As budgets for most businesses have been contracting in recent years, a growing number of enterprises have abandoned their legacy PBX systems and turned to IP technology to lower telecom costs and improve their bottom line. Moving voice traffic to the data network allows business to cut – or eliminate entirely – the costs associated with the maintenance of a dedicated voice network, including staffing and equipment.
Businesses today have more choices than ever when it comes to telephone systems. The world of telephony has come a long way from the days when choosing a phone system was relegated to the PBX/key system/Centrex toss of the dice. Prior to the advent of IP (Internet Protocol) telephony, the choices were pretty simple: Buy an expensive PBX, a less-expensive key system, or pay-as-you-go with Centrex.
Back in the dark ages of telephony (less than a decade ago), plain old telephone service (POTS) was the standard for both consumer and business telecommunications. POTS is the analog, voice-grade telephone service that runs on public switched telephone network (PSTN), a global network of public, circuit-switched telephone networks. Business users would invest in a private branch exchange (PBX) to serve its office, route ingoing and outgoing calls, and to reduce the cost of internal phone calls. Available since the late 19th century, POTS remained largely unchanged for decades.
The telephony market began to change in the mid-2000’s with the advent of IP telephony. VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) relies on existing broadband Internet access, as users make and receive telephone calls in much the same way as they did via PSTN. The difference with IP telephony centers on the fact that calls travel on the Internet, rather than the PSTN.
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Taken in part from: Compare Business Products: What to Do with Your Legacy PBX 2012