The part Mobile Data plays in the PSTN/ISDN Switch-off

We interviewed the Jola Exec Team to get their view on the size of the opportunity and why resellers need to choose a mobile data aggregator to support customers through the transition.

What's the market opportunity?

Chrie Howlett"According to Statista, there are over 29.3m PSTN lines and over 4.2m ISDN lines in the UK. Every residential customer with a PSTN line will need to move to an alternative solution to continue making calls on a landline and accessing the internet. Every business in the UK will need to review their internal communications and replace both PSTN and ISDN lines.

When reviewing fixed line connectivity options, your customers may find that they can get faster speeds more cost-effectively using 4G/5G routers and a data SIM card. They won't need to wait long for services to be installed or go live. They can usually have a plug-and-play solution delivered and live the next working day.

There are millions of PSTN lines that won't be able to use a SoGEA or FTTP type replacement due to costs, incompatibility or logistical challenges. Mobile data will be a requirement for customers replacing PSTN lines for lift emergency calling, alarm signalling, telecare and many other applications.” Cherie Howlett, CMO.

What's the technical solution?

Adrian Sunderland"Jola has two Toolkits for resellers, the PSTN Replacement Toolkit and the ISDN Replacement Toolkit.

The PSTN Replacement Toolkit contains a choice of connectivity (Fixed Line, Mobile, Leased Line), voice over GSM or voice over SIP. It also includes cellular or SIP gateway hardware, options for either porting existing numbers or adding new UK numbers.

The ISDN Replacement Toolkit comprises SIP Trunks (including bundled inclusive calls or unbundled wholesale pricing), resilient SIP trunk options (resilient server side and/or client side), and flexible inbound and outbound routing. UK, international and non-geographic number porting is provided via portal or API. We are even expert at managing porting for Microsoft Teams Direct.

Everything is managed through our fully-automated portal, SIP Manager, and our Toolkits are all Jola partners need when quoting to replace existing PSTN or ISDN solutions.” Adrian Sunderland, CTO.

What's the proposition and how easy is it to sell?

"Typically customers are paying around £9 pcm for a phone line. SOGEA is almost double the monthly price and comes with installation charges of around £200. With LTE you will need to buy a router for around £100 but a 500MB MultiNet SIM is less than £2 pcm. Add in a SIP overlay for £2.50 pcm and the cost saving over a 36-month term is significant. Your customers are saving money and hassle, with a solution that is easy to sell, provision, manage and bill.

Case Studies

Intruder alarm monitoring

Our partner has a customer with 13,000 PSTN lines used to monitor intruder alarms and fire alarms in properties, both commercial and residential, all over the UK. We suggested a Dual SIM Robustel Router with dual MultiNet SIMs for resilience and a 500MB aggregated pool of data to be shared across all sites. We added a Private APN to the solution to ensure secure remote access to each device. The solution we provided met the security standards required and by sending pre-configured routers to site we were able to ensure a smooth set up process for engineers, a great margin for our partner and reduced costs for the end-customer. The end customer saved around £90,000 in monthly rentals and nearly £2m in set-up charges. Jola included some software customisation to make the Robustel routers 100% plug-and-play and the partner took a £1.2m pa contract at an average margin of 40%.

Taxi Freephone and Info Call Points

Lee BroxsonThere are a significant number of phone boxes in hospitals, supermarkets and hotels allowing you to book a taxi or receive information for free. Each one of these call points will need to be upgraded as they will no longer work after the PSTN Switch-off. We had a partner who won a deal to upgrade 650 analogue call points in hospitals, hotels and hospitality venues. The biggest challenge they faced was the high upfront costs of replacing the hardware. We provided Robustel routers with an Analogue Telephone Adaptors (ATA) SIP Overlay service and calls over IP. The customer opted for MultiNet SIMs with pooled data to be shared across all sites. The partner won a £600,000 annual contract and the end customer saved over £13,000 a month and nearly £200,000 in CAPEX” Lee Broxson, CSO.

How easy is it to provision support and bill?

Rob Stevens"Our solutions are really easy to provision, support and bill. We have two fully automated, white label management portals, SIP Manager™ and Mobile Manager®, so partners have complete control over every element of their customers' network. We connect in real-time with suppliers, and partners' own portals, via APIs and we even include a Tariff Tool® to price data SIM options in seconds. We take very few calls about SIP or Mobile. Each portal has its own reporting and monitoring and we train our partners to manage estates directly for end users without needing to pick up the phone to us. We run monthly webinars and have developed an extensive Knowledgebase online, with helpful user guides, hints and tips. We control our own gateways and number ranges, so we manage the porting for our partners covering PSTN, IP and mobile networks.” Rob Stevens, COO.

What sort of margins can resellers expect?

Ronnie Smith"Resellers can expect healthy margins from these solutions and still win the deal, as 4G is significantly more cost effective than SoGEA. Our solutions provide resellers with high recurring revenue and Recurring margins without the need for large CAPEX or OPEX investment. Recurring revenue businesses are more attractive to investors, especially when they can demonstrate high growth and low recurring costs. EBITDA multiples are currently significantly higher than for fixed lines, so you're increasing your Enterprise Value as well as saving your customers money.” Ronnie Smith, CFO.



What should partners look for in a mobile data supplier?

Choose an aggregator

"Jola is a multi-award-winning MVNO and mobile data aggregator, which means we offer services from all the major UK networks and hundreds of networks globally. We sell a wide range of options, including Fixed IP and Private APN, and we are a well-established, channel-only company. On average, we launch two new products and product extensions every month, so you will always have a differentiated offering to resist being commoditised. We have our own IP addresses and number ranges, and our superfast HA network runs over Cloudflare, the world's #1 DDoS protection company.

Choose an automated management portal

We give you complete control over your global SIM estate with Mobile Manager®, which has been developed over eight years into an award-winning, market leading portal. Should you wish, your customers can also have access to our white-label portal so they can see directly how much data they are using in each device and make decisions accordingly. We help you uncover opportunities and win them, with solutions end users just cannot buy from anyone else. Our objective is to help you reduce churn, increase ARPU and improve the overall value of your business.

Make sure you can bill and support solutions easily We work with partners to help them overcome the traditional pitfalls in billing and support, to ensure your customers remain happy with the solution they have bought from you, and continue to buy from you.


Andrew DickinsonThere is high demand for mobile data from UK SMEs and yet still only around 20% of resellers have productised M2M/IoT. It is an easy product to sell, provision, support and bill, and sites can be up and producing revenue in days rather than months. We have partners who have doubled the value of their businesses, increased their ARPU and reduced churn by adding mobile data to their portfolio.” Andrew Dickinson, CEO.

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