For some, POTS can be a new and even foreign topic. So, what is plain old telephone service? Plain old telephone service (POTS) is a type of telecommunications service that offers traditional analog, landline telephone services. Still the most widely used form of telecommunication today, POTS utilizes twisted pair copper wires to transmit voice calls from one location to another across a publicly switched telephone network (PSTN). This connection is reliable and provides quality sound, although it has limited capabilities.
MetTel’s Director of Mobile Solutions, Greg Herman, recently joined me on the Techie and the Biz podcast to discuss all the benefits and inner workings of MetTel’s POTS Transformation solution. As carriers are retiring copper telecom infrastructure and support, costs are increasing rapidly—in some cases, by as much as 500%. MetTel’s POTS Replacement solution can resolve this issue and save customers up to 30%, all while providing extensive reliability.
The following are excerpts from the conversation.
Landlines, also known as plain old telephone service (POTS) have been around for over a hundred years. Why is there a push now to finally replace it?
Over the past few years, the FCC has allowed legacy carriers to come out of contract with analog lines. This led to a reduction of workforce and of skilled workers who can repair and install the lines, as well as a shutdown of legacy central office facilities that provided those last-mile copper handoffs. So, it’s been very important to find alternative solutions to provide dial tone to those legacy devices that MetTel’s customers and many other organizations throughout all industries still have.
How is voice over IP (VoIP) different from MetTel’s POTS transformation solution?
Traditional VoIP typically uses a compressed method of transmitting audio, which can be fine for voice lines used for voice calls. But with legacy devices like fire and security panels, the specific signals they send through the telephone network are not sent and received correctly using VoIP, and the compressed audio does not make it back to the central station. With MetTel’s POTS Transformation product, we can deliver a purpose-built device—and can provide an infrastructure that allows for the uncompressed audio to make it intact from the panel to the central station.
How does MetTel’s POTS Transformation needing power compare to a traditional POTS line that does not?
MetTel has created a central office in a box that we install in the customer premise and that has internal battery backup for itself. So, in the event of a premise power outage, the device gracefully fails over to its battery. Any in-progress calls are not impacted. The backup battery will keep those legacy analog devices up and running throughout the power outage.
How long does that backup battery last?
Typically, under various amounts of load right and usage, it holds 24 hours of battery backup. If a customer does need additional battery services or resilient power through an extended power failure, an uninterrupted power supply can be used to augment the internal battery.
Are there any specific industries that use POTS lines more frequently than others?
Any industry that has its own premise is going to require some type of analog connectivity, whether it’s an elevator, a fire alarm, a security system, or an emergency phone. We have customers in all industries and we see this across the board.
POTS Transformation is estimated to have a cost savings of 30%. Where does this savings come from?
A POTS line traditionally gets billed by its basic services depending on where it is in the United States, and there are additional state charges or feature charges. There might be hundreds of POTS lines that are not all billed at the same rate because they are scattered in different states and are subject to different surcharges. When a customer uses MetTel’s POTS Transformation solution, they can normalize what the monthly cost is per line and stabilize it, so the rate does not increase month over month, ensuring the same rate for the contracted period. By normalizing the rate, not increasing it month over month, and removing all the state charges that were traditionally associated with POTS lines, we are able to provide an immediate savings of 30%.