Internet Protocol Telephony is taking over the business scenario, while PSTN still makes the most comfortable telephony device for longer conversations. The IP telephones are mostly seen in offices, larger enterprises, and regional offices of multi-national corporations’ whereas the old school PSTN telephones are found a household side-table. Both these telephony technologies have their dedicated usage, and even until now the household telephones can’t or shouldn’t really be replaced by IP telephones. However, businesses can still keep using PSTN if they wish but in that case the monthly telephone bill would almost skyrocket. AT&T still retains to be one of the most popular PSTN service providers whereas NEC, Cisco etc. are the most reputed IP telephony infrastructure providers.
What should you get?
Depends on where you are planning to use these telephones. For larger corporations with many branch offices and off-site offices, and also a remarkable number of employees with one telephone allotment each employee, there’s no reason to go for regular PSTN or even old-school PABX in 21st century; the answer would be ‘definitely an IP telephone!’.
However for households, one wouldn’t apparently find suitable IP telephony technology. IP telephones aren’t yet much popular as a household service mostly due to the lack of emergency calling features and their type of infrastructure. There’s no reason, either.
Apparently, the IP telephony technology requires lesser number of hardware whereas PSTN would require a handful of different tools like switches and wires and they have to be arranged in a specific topology. The arrangement is an issue in IP telephony as well, but not as much as it is in PSTN. In an office environment, having wires everywhere is an absolute turn down to anyone who visits the office for the first time and in that regard, IP telephony is a better option. For handsets and end technology, NEC is a lot better option whereas for end-to-end connectivity Cisco is the best vendor.
Some regions don’t legally support IP telephony as a commercial venture, because they are a direct competitor against the traditional telephony technology. VoIP is the most suitable word to define this; and some popular countries where VoIP is illegal are China, Costa Rica, Belarus, South Africa etc. If an organization plans to provide VoIP service, it’s an essential requirement to check with the local law enforcement first.
In overall assessment, we tend to like IP telephony technology more. However, an old school PSTN phone should still rest somewhere in the households.