A Comparison of VoIP and Other Phone Solutions
Metro Detroit VoIP has seen growth over the last few years, and continue to expand as more businesses see the benefits of VoIP over POTS (plain old telephone system). In a previous blog post, we talked about what you should ask your VoIP provider according to what you need.
In this post, we compare the most used phone solutions for businesses, VoIP included.
First, a review of phone systems for businesses:
- POTS: plain old telephone system, your basic landline, one line, one phone.
- Mobile phones: Employees each have a cell phone on a company phone plan.
- PBX: private branch exchange, internal system with internal calling and a unified phone number for external calls. Switches calls between enterprise users on local lines while allowing all users to share a certain number of external phone lines.
- IP-PBX: internet protocol PBX, a PBX running on VoIP.
- VoIP: All the functionalities of POTS, PBX, and more, running on the internet instead of phone lines, externally hosted and managed by your provider
When it comes to hardware and software:
- POTS – no hardware or software needed in addition to the usual connections
- Mobile phones – needs hardware of course: cell phones, sim cards, etc.
- PBX – needs a lot of hardware
- IP-PBX – needs both hardware and software, or can be hardware-based OR software-based
- VoIP: software only
Flexibility for scaling/customization and ease of setup/installation and management:
- POTS – is easy, of course, with no flexibility at all
- Mobile phones – are flexible, but not easy for the business to “install” or provide. So many numbers to keep track of, for instance. And phones need to be obtained.
- PBX – no on both counts
- IP-PBX – is flexible, though the easiness would depend on your provider
- VoIP – YES on both counts!
Internal calls and international calls:
- POTS – No on both counts
- Mobile phones – No internal, YES to international calls–look for special rates if your business uses international calls a lot
- PBX – yes, PBX was made for internal calls, but not for international
- IP-PBX – YES on both counts
- VoIP – YES on both counts! (if you have IP-PBX).