DS3 Telephone Service For
Affordable high reliability
digital telephone lines for large call centers.
By: John Shepler
How would you like to have 672 phone lines
at your disposal? Wow. Can you even imagine the wiring rat's
nest in the equipment room? How about the tens of thousands of
dollars to keep all those lines active?
OK. How about if the cost were a fraction
of what you imagine and the wiring was reduced to a single connection
or a couple of small cables? Sounds good, right?
I'll bet it really sounds good if you have
the kind of business that truly needs 672 phone lines. This includes
large corporate centers, customer service organizations, mail
order companies, outsourced tech support, universities, national
organizations, political phone banks and call centers of all
types. Anytime you have a lot of people in a particular location
combined with the critical need for voice communications, you
can put large numbers of phone lines to good use.
Digital Phone Service for All Size Businesses
So why 672 phone lines? It so happens that 672 is the magic number
for how many individual telephone circuits can be carried by
the standard DS3 level of service on a fiber optic carrier or
T3 coaxial copper line. Each circuit is a single independent
phone line that can be set up to be any combination of incoming,
outgoing, local or long distance calling.
But what if your organization needs only
100 lines, not the full 672? That's where fractional DS3 service
makes sense. You order only a fraction of the full DS3 service
and pay less than the full price.
Smaller companies that need only 10 to
24 lines leaving the building can order another standard digital
telephone service called T1 voice. A T1 line running at the DS1
level of service offers you 24 individual phone lines. You can
also get 23 lines plus an extra channel for full Caller ID information,
called a T1 PRI. An advantage of T1 phone service or T1 PRI service
is that it is available just about anywhere you can get a regular
analog phone line. You can then upgrade by bonding in additional
T1 lines to increase line capacity until you get to the point
where DS3 service is more cost effective.
I should point out that the phone lines
I've been referring to are the standard switched-circuit traditional
telephone lines that are supported by Key Telephone Systems and
PBX Phone Systems. Voice quality is assured by giving each phone
conversation its own independent channel. This is also called
TDM or Time Division Multiplexing.
The VoIP Alternative
An alternative phone service popular within organizations and
between business locations is called VoIP or Voice Over Internet
Protocol. VoIP does away with telephone channels. Instead, voice
is digitized into packets that all travel together over a network
line. The network needs to have enough bandwidth to accommodate
the largest number of expected simultaneous conversations. Computer
data may be mixed in with the voice packets on the same network.
The voice packets need to be reconverted back to phone "lines"
only when connecting to the Public Switched Telephone Network.
The limitation of VoIP telephony is that voice quality needs
to be carefully engineered into the organization's networks rather
than being built-into the TDM telephony lines.
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