A portion of the telephone network which dates back several decades is often called Plain Old Telephone Service or POTS for short. Telecommunications Service Providers have been retiring these older POTS lines which use analog technology in recent years, but a portion of the POTS network is still in use. Sangoma is helping customers and service providers that use these POTS lines migrate services to newer packet-based network technology using Sangoma’s Vega 60G gateway series with the assistance of specialized solution providers.
Applications for POTS Lines
You may be wondering what kinds of applications have used these analog telephone lines. The best known of these services are in the familiar market space of Unified Communications, notably a wide variety of voice and facsimile applications. Since these applications are high volume, most of the attention by telephone carriers and other service providers has been on ensuring that these voice and fax services can be converted seamlessly to newer packet technologies such as the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). Sangoma Vega series of media gateways have often been used by customers and service providers to migrate voice and fax applications to Internet Protocol (IP) networks and the cloud. However, there are other applications which are still implemented on POTS networks. Enterprise and industrial customers also need help to migrate these services to newer technology while still preserving investments in existing equipment where possible.
Safety Devices and Specialty Lines – Still Widely Used
A key class of applications which still make substantial use of POTS networks are in the areas of safety and security used for industrial applications and on enterprise premises. Examples include fire alarms, fire panels, control panels and elevators which are installed on the business premise, but currently connect over analog phone lines to monitoring systems. The monitoring systems are used to confirm that these security and safety devices are active and still functioning properly. Some experts have estimated there are about 24 million specialty lines that support these kinds of safety devices and services. Therefore, as phone companies continue to pursue plans to retire their POTS lines, customers have a critical need to maintain these services and their related investments in equipment and monitoring systems.
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Sangoma Support for Migrating POTS Services
Sangoma is collaborating with the stakeholders that currently use or support these services, which include Customers, Telecommunication Service Providers, Solutions Integrators and SIP trunking Providers. The goal is to provide customers with effective migration plans that can help preserve the customer’s investments. A key product line from Sangoma which builds a bridge from existing analog safety and security equipment to modern packet-based networks is the Sangoma Vega 60G analog gateways. For more perspective on how Sangoma works with key stakeholders to create these solutions, download a new Sangoma whitepaper entitled “Migrating Services from POTS to Packet – How Gateways can Play a Key Role”. For a visual perspective on these applications, you can check out this infographic entitled “Migration Away from POTS”.
In the next blog in this series, we’ll dig deeper into POTS migration for security services and review a case study on how Sangoma and a solution partner addressed these requirements for a nationally based service company.