When a business moves from plain old telephone service (POTS) to VoIP for desktop telephony, there is little risk and significant cost savings. However, mission-critical communications are more complicated and require a specialized solution.
A POTS transformation solution converts a copper landline to a cellular. This enables ATMs to connect fire panels and elevator emergency phones to stay operational for the safety of everyone inside or outside your building.
Many life safety systems and business-critical devices depend on POTS lines. But these legacy copper phone lines are fading and will eventually reach their end of life. That means you must find a solution that replaces your old POTS lines.
Many enterprises are considering VoIP or cellular solutions as their POTS replacement services. But, the reliability of these solutions depends on how your organization uses them. For example, if your building security system, fire alarm panels, or fax machines depend on POTS lines, you’ll need to ensure that these devices are not using the same network.
For this reason, it’s essential to work with a partner that understands your needs and provides a turnkey solution that reduces complexity. Look for a provider offering all-in-one hardware, data, and service at a monthly rate. This eliminates the need for multiple vendors and helps you deliver a compliant solution that meets regulatory requirements. This is particularly important for emergency systems, like elevator emergency phones and fire alarm panels, where regulations require that the underlying physical network facilities operate end-to-end on-site at your facility, not in some distant cloud.
While many organizations have moved desktop telephony to VoIP and cut their landline telecom costs, many still rely on POTS lines for services like fax, alarm, point of sale, and elevators. Those systems do not fit well for VoIP and need a dedicated line to function properly.
POTS lines don’t offer monitoring or remote management capabilities like digital platforms, so they are susceptible to damage from weather and other factors. This can cause downtime and expensive repairs. Moreover, the workforce that understands POTS is shrinking, creating a barrier to getting repair work quickly.
To prevent these costs, choose a POTS replacement service provider that offers a comprehensive solution that can handle your facility’s unique needs. This could include a network operations center (NOC) and cloud-based software to give you visibility to your devices from anywhere in the world. They can also provide cellular boosters that increase cellular signal for better reliability.
As major phone providers sunset POTS lines by dropping them or raising prices dramatically, facilities managers are forced to move from these aging copper lines. This is especially true for critical systems like fire alarms, elevator phones, and security.
While it may seem simple to rip and replace old landlines with modern equipment, it’s important to consider the risks involved. While desktop telephony solutions and VoIP services work well, these types of hardware cannot provide the redundancy required by life safety systems that have to call 911 in case of an emergency.
There are a variety of alternatives that offer better flexibility and efficiency. These include cellular boosters, which improve cellular signal strength in your building; VoIP and SIP trunking hardware that connects your phone system to the internet; and digital POTS replacement solutions that allow you to move from a hardwired copper network to wireless or cellular networks without disrupting your life-safety systems. A digital POTS solution will also give you in-depth visibility of all your phone inventory and circuit use, making it easier to identify and remove unused or redundant POTS lines.
As copper POTS lines degrade and are sunset by major providers, scalability will be a significant challenge for businesses relying on them. Many life-safety and business-critical systems must be migrated to alternative technology like voice over IP (VoIP), dedicated fiber or Ethernet connectivity, or cellular connections.
It can be easy for POTS line infrastructure to go unnoticed in a telecom inventory environment, even when they are no longer in use. A unified communications platform can help you identify these lines, drill down into their status and circuit usage, and manage them to cut costs in the long run.
Several companies offer an affordable solution that allows you to migrate from analog POTS lines to digital VoIP services without requiring a costly infrastructure overhaul. With the FCC phasing out landline services, now is the time to move on to a more cost-effective solution and benefit from the advanced features and flexibility of digital telecommunications solutions.
In a world where copper POTS lines are being retired, and support is becoming harder to find, choosing a flexible solution is essential. Unlike traditional landlines, cellular-based solutions provide business continuity and are easier to maintain.
A good POTS replacement services provider will have a comprehensive solution that can work across multiple devices, including POS terminals, ATMs, elevators, and security alarm panels. The solution should also be designed to handle analog dial tones, including fax, fire alarm control panels, and emergency call boxes. It should also meet NFPA 72 requirements for phone line verification and ASME safety codes for elevators and escalators.