Why is traditional PSTN favored over VoIP for audio conferences?

Audio Conference via PSTN

Did you know that only 7% of participants get on teleconferences via VoIP? A 2017 survey also concluded that 70% of conference calls are taken from their landlines that work on PSTN.

VoIP’s failure to find relevance in business communication is due to the poor audio quality on conference calls and dropped calls. The participant’s preference for non-VoIP and PSTN solutions also underscores how critical audio quality is for enterprise conference calls.

Below, we look at other reasons PSTN remains the more reliable option for call conferencing.  

The problem with VoIP Conference Calling

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is a wireless telephony system in which the calls are connected through the Internet network. When you make a call through VoIP, the voice information is converted into individual network packets. These countless packets travel across the Internet to reach their destination.

Although VoIP has revolutionized communication around the world, it is not considered a viable option for audio conferences. One major challenge with packet-switched telephony is that when the data is transmitted, individual packets take different paths. These packets should ideally arrive at the destination within a specific timeframe to be assembled for audio conversion. And in such a case, even a minor glitch could end up in data loss, often leading to poor audio quality, echoes, and other noises. 

“As incredible as it may sound, here are three ways poor audio quality affects not only your conference calls but also your health.”

[Read Link: How Does Poor Audio Quality Affect Conference Call Participants?]

You’ve probably used WhatsApp to call someone, and probably been frustrated by the process – with endless call drops and reconnections, and Popping/cracking voices, which doesn’t happen on PSTN or mobile networks.

In using VoIP to get on a conference call, there is always the risk of a power outage, which can disrupt the flow of the call.

While the emergence of broadband Ethernet and WiFi, call connectivity and audio quality have improved by a tremendous scale, but VoIP still doesn’t quite measure up to good old PSTN.

Why is PSTN the more reliable option for conference calls?

PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) is a traditional telephony system, which is also referred to as Plain Old Telephone System (POTS). It works through circuit switches and dedicated lines. When you make a phone call via PSTN, your voice is carried on dedicated circuits as analog voice data. These circuits are constructed using copper wires. However, the advent of fiber optics has helped digitize and expedite the process extensively.

More than 55% of conference calls involve the sharing of business-critical information, and audio quality as such is extremely important. And, PSTN lines guarantee crystal clear audio, as the voice is transmitted over a dedicated channel that physically connects the two ends. PSTN also provides an uninterrupted communication link even during a power outage. This is because phone jacks are powered by the PSTN provider. These factors have conditioned enterprises to opt for fixed-line phones for audio conferencing and made them the safer bet.

[Read Link: Here’s Why Audio Conferencing Is Relevant In 2018]

PSTN embodies the adage ‘Old is Gold’

In view of the pace at which the internet technology is advancing, it won’t be a surprise that VoIP will challenge PSTN’s position as a dominant force in call conferences for enterprises soon. However, many enterprises have reservations while using avant-garde technologies and often stick to familiar telephony systems. Also, the reluctance of businesses to part with old habits take away the spotlight from VoIP-based, and more economical calling options. This is because most people find comfort in traditional and reliable PSTN.

Reliability has been and always will be the kingmaker. And, one such highly reliable conferencing app that leverages PSTN to ensure superb audio quality is grptalk. Although it is an app-based conferencing solution, grptalk doesn’t need the Internet to make calls. This freedom lets enterprises hold on to traditional telephony systems while adapting the modern method of using a mobile application for audio conferences.

Tell us what does you or your organization prefers – PSTN or VoIP. Leave a comment below.

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