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VoIP telephone systems vs. traditional phone lines

John Miller at Atlantic Telecom explains the benefits of VoIP telephone systems as traditional phone line support dwindles

BT made headlines in 2018 when it announced plans to shut down traditional phone lines by 2025. It intends to move all customers, business and residential, to VoIP systems.
Where does that leave you and what does the future hold for the telephone system?

What are the different types of phone lines?
Telephone calls made on landlines use either a public switched technology network (PSTN) or integrated services digital network (ISDN). These are reliant on copper wiring which is quickly becoming outdated. Copper wire lines have been superseded by fibre to the premises (FTTP) and internet, both of which are also used to make and receive calls.

Internet phone calls are known as IP – internet protocol. IP technology is either voice over internet protocol (VoIP) or session initiation protocol (SIP). VoIP make and receive calls and SIP manages voice and video calls as well as messaging.

How does this affect me?
Some businesses already use fibre and internet phones but there are many more using PSTN or ISDN lines. There is no upcoming technology for these options and within years they will be obsolete. It is no longer possible to purchase either system from BT which means you will need to look for another telephony solution.

What are my options?
When you are due to renew your system, you could find another PSTN/ISDN provider, they do exist. But BT were the first to make the move to stop supply and doubtless others will follow. The technology simply hasn’t been updated for PSTN/ISDN. The alternative is to make the transition to an IP system.

How do IP systems work?
VoIP systems use broadband connections to make and receive calls. It is a virtual system, based in a data centre somewhere in the world. If the internet connection is good, the call quality will be better than that of a standard telephone line. Examples of VoIP calls are WhatsApp and FaceTime but there are VoIP options designed specifically for office and business environments.

Instead of traditional switchboard, a business can have a private branch exchange, or PBX. This is a system that offers multiple calls to be made and received along with features you’d expect for a business, such as call forwarding, call waiting, voicemail and call divert to another number if you’re away from your desk.

It is possible to subscribe to an online PBX, but it can be difficult to fix things should they go wrong for any reason. By subscribing to a professional service, you will always have someone to help you, set up features for you and make sure you’re using the features most suited to your needs. Atlantic Telecom offers great value call and handset packages with the knowledge to set you up with a system that is right for your business. One size doesn’t necessarily fit all, and we will make sure you’re using the features that will benefit you most.

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