Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Plain Old Telephone Service For Business

What’s the modern way to get business phone service? How about POTS? That’s Plain Old Telephone Service.

Wait a second. Who wants something that’s considered “plain” and even “old”?

You do. That’s who. Why? Because POTS can be the highest quality most cost effective phone service you can get, that’s why. How can that be? Let’s see.

POTS is actually an industry term for analog telephone service over twisted pair copper wiring. It’s the direct descendent of the very telephone that Alexander Graham Bell invented. The Bell name lived on in the form of the Bell Telephone System, which had a monopoly on residential and business telephone service for about 100 years.

Why does that matter in this high technology age? Simply because 100 years is a lot of time to get it right. That’s what the telephone industry did. They got very, very efficient at building, installing and maintaining standardized telephony equipment to meet a strict set of specifications. By the time POTS technology was starting to feel competition, there were standard copper phone cables run to every home and business.

One advantage of analog phone service is that you have a dedicated pair of phone wires from your location right back to the telephone company’s central office. There’s no sharing of capacity the way there is on the Internet, for instance. Thus, phone calls have a predictable sound quality to them. As long as your lines aren’t defective, you have clear understandable voice conversations across town or across the country, even the world. Being a full duplex system, both parties can talk at the same time and be heard. You won’t cut off the start of the other conversation if you respond too quickly. Their voice won’t morph into the sound of Darth Vader or a deep sea diver because the transmission lines are congested.

You have your private space and that’s that. This is why the standard phone system is also called the PSTN or Public Switched Telephone Network. There are actual physical switches in place to create a unique private circuit between you and anyone you care to speak with, regardless of where they are located.

That’s landline phone service for you. Cellular wireless phones may often be more convenient, but they depend on radio transmissions that can vary in strength from location to location. VoIP can sound as good as analog, but often doesn’t because the underlying data network is trying to send too many voice, data and video packets down the line at the same time. The Internet is a particular example of where you get strange and varying results when you use it to carry telephone conversations.

What type of companies does POTS work best for? Small and medium size businesses who need anywhere from a single phone line up to a dozen lines. You can order your lines one at a time as your business grows to need more. With more than 4 lines, you probably have a Key telephone system or small PBX telephone system to share the outside lines among all your employees.

At somewhere around 10 or 12 analog lines, it makes sense to move up to ISDN PRI, also called T1 PRI, digital telephone service. Strict telephone standards multiplex up to 23 phone lines plus Caller ID and switching signals onto a private T1 line. You get the same quality and features you enjoy with your analog service, but the pricing is often lower for ISDN PRI.

What phone service is best for your business? That depends on whether you are an independent sales professional, a high volume call center, a grocery store, an engineering firm or any of thousands of other businesses that depend on reliable telephone service. Our Telarus business consultants can help you get the most cost effective solution that gives you the quality, reliability and features you need. Get Lower Cost Business Phone Service Quotes today.

Click to check pricing and features or get support from a Telarus product specialist.

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