Vodafone says it will start moving PSTN customers to a voice over IP service later this month.
The Dominion Post reports Vodafone will move customers with VDSL connections first. Those on the Vodafone FibreX cable network and customers with older copper connections will move next year.
Vodafone consumer director Matt Williams says the move is a response to Spark's planned PSTN shut down. In April Spark said it will close the old telephone network by 2022. Vodafone buys PSTN services from Spark.
No more languishing
Williams says the early change over is: "So our customers can take advantage of the benefits of this technology as it evolves versus languishing on an outdated network.
Vodafone customers with UFB fibre connections already have VoIP calling. Until now FibreX customers have used copper lines for traditional phone calls.
The company says it will send customers detailed information and provide support before the upgrades start. For most the change will mean no more than unplugging existing phones from the wall and plugging them into a broadband modem or router.
There may be issues for people with alarm systems that use copper phone connections.
Vodafone's move to VoIP is a long way ahead of necessity. While Spark said it would close its PSTN service, that's a five year process. It means replacing hundreds of telephone exchanges and network nodes with three new nodes.
New business plans
Vodafone will offer business users new all-in-one packages that includes voice calling and internet. The Office Net Unlimited plan is for VDSL users, Office Net Unlimited+ is the fibre version. Both plans cost $100 a month but require customers to sign for a 24-month term. As the name suggests, the plans include unlimited voice calls.
Office Net and Office Net+ cost $110. They include 200GB of data and 500 minutes for calls to anywhere in the world.