“PSTN (public switched telephone network) is the world’s collection of interconnected voice-oriented public telephone networks, both commercial and government-owned. It’s also referred to as the Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS).”
Such is the definition of the network we all have depended on (and tolerated. Remember how long rotary phones used to take?)
But since the advent of the internet and technologies that enable communications through this medium, as well as simplified platforms such as UC (Unified Communications) and VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), not only have calls reached a higher level of clarity and quality, but maintenance and operating costs have plummeted, making PSTN a second choice.
If the current era has been so hostile to the Plain Old Telephone Service, what does the future hold for it?
Well, it doesn’t look good. Let me explain.
The average consumer puts saving above anything else. Why pay more for voicemail and caller ID? Why submit a ‘small fee’ to upgrade and get better voice quality? Why pay two bills, one for the telephone and one for the internet? Why fear long distance calls?
If there’s a solution that costs less, the obvious will happen. Which is the reason not only domestic consumers are deviating from PSTN, but businesses are following suit.
Business processes and added features that the changing developments has brought to various industries have given PSTN a rough push to the side, making the future doubtful. For example, the introduction to Unified Communications has made it possible to transition our interactions from audio to video and vice versa. Furthermore, cloud based UC systems are now using VoIP as a reliable and multi-channel network.
Dedicate SIP Phones are also making the transition from PSTN to VoIP easier. When a business can call from any location but display their local office number, and when this pairs with negligible call costs as compared to heavy expenses witnessed after a long distance call, who is to blame?
Another part of VoIP and virtual hosted PBX systems is loved, particularly by environmentalists, is the sustainability of this network. It reduces carbon footprint by using less equipment, and remote access reduces daily fuel emissions and office utilities such as water, electricity, and other power consuming processes. Less equipment to buy means less equipment will end up in landfills.
Although PSTN might still have its roots deep down in the world’s infrastructure, these roots have been weakening at an increasing pace. It’s up to the years to tell us what will become of it in the longer run.
What’s your prediction? Share your thoughts in the comments!