdn30e.html

Reception Phone: http://www.portelav.co.uk/voip-telephones/liberty-x5s.html

Standard Phone: http://www.portelav.co.uk/voip-telephones/liberty-x3-available-in-colours.html

Cordless Phone: http://www.portelav.co.uk/voip-telephones/liberty-cordless-voip-handset-and-base.html

Powered Router: http://www.portelav.co.uk/poe-switches/24-port.html 


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