VoIP vs. POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) Lines
If you’re interested in switching to VoIP phone service for your company, you’re probably wondering what differentiates it from your existing phone lines and what benefits it could bring. Before we delve into the differences of each, let’s first learn what each acronym stands for.
As funny as it sounds, POTS stands for “Plain Old Telephone Service.” And that’s what it really means. It’s the traditional telephone line most everyone is familiar with that uses a telephone network to reach another person. It’s also referred to as PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) and landline.
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. With VoIP, communication is sent over the internet instead of a telephone network.
How VoIP Differs from POTS
In order to understand how VoIP works, it’s helpful to understand how it relates to POTS. When you make a traditional phone call using the Public Switched Telephone Network, you’re using circuit-switched telephony. This system works by using a circuit between two points that must remain open for the duration of the phone call. Analog voice data is carried through copper or fiber-optic wires that criss-cross around the world. If you’re having a conversation that is long distance you may even hear a delay. And that’s because it takes time for your voice signals to reach their destination. Long-distance phone calls are generally most expensive because the circuit or dedicated channel must remain open for the entirety of the call.
VoIP, on the other hand, does not need a dedicated circuit for a call. It uses packet-switched telephony. Instead of your calls being transmitted through wiring, they rely on your business’ internet. When you make a phone call with VoIP, your voice converts into data packets that are sent through your router to another IP address This is similar to how your tweets, emails, and more are sent. These data packets include all of the information required to route your call as well as the data that will be transformed to sound exactly like your voice once it reaches its destination.
Features of VoIP
One of the biggest advantages VoIP has over POTS is its ability for integration. For example, if a client calls you through VoIP, their identity and full account details will be shown immediately, so you have immediate access to them. Most VoIP providers have additional services that either aren’t available or are very costly with POTS including:
- Voicemail to text
- Voicemail to email
- Call recording
- FInd-Me-Follow-Me functionality
- Unlimited amount of lines
You can also use your mobile phone as an extension of your business phone, so you can be at your client’s convenience anytime and anywhere.
VoIP Costs and POTS Costs
VoIP phone lines are generally less expensive than POTS lines. You can find basic VoIP service that starts at around $20 a month per seat while a traditional phone service may run you significantly more.
Both VoIP and POTS provide you with the means of calling and receiving calls from clients and customers. However, VoIP simply offers more functions beyond what a traditional phone system can do. If you’re interested in learning more about VoIP or would like a business phone solution for your company, contact us at America’s Phone Guys. We serve the greater Portland OR and Vancouver WA areas.
VoIP vs. POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) Lines in Portland OR and Vancouver WA
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