POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) is going away. What’s your plan for the future?


Unless you’ve been living entirely off the grid, you know that humans are consuming and generating more data than ever before. IDC predicts that by 2025, the global datasphere will grow to 163 zettabytes, which translates to 163 trillion gigabytes. While these massive numbers are hard to comprehend, the drivers behind the data deluge are less so. IDC concludes our data explosion hinges on three primary factors: the core, including traditional and cloud data centers, the edge, including server rooms and servers in the field, and the endpoints, comprised of mobile phones, laptops, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and more. (Source: IDC). With this growth and the role of endpoints and the edge growing at a rapid rate, businesses face a unique problem: how do we manage our massive appetite for data? Today, copper telephone lines that support POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) are an aging infrastructure that’s getting more and more expensive to maintain. Major telephone providers like AT&T have already started phasing out their support of analog POTS lines – promising for a full phase-out by 2020. These adjustments are pushing customers to look at other options to replace copper telephone connections. (Source: High-Speed Experts). Many big broadband providers are driving customers to wireless and fiber lines, so what’s the problem? In short, many ‘analog era’ office applications – security alarms, gate systems, FAX lines – weren’t built for digital connections and they run inherently better on analog lines! Not only that, fiber connections are expensive! ‘Analog era’ is coming to an end While it’s clear the ‘analog era’ of communications is ending, there’s still a big gap that exists between analog POTS lines and the full-scale adoption of SIP trunking, Unified Communications (UC), fiber, and wireless connections. So is it all or nothing? Do customers have to pay more for fiber lines to replace POTS? What can companies do to keep their ‘analog era’ devices running smoothly? 4G LTE for POTS Replacement The answer to a smarter transition to digital communications is converting POTS lines to a 4G LTE-enabled solution. Why? Let’s dig deeper.

  • Fire alarms, gates, elevators, and emergency systems – As we mentioned earlier, functions like fire alarms, security systems, and elevators require POTS-like reliability, meaning they need to work no matter what. These must-have requirements are exactly in harmony with today’s digital solutions. Because VoIP lines are dependent on running power and the internet, they’re not 100% dependable. What happens if a VoIP line has distortions or ‘echoes’ during an emergency phone call? Or what about if the power goes out or there’s a natural disaster, how can you sound alarms? 4G LTE connectivity is more suited for always-on business applications like gates, alarms, elevators, etc.because it delivers stability and reliability at a reasonable price.

  • Faxing – Many companies still depend heavily on faxing to send and receive orders with customers, vendors, and partners. In particular, those companies in verticals like healthcare, financial, and the legal industry also rely on faxing to comply with industry and government regulations. Making the switch to running fax lines over 4G LTE provides a reliable replacement solution that costs much less than other internet-based solutions that are, in many cases, overkill for these functions. 

  • Point of Sale – A company’s Point of Sale system is the lifeline of the business. If it goes down, companies can lose thousands of dollars in sales in a matter of minutes, or worse, they can hurt their reputation with customers. Companies need a high-performance and cost-effective alternative to traditional telephone lines that include built-in redundancy and doesn’t require power or the internet. Making a move away from POTS and fiber for running Point of Sale applications means businesses can have greater peace of mind knowing they can serve customers. 

  • Business resiliency – As we’ve highlighted, power and internet outages can happen at any time. If your company relies 100% on digital communication, what’s your backup plan? A 4G LTE POTS replacement solution provides business resiliency and is self-contained, preparing you for anything. 

Make a plan and act on it Regardless of the timeline for phase-out of POTS lines, it’s safe to say that over the next few years, conventional analog telephone services will only get more expensive and offer fewer options.

This information is provided courtesy of Broad Sky Networks in partnership with Liberty Bell Telco.

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