The end of fixed line telephony is one of those situations that has been heralded often but has not yet come to pass. While VoIP uptake is surging and more people switch to pure IP, there is still a place for fixed line telephony in the modern business.
There is no doubt that VoIP is the communications medium of the future but it is not capable of offering the range of features an on-premise of cloud PBX offers. Until telcos have the interconnects in place and mobile offers more business oriented features, the humble fixed line will remain.
Here are several things that fixed line telephony and a PBX can offer that VoIP and pure mobile cannot.
Call centre features
If you use hunt groups, multiple line handling, IVR and heavy inbound call volumes, there is no substitute for a competent PBX and reliable landlines. Mobile and VoIP can handle smaller levels of calls and hunt groups but not yet to the level a good PBX and inbound call plan design can.
Standalone unified communications
The PBX is still at the centre of most unified communications environments. It often acts as the central contact point for all UC features and integrates the different technologies into the seamless communications we now expect. While mobile is capable of a lot and VoIP is capable of more, it takes a PBX to make easy work of the integration into the business.
If the recent O2 outage taught us anything, it is that no single technology is completely dependable. Even the most advanced business model should use ever-reliable fixed line telephony as a fall back option should UC or mobile communications fail. No business can afford to be out of reach for an hour let alone 24 hours!
Disaster recovery locations can most definitely use IP or VoIP to manage communications but fixed line telephone adds an extra layer of reliability that you know you can depend on. When you’re in a DR situation, the last thing you want is to find your IP network or VoIP sets don’t work! POTS phones and landlines will always be there as a backup.
Easy to fix and troubleshoot
The more technical our solutions become, the more difficult they are to troubleshoot and fix when things go wrong. Fixed line telephony uses modern technology but established fundamentals. We all know how to check if a phone line is working or to swap a desk phone or another to isolate a fault. If time is an issue, this can be essential in managing communications within a business.
There is no doubt that at some point, fixed line telephony will be superseded by IP. With ISDN being phased out and more businesses embracing IP networks, it is inevitable. However, until IP can solve some of those challenges that only fixed lines currently can, there is plenty of life left in it yet!