In years past, Analog (POTS: Plain Old Telephone Service) lines were the primary technology to connect fire and burglar alarms, elevators, voice and FAX, POS terminals, emergency call boxes, and barrier gate arms. Then analog lines performed well for mission-critical communications, but today businesses are moving away from the legacy analog infrastructure to modern, digital connectivity solutions.
The Drawbacks of POTS Technology
Analog lines are increasingly becoming outdated and inadequate to meet the needs of businesses. Here are some of the reasons why:
– They’re being phased out by Carriers: There is a lot of buzz around the FCC order 19-72A1. Some report that the order means the end to all POTS lines and that August 2, 2022, was the deadline to transition. However, the order was issued to release ILECS (incumbent local exchange carriers) from offering discounted pricing for CLECs (competitive local exchange carriers) to competitively sell analog services in their markets. The current FCC order releases the burden on the ILECS to continue to sell POTS lines at unprofitable price points, including traditional copper wire & T1/E1 lines. For businesses, this means the potential for decommissioned lines, increasing prices, and longer time-to-repair timelines.
- They’re already unavailable in some places: Carriers have discontinued service in some areas, requiring an alternative service for new lines and an immediate transition plan for existing phone lines
- They’re unreliable: POTS technology is based on copper wires and an aging infrastructure susceptible to damage from weather, animals, and physical contact. This can lead to service outages and costly repairs.
- They're expensive. As more users move away from analog lines, telcos must pass on expensive maintenance of the aging network to remaining subscribers. POTS lines require a dedicated circuit from the phone company for each line, which can be cost-prohibitive for businesses with multiple locations.
Source:Tangoe, an expense and asset management company
Telecom Managers are Planning Early to Reduce Costs and Avoid Disruptions
Telecom managers are planning early to switch to alternative connectivity to get ahead of any potential discontinuance or steep price increases for analog service. This is especially important for lifesaving and code-compliant connectivity for fire, security alarms, and elevator communications.
Smart telecom managers are looking at their business continuity requirements to plan for a service cutover using alternative connectivity methods such as LTE Wireless.
Determine transition priorities
- Bill Review – Often, price increases go unnoticed by automated payments or invoices businesses have been routinely paying for years. The first step to determining the importance of transitioning analog phone service is a quick audit of the phone bills. When considering costs, businesses must also evaluate additional per-line fees and taxes.
- FCC Notices of Shutdown – Businesses will receive a notification when a Carrier plans to phase out POTS service in their area with typically 90 days to find alternative connectivity. Preferably businesses will be ahead of this notice but should start the process immediately if transition plans are not in place.
- Multi-location complexities – Telcom managers managing multiple locations face additional challenges, including differing carriers per location, multiple invoices and support sources, varying costs, and longer project timelines to switch services. The solution is to work with a multi-carrier, single-source provider with experience in simplifying complex deployments.
- Lifesaving and Code-Compliant Applications – For life-saving applications that are regulated by code requirements, it is critical for businesses to have approved, active connectivity to operate legally.
The Benefits of Moving from Analog to Wireless Connectivity
One of the main benefits of moving to wireless connectivity is reduced costs. Because wireless POTS Replacement plans are available for a flat rate, businesses have a predictable bill for service over the contract term. This can lead to significant savings every month. In addition, wireless solutions are typically cheaper to install than analog systems since no new wiring is required.
Wireless with battery backup has an advantage over analog lines that are susceptible to weather and flooding disruptions. As a result, you can rest assured that your mission-critical communications will function when you need them most.
Better Scalability with a Multi-location Carrier Solution
Multi-location providers make it easy for businesses to connect multiple sites by selecting the Provider that provides the strongest signal for each location. Dual Carrier SIMs ensure that an alternate provider is available if one Provider is down. This flexibility is essential for businesses that rely on reliable connections for lifesaving and code compliance to operate legally.
How EPIC iO is helping businesses move from legacy Analog services to Wireless
Now is the ideal time to switch to wireless connectivity. You'll enjoy reduced costs, improved reliability, and scalability - all of which will help improve your bottom line. Contact EPIC iO to compare pricing and learn more about our POTS Replacement solutions.
Product Quality: Many applications, such as fire alarms, elevator communications, and emergency call boxes, frequently save lives in response to split-second life-threatening events. Businesses must implement code-compliant solutions to operate legally. The EPIC iO solution supports E-911, is NFPA 72 Signaling Code Certified, complies to UL 864, and is Fire Marshal Approved in all 50 states. All equipment* is designed to be direct plug & play for analog POTS line replacement.
Strongest Signal: EPIC iO has proven experience in making wireless work—from early 3G to the powerful 4G/5G solutions now available. Pre-engineering is crucial to achieving the strongest signal for every deployment. Businesses must receive solutions that work as expected. This goes beyond selecting the closest cell tower; it involves mapping every location to ensure that the carrier with the strongest signal with dual SIMS for every deployment.
Project Management: There are many moving parts to transitioning legacy POTS lines to modern wireless infrastructure. We have streamlined the process to help businesses understand and overcome common obstacles. Project management cannot be overlooked for a successful transition, especially when lifesaving solutions must meet code-compliant regulations.
*Full-featured third-party POTS Replacement equipment