Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. Professor X and Magneto. Batman and The Joker. Harry Potter and Voldemort. What do all of these duos have in common? Well, they all were fighting for dominance, just like the analog landline (POTS, plain old telephone service) and Voice over IP (VoIP) have been for generations.
The difference is, until now, there was no clear winner when it comes to the POTS vs VoIP battle. So what changed?
A Look Back At The Beginning
It all started in 1876 when Alexander Graham Bell uttered “Mr. Watson, Come here.” For over a century, what became known as the telephone, dominated the communications industry as the de facto method of communications among businesses, families, and countries.
As you can see, today’s numbers are equivalent to 1920, but telecom companies have to maintain a network built to handle the type of traffic that was used in 2000. The results were rising fees and degrading quality and for a while, the status quo could be maintained as there was not another option that could compete.
But once VoIP matured, the game changed, and droves of users flocked to the reliable and more affordable option. Not only that, but VoIP was proving itself to be more versatile, as the service followed the device, not the physical port the device was attached to. And once the hosted PBX solution was introduced, and setting up a new line was as easy as plugging in a new phone and a few clicks on a mouse, the game was over for POTS. VoIP was the incontrovertible winner of the battle for dominance.
POTS Falls Victim to Complacency
Blockbuster. Polaroid. Toys’RUs. Plain Old Telephone Service. What do they all have in common? They all failed to innovate in light of new upstarts in the business with a transformative model and eventually fell victim to the change. It’s an all too common scenario and has led to the retirement of one of the most innovative technologies of a lifetime.
Unlike the Blockbusters of the world, the death of POTS is a bit more complicated. When users wanted to watch a movie, they could stream it to their computer or TV or borrow a DVD from a standalone kiosk.
Transitioning between POTS and VoIP lines, however, is not so easy. Whereas Blockbuster could have pivoted and begun providing standalone kiosks and mail rental services and become a competitor to RedBox, the underlying technology of the telephony networks are vastly different. Analog POTS phones can’t just be plugged into a VoIP line and go on as normal. The good news, however, is that there are solutions to enabling the older analog phones, fax machines, alarm systems, and more to being able to function over the newer digital solutions.
POTS Lines are Dead, Long Live VoIP
Whether you have begun the process of phasing out your internal analog lines or not, it’s clear that soon, you won’t have a choice. The fees for analog copper lines will continue to grow significantly before being phased out entirely. If you haven’t yet, you need to make a back-up plan for how you will continue to communicate after the copper line retirement. As it stands today, businesses like yours have two options: Full rip and replace of the entire communications infrastructure or wireless POTS Line Replacement devices. Most of us have already invested significant time and investment into our current infrastructures, so a full rip and replace is not only cost prohibitive…it will also require a significant investment in time. Which many of us do not have.
Fortunately, the alternate solution is surprisingly simple. One device can convert your analog POTS line devices, such as fax machines, elevator alarms, fire and burglar alarms, to enable the signals to be sent via digital technologies. How?
POTS IN A BOX® is an LTE/Cellular/Wi-Fi/PSTN/FirstNet-capable router that can enable many combinations of legacy analog wireline in-band Voice, M2M, Data, DTMF, Analog Data Modem Tones, Fax and Alarm System Signals. These functions – which were historically supported by POTS Lines – can now be delivered via POTS IN A BOX® and carried over LAN or WAN internet connections such as fiber optics or cable connections. Now you can keep the systems and devices you have invested in so thoroughly over the past years and still enter into the digital era, all by plugging in one simple device to bridge the digital divide. Contact us today to learn more.
Regardless of which option you choose, it is no longer a question of if but how. The phase-out of the analog lines is in progress. It is imperative that you create a back-up plan now and continue to build on the success you have already achieved.