The business phones today are no longer simple boxes used for outgoing or incoming calls. The telephone systems today are much more complex and come with a host of additional functions than their predecessors. VOIP vs POTS is a comparison of both the telephone services on various parameters.
While both POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) and VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) come with their own benefits and can be suitable depending on your organizational requirements, in most cases, using VoIP (or Hosted VoIP) is less expensive than the traditional Analog Phone lines like POTS.
To begin with, it is essential to understand the difference between the two and what each one delivers at an enterprise level. But before we enter the VOIP vs POTS arena, lets look at each service individually.
VoIP is a phone service that transmits the voice as data via an internet connection. In other words, this phone service can make voice calls in a ‘virtual’ manner using an internet connection rather than the traditionally used landlines or phone lines.
A VoIP service is typically set up using a hosted PBX (Private Branch Exchange). In recent times, cloud-based phone systems can also be used to set up VoIP phone service. In addition, the service can be availed with an on-premise PBX system. Using this to enable VoIP phone service is known as SIP trunking.
Since the VoIP phone system is entirely dependent on internet access, it is essential to ensure that internet connectivity is solid without any breaks in connections and that there is limited latency or packet loss. Normally, for small offices, it is recommended to dedicate a minimum of 5 Mbps upload and download to ensuring voice quality of service. For larger offices, we’d recommend a custom design to ensure the proper quality of service (QoS).
Over and above this, VoIP employs CODECS that allows users to transmit different types of data signals and is not just limited to voice transmission; these can include video calling, sending images or multimedia files, etc.
Apart from being a less expensive proposition in a business environment VOIP has an upper hand in the VOIP vs POTS fight because of the below benefits:
VoIP telephone systems are more versatile as they can integrate with different business applications such as email, CRM, etc. this improves the overall productivity as the business can manage all its processes in a single place using the phones.
For instance, with the CRM system being integrated with the VoIP, all client data can be displayed on the computer screen the moment a customer calls your organization.
Flexibility and mobility offered by VoIP are similar to what mobile phone users experience. Employees need not be physically present in their offices to take their calls or access the system.
VoIP can be easily used over softphones, hard phones, as well as video conferencing equipment. This is mainly because VoIP phones are linked to the person using them rather than a physical location.
Such features allow employees to be productive irrespective of where they are working.
Traditional analog telephone setups come with a cost attached to every add-on feature. In the case of VoIP, advanced features like voicemail to email, voicemail to text, auto-attendants, forwarding calls, call transfers, DND abilities, etc are typically included in the bundle.
Another interesting feature of VoIP is its immense scalability. The traditional analog phone signals tend to become more expensive as your business grows. Every additional piece of equipment adds to the capital, maintenance costs as well as the operational expenditure of your business.
VoIP, on the other hand, ensures that your business does not incur additional equipment or call volume related expenditure as the business requirements grow.
We all know it as the landline telephone technology in our homes while we were growing up. However, POTS is best understood as an analog voice transmission system that is normally implemented using copper twisted wires.
These wires help transmit the voice from one place to another. These copper cables facilitate communication all over the world with their intricate network that has navigated to reach some of the remotest locations known to man for over 100 years now.
There has been little modification or upgrade on the POTS system in all this time of its existence. Even today, the copper phone line works by creating a dedicated circuit between two points during transmission.
While the operator does not connect the two parties manually anymore, the automated switching works on a similar basic premise.
Traditional analog devices may not be capable of competing with newer technologies like VoIP in every respect, yet they have certain advantages that have made it difficult for users to switch over to modern communication methods.
Some of the advantages of POTS include the following:
The analog telephone technology has certainly undergone a decent amount of modification since it was first introduced by Alexander Graham Bell. It is a well-established concept that is sound in its basic platform and is supported by a well-spread network of wires all over the world connecting even the remotest of locations.
Analog end-points may not always remain relevant, but for now, the technology is understood well and is seen as a preferred means of vice communication even in commercial environments.
POTS or landline is one of the easiest services to get installed. This 2-wire telephone service is devoid of any complexity when it comes to installation as well as use.
However, this is also because it does not have as many features as the newer internet-based voice communication technologies offer.
A unique advantage of POTS over VoIP is that the handset can continue to work even if the power is lost. This is because the power to the landline is provided directly by the carrier rather than the end-user.
So even if your building loses power in case of a storm or any other circumstances, the telephone line can continue to function which is particularly useful for e911 emergencies.
POTS is a desired mode of communication for very specific uses even today. These include elevator lines, fax lines, and most importantly, emergency phone line services.
Even today, some local codes may require the business to retain a POTS line for handling emergencies. Other than these few areas, very few businesses really require landline or POTS services for the efficient functioning of their business processes and communication flow.
In spite of its unique advantages, POTS is fast losing market to modern technologies like VoIP over business internet access. However, it is not exactly fair to compare the two modes of communication with respect to technology.
VoIP has a head start since it was built to facilitate integrating business applications that, almost always, run on the internet. POTS, however, was built when the supporting infrastructure was not as advanced.
Therefore, cost is a more appropriate basis of comparison, especially from a business communication point of view.
New technology can make users view it as a complex phenomenon and this is one of the main reasons why some businesses are apprehensive about adopting VoIP.
POTS may seem easier to use and VoIP certainly has a learning curve attached to it. However, business growth and expansion support by VoIP outweighs the convenience of using traditional analog telephone systems.
Moreover, newer technology like VoIP is phasing out the older systems making it difficult for users to procure spare parts or upgrade the existing devices.
Lastly, cost is one of the main reasons why organizations are adopting VoIP over business internet access rather than continuing with the traditional analog phone lines. In this case, newer is actually better in every respect.
Hope you found our comparison on VOIP vs POTS helpful. For more information on telephone services suitability, fill our webform or give us a call.