Analog TrunksThe vast majority of small businesses (3-16 lines total) subscribe to typical Analog Trunks. These are the phone lines that allow you to make and take calls at your business. The following terms are synonymous and are all used to describe the simple analog trunk.o    CO Trunks (Central Office trunks) - referring to the fact that the line originates at your service provider's "central office" or the office closest to you before calls are handed off to your business
o    Analog line/trunks - referring to the fact that these lines propagate voice using analog signaling
o    POTs line - an acronym that stands for Plain Old Telephone Service More at telephone systems springfield ma.
o    Copper Line/trunk - referring the physical pair of copper wire that is terminated at your businessEssentially, these are the most prevalent type of lines because 'Ma Bell' (i.e. AT&T/Bell Network) has been around a very long time and the Bell network is well developed across the United States. Analog trunks are tried and true, reliable, and allow ease of access.Digital TrunksAs a business needs a greater number of lines, a digital trunk or T1/PRI is often considered. The T1/PRI line is basically a single circuit that can provide up to 24 channels for voice or data to your business. You could have 24 voice calls over a single circuit. Imagine that - one circuit with 24 conversations! Pretty neat.When digital circuits originated in the '60s, the circuit consisted of two pairs of copper wire connected to your business. Just think. If you ordered 24 analog trunks, then at some point 24 pairs of copper wire would have to be connected to your business. That's not very efficient use of materials if you're a service provider. Compacting 24 high quality digital channels on a just two pairs of copper wire is much better. Nowadays, you can order T1/PRI circuits in all kinds of flavors, and most providers offer fractional T1 service if you don't need all 24 channels.Now, what does this mean for you and your business? It typically means that as you add more lines to your business (approaching 24 lines), then at some point T1/PRI service should be cheaper than ordering all of those analog trunks.VoIP TrunksThe VoIP or Voice over IP trunk is the most recent addition to the choice of business phone line. (Calling a VoIP trunk a "trunk" is actually a misnomer, but we'll call it a trunk for simplicity's sake) These types of trunks pass voice over the public internet using a broadband data connection (i.e cable modem, dsl, T1). Your voice is sampled and broken into data packets that magically travel over the internet. These packets are then re-compiled back into voice so that your called party can hear you.Unfortunately, this technology has some inherent Quality of Service (QoS) issues. If you've used a VoIP softphone like Skype or Yahoo! Messenger, then you may have already experienced problems like latency, echo, or jitter. Although these problems do exist, the quality of VoIP is getting better and better every day.You may even be familiar with some of the major residential VoIP providers like Vonage and Packet 8. Your local cable company may even be marketing residential digital phone service that uses VoIP. For businesses, pure VoIP providers are now marketing SIP trunks. SIP trunks have a particular protocol but still use VoIP to allow you to make phone calls. Many IP compatible phone systems like the Avaya IP Office now offer SIP trunk compatibility.So what's the big deal with VoIP trunks? Well, the biggest push for these trunks is cost. Because the voice call travels over the public internet, long-distance charges are minimized or not incurred. You're phone call is bypassing the toll-ridden Bell phone network. Consequently, many businesses are choosing these trunks based on cost alone.Our customer base has experienced hit and miss quality and reliability with VoIP trunks. A few have had great service, while the majority have had a variety of problems. A significant portion have removed their VoIP service altogether and subscribed to analog trunks or fractional T1 service.Regardless of today's outcomes, these trunks are certain to stay and evolve into a viable alternative for businesses. But remember, even one day with problematic phone service could cost your business a year of savings.Metroline Direct is an independent distributor of technology and telecommunications equipment. Metroline Direct does not represent Avaya Communication, Lucent Technologies, Nortel Networks, Cisco, Toshiba, Mitel, NEC, Dell or their affiliates in any way. Merlin, Merlin Legend, Merlin Magix, Partner, Partner Plus, Partner II, Partner ACS, Spirit, Definity, IP Office, and Avaya Communication Manager are registered trademarks of Avaya Communication. Norstar, Meridian, and Business Communication Manager are registered trademarks of Nortel Networks.    Click for details on my website.       

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