An Introductory Guide for Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS)

Plain old telephone service (POTS) is the analog telecommunication technology. It was introduced in 1876 and until 1988, it remained one of the standard communication technologies. Although today internet-based telecommunication technologies like voice over IP (VoIP) are widely utilized, several businesses utilize POTS for internal confidential communication. Ever since fiber optics technology has paved its way to POTS technology, the scope of POTS has increased. Owing to long-distance transmission capabilities and greater reliability of fiber-integrated POTS, this technology is being reconsidered for business communications. However, before implementing this plain ordinary telephone service into your business communication system, it is essential to gain thorough knowledge about the same. That is why, this post introduces POTS, its fundamental components, terminologies, and working principle.
Guide for Plain Old Telephone Service POTS

Introduction to Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS)

POTS stands for Plain Old Telephone Service. It is also known as plain ordinary telephone service. The technology was introduced as a retronym for the voice-grade telephones. POTS transmits the audio signals by converting them to analog signals via copper cables. Initially, POTS was developed for copper-cable transmission from point A to point B. However, with advanced technologies, the copper cable transmission is accompanied by fiber optics to expand the range of transmission between the countries or continents.
To perform voice-grade communication over POTS, a few components are utilized, let us discuss the same.

Important Components of Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS)

The components of the POTS network telephone unit are listed below.
  • Microphones
  • Speakers
  • Hybrid Converters
  • Dial Switches
  • Hook Switches
  • Ringer Unit
  • Casing
Although the POTS system relies on the above-mentioned components, it also relies on different terminologies. The terminology being utilized in the voice signal transmission becomes an essential factor of its working. Let us discuss the terminologies of POTS.
  • Switching Circuit: The circuit switching terminology is utilized when the conventional copper-cable transmission is required. Since copper cables transmit analog signals, the conversion of audio signals to analog/electronic signals is done using hybrid converters. The audio signal transmits between transmission and receiving points under a circuit itself. To activate the POTS via circuit switching, the operator needs to plug the patch cords on both ends. To get dual-way audio transmission, the truck cables can be used.
The circuit switching can be replaced by crossover switches to offer easy exchangeable audio transmission, control, and monitoring operations.
  • Transistors: The transistors enable digital signal transmission via copper cables. The transistor converts the audio signals into digital data packets, which further can be carried forward by copper cables.  
  • Modems: Modems are used to implement POTS using integrated digital service networks. The modem-based POTS uses a computer and telephone system to link with the internet provider service (IPS) network. This enables a digital subscriber line (DSL) for digital data transmission without burdening the system.
Owing to such advancement in plain ordinary telephone services, the technology is coming up as a standard of business communication over VoIP phone systems and cellular communication.

Working Principle of Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS)

The working of POTS depends on the type of terminology being utilized. However, the general working of POTS for copper-fiber transmission is discussed below.
  • In the traditional POTS network, the audio signals are converted into electronic signals in order to transmit via copper cable. In this type of transmission, hybrid converters are used to translate audio signals to electronic signals and vice versa.
  • However, if long-distance transmission over POTS is required, the copper cables are terminated using fiber optic cables and the transmission of audio signals is carried forward in the form of optical data packets. To convert, electronic signals to optical signals, the fiber media converters are utilized. In modern POTS networks, modems are used to integrate DSL in the communication.
  • Although the signal transmission is performed by using fiber optics cables, the POTS phones require data in the audio format, therefore, the reverse translation of signals from optical-to-audio or optical-to-electronic-to-audio conversion is done by using converters at the receiving end.

Fiber-based POTS allows audio signal distribution to multiple receivers by using fiber mux. The fiber mux is a device that splits the optical signals into multiple signals of uniform intensity. However, to achieve optimum results of POTS, it is essential to use high-quality products. That is why you should source such products from trusted suppliers like VERSITRON. We offer high-quality FXO/FXS converter installation kits for POTS network integration. They are also well-known for supplying high-quality fiber optic media converts, switches, etc.

Rich Tull

R.W. Tull is the President of Versitron, a prominent technology company specializing in innovative solutions for data communication and networking. With extensive experience in the industry, R.W. Tull leads the company's strategic vision and oversees its day-to-day operations.  With a deep understanding of data communication technologies and networking systems, R.W. Tull has played a pivotal role in driving Versitron's success.

Related Blogs