What is Plain Old Telephone Service? POTS

Learn about the traditional telephone system, POTS, and how it works. Discover its features and advantages.

What is Plain Old Telephone Service? POTS
What is Plain Old Telephone Service? POTS

What is POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service)?

In fact, POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service), a service that many of us know and see, is a telephone system that provides analog voice transmission over copper twisted pair wires. POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) also provides operator services such as call progress tones such as ring signals, subscriber search, directory assistance, and long-distance calling. It was a telephone service that transmits our voices to the other side with copper wires, which was at home for almost all of us, so it is a system that many of us use. In addition, it was created to facilitate voice communication over copper cables crossing countries and continents, and its main purpose was to facilitate communication.

However, with the development of technology, the communication style we need has changed and systems that offer more possibilities have begun to develop. For example, VoIP is a telephone system that offers us a lot of services in terms of communication. That’s why POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) is no longer as common as it used to be. Yes, it is still used and it is still available in some of our homes, but especially businesses with a large number of employees, unfortunately, do not prefer to use POTS because it does not meet their needs sufficiently.

History Of POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service)

If we talk briefly about the history of POST (Plain Old Telephone Service), the first telephone lines crossed the whole country and hung on the poles, but with the advancement of technology, most of the lines were buried underground. It was originally a service known as Post Office Phone Service, and that’s because when first started, callers relied on post office operators to connect them wherever they wanted. However, in the following process, this service was taken away from the post offices and started to be used as Plain Old Telephone Service. Also, the widespread availability of POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) over time has allowed new communication devices such as modems and fax machines to use POTS.

How Does It Work?

Normally the POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) setup has remained almost the same for years. Because it was an installation connected to copper wires, it was extremely difficult to develop. Many upgrades have been made to bring the components of this phone system into the digital age, to make it compatible with the technology, and to improve it, but the copper wiring has made this difficult. Also, with the Plain Old Telephone System, the sound waves of the caller’s voice are converted by the telephone handset into electrical signals that are over the network. For both parties to maintain their communication smoothly, it needs to work by establishing a special circuit.

As we mentioned, in POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service), audio signals are converted into electronic signals to be transmitted over copper cable, and in this transmission, hybrid converters are used to convert audio signals to electronic signals. However, if you need to make calls between POTS and long-distance, the copper cables are terminated using fiber optic cables and so the transmission of audio signals is transmitted in the form of optical data. Fiber media converters are used to convert these electronic signals into optical signals.

What are the Important Components of It?

The POST (Plain Old Telephone Service) system has some important components and it is a system that is being built on these components. These components are;

  • Speakers
  • Hybrid Converters
  • Microphones
  • Ringer Unit
  • Dial Keys
  • Casing
  • Hook Switches

Advantages and Disadvantages of Plain Old Telephone Service

POTS has some disadvantages and advantages, as in every service, and the service it offers has shortcomings as well as benefits that may be sufficient for you. Let’s examine these advantages and disadvantages together.

What are the Advantages?

The POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) system has benefits and advantages for you and these advantages may be for your needs. By examining these advantages, you can decide whether it is the right system for you.

POTS is a non-internet service, so you can continue to communicate with POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) even if your internet connection is interrupted during the day. Also, Plain Old Telephone Service lines have fairly consistent connectivity. This ensures that your business does not experience irregular outages at any time of day. Thus, you can continue to receive uninterrupted service. In addition, it is very advantageous for emergency calls and is a usable service, thanks to this feature, they will be able to find you instantly when you make emergency calls. Apart from this, there is no need for any extra equipment to operate and you can easily teach and use your employees without the need for any training.

What are the Disadvantages?

Of course, with the development of technology, our needs and demands are in that direction, and we are not interested in systems that do not improve themselves. Since the Plain Old Telephone Service is an old telephone system, it can have many disadvantages that it has today. So, let’s see what these disadvantages are together.

The main disadvantage of the POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) system is actually the cost. Because when there is a problem other than the installation when the system breaks down, high costs may be incurred for its repair. Apart from this, another cost is to make long-distance calls, if your tariff does not support long-distance calls, it will be very costly. In addition, it is a fixed phone and cannot carry it anywhere, for example, if you decide to work remotely, using POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) will be inefficient for you. Moreover, with the development of technology, there are features such as messaging, video chat, other than making calls on a phone, and POTS does not have these features.


As we mentioned above, the POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) system is old technology and is a system that allows us to communicate with copper wires. Unfortunately, this system is not developed and kept up with technology. Therefore, it is no longer a preferred method for communicating. Instead, systems that have more than one function, meet our needs more, and keep up with technology are preferred. However, some companies still use and prefer POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) because they already meet their needs and do not need a different function. In this article, we talked about many things to know about POTS, and you can choose a system you need in this direction.


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