Telephone Network Types, Capabilities and Benefits

Telephone Network Types, Capabilities and Benefits

Small businesses looking to implement new phone system software in their telephone network will quickly discover several types of service connections available. They each have their own benefits and a few drawbacks, and the right choice can help save money over time.

The most common type of business phone service is a landline, which uses a physical connection to the telephone network. This can be either analog or digital, and it's essential to know the difference before choosing a suitable phone system.

Analog lines are older and less common across today’s modern telephone network, but they're still useful for certain market sectors. They also offer good quality voice calls, but they can't carry as much data as a digital telephone network. If using VoIP over a landline, this can count as an exception, as your landline phone will now be able to transmit data packets over a broadband network. 

It is for this reason that a digital telephone network is more common on an enterprise level, as it offers several advantages over analog lines. They are cheaper, and they can carry more data while offering better quality for voice and data communications.

One of the newest business phone service types is VoIP or Voice over IP. Using a broadband internet connection to send and receive calls, the advantages of VoIP far outweigh those of a traditional telephone network.

VoIP is also less expensive than a traditional telephone network, and offers greater features and flexibility. It's also easier to scale up or down as needed, thereby making it a good choice for the telephone network of a growing business.

Ultimately, it is wise to compare and rank phone system providers before purchasing a new system for your telephone network, as the decision you make will impact your organization’s capability to become more efficient and lower costs, while maximizing revenue and customer experience.

VoIP

VoIP is a technology that allows you to make and receive phone calls over the internet. You install the software on your computer, automatically digitizing your phone call and sending the information across a packet-switched network to a phone on the other end.

Owing to its many benefits, moving to VoIP is an option that is now commonplace for most businesses, irrespective of size or industry. Cheaper than a traditional phone line while offering more features for your telephone network, VoIP will also scale with the growing needs of your business - by simply adding or reducing the phone lines in your telephone network, as needed.

One downside of the VoIP telephone network is that it requires a high-speed internet connection to work correctly. Although frustrating to use if you have a slow or unreliable internet connection, using the right combination of VoIP codecs based on the limitations of your internet bandwidth can make a positive difference in the quality of your phone calls.

Traditional Phone Service

The traditional phone service uses a physical connection to the telephone network. This can be either analog or digital, and it's essential to know the difference before choosing a service.

Analog lines are older and less common, but they're typically more reliable due to being run over physical infrastructure. This also contributes to better call quality, in spite of not being able to carry as much data as digital lines. 

Owing to requiring physical wires, configuring a traditional telephone network can therefore be more expensive than VoIP. All these pros and cons tend to heavily weigh in on the VoIP vs landline argument, especially for industries that still rely on a traditional telephone network such as healthcare and education.

Traditional Carriers

You can also choose traditional carriers like AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon. Here are a few options to consider, when choosing a telephone network from a mainstream telecom operator:

Landlines

This is the classic telephone network option for most businesses. You have a fixed line that connects to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and provides service at all times, even during a power outage. Landlines also tend to have superior voice quality during phone conversations since signals are transmitted via a physically wired telephone network.

Cellular

Cellular phones are particularly popular for small businesses, as the telephone network features mobility, especially for remote work environments. Employees don’t have to be confined to an office desk to talk on the phone, while also taking advantage of omnichannel communication capabilities to provide a unique customer experience

The main advantage of traditional carriers is the reliability of service. You can be confident that your telephone network will always have a dial tone, and the quality of phone calls is typically excellent. Traditional carriers also offer various features like caller ID, call forwarding, voicemail, and conference calling. 

With cellular services, subscribers have the opportunity to use the traditional telephone network, while also using VoIP-based calling apps such as WhatsApp to stay in touch from anywhere, and at any time.

SIP Trunking

SIP trunking is a signaling protocol to manage phone calls and video conferences over an IP network. The system requires minimal infrastructure and creates a bridge between private VoIP services and the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN).

You will need an internet connection to implement SIP trunking in your telephone network. The on-premise PBX connects to a SIP soft switch that determines whether a phone call is meant for a PSTN or a VoIP system. SIP trunking accordingly modifies the audio signal travelling along the telephone network, and directs it to its intended destination.

The main advantage of SIP trunking is the money saved on a telephone network that features an on-premise PBX. You don’t need to purchase a PSTN gateway, which can quickly run several thousand dollars. You also don’t require Primary Rate Interfaces or Basic Rate Interfaces dispersed throughout the company. Other benefits include the dynamic allocation of bandwidth during peak hours and enhanced scalability.

While a SIP trunk will account as extra infrastructure for an on-premise PBX telephone network, it is still a comparatively easier alternative to overhauling your existing systems, and replacing it with a hosted PBX system. As a result, a SIP trunk will enable scalability over your traditional telephone network, so you can continue using it while reaping all the benefits of a VoIP system.

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