Quick Guide to Types of Business Phone Line Services

Quick Guide to Types of Business Phone Line Services

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Apart from mobiles, there are essentially four types of business phone line services that have been available to businesses. As technology has advanced, some of those will soon be obsolete.

PSTN Copper Lines

PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) is also often referred to as POTS or Plain Old Telephone System. PSTN lines don't require a telephone system and have been used by smaller businesses or as standalone lines for EFTPOS, Fax or delivery of a DSL service.

This is the traditional copper network that's being gradually phased out with the introduction of NBN. Although still used by some businesses, PSTN lines are old technology that's being superseded by IP telephony. As Australia’s broadband infrastructure is rolled out, PSTN lines will be decommissioned and services transferred to business VoIP lines and Sip Trunks.

ISDN2 Digital Lines

ISDN2 is digital network technology that can carry voice and data services in a digital format over PSTN lines. It enables two (2) concurrent telephone calls at the same time over the one PSTN line. ISDN2 lines require a telephone system fitted with a BRI (basic rate interface) card and line rental is quite expensive compared to ISDN and SIP Trunks.

ISDN2 has been mainly used by smaller businesses that require 2 to 4 telephone lines and need access to digital line features like direct in-dial numbers for their PBX extensions. As businesses gain access to better quality broadband services, ISDN2 will be decommissioned and PBX phone lines will be migrated to IP telephony and Sip Trunks.

ISDN 10-20-30 Digital Lines

ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) is a form of digital network technology that enables multiple concurrent telephone calls using the one PSTN line. Essentially, this is a form of IP telephony where a special data connection is used to deliver telephone services using the existing copper lines. ISDN lines require a telephone system fitted with a PRI (primary rate interface) card and come with high end features and functions such as extension level billing and multiple direct in dial numbers.

There are two main ISDN networks in Australia, Optus and Telstra. Although the technology is pretty much the same, there are some differences. The main one being that optus multiline is available in increments of one call lines (ISDN channels) over and above the first ten. Telstra’s ISDN is only available in blocks of ten i.e. ISDN 10, ISDN 20, and ISDN 30.

Similar to PSTN and ISDN2 lines, the ISDN technology is being gradually phased out. Existing services are being migrated to newer forms of IP telephony such as Hosted PBX and SIP Trunks.

SIP Trunks

Business SIP Trunks are the new age business phone lines. SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) is a means of delivering telephone services over the internet. In general terms, SIP Trunks are essentially business VoIP lines and allow you to make and receive calls over a broadband internet connection.

Similar to ISDN services, you can have one or a number of in-dial numbers that can be attached to the SIP trunk. If you have existing telephone numbers, these can be ported across to the new system. SIP trunks can be deployed in a number of ways:

  • Traditional PBX Systems with IP Capability 
  • IP-PBX Systems
  • IP Desk and Conference Phones
  • Soft-phone Application on a PC or Laptop
  • Mobile App

SIP trunks are more than just standard VoIP lines. They deliver higher quality calls and come with much greater functionality, including the ability to video conference and send data.

To find out more about the type of business phone lines available at your premises, please contact one of our Business Consultants on 1300 000 300 or CLICK HERE to make an online enquiry.