Is VoIP required with the 3CX Phone System?
Practically all commercial phone systems are internet enabled. That doesn't necessarily mean they're VoIP. VoIP means that your phone conversations are going over the internet and while 3CX does allow this, it also allows the more traditional legacy analog lines (aka POTS / FXO) or Digial PRI lines.
Digital PRI lines are preferable over legacy analog lines for companies that want to avoid VoIP. PRI lines are a widely available stable offering that has been implemented since the 1970s. They tend to be more expensive than either VoIP or legacy analog lines but are more stable and provide more flexibility than legacy analog lines. With PRI lines, a company can still assign individual phone numbers to each extension and provide advanced routing of calls. A full PRI is 23 lines (channels) and most areas also deliver a "fractional PRI" with as few as 8 lines included.
Legacy analog lines, also know as POTS (Plain old telephone system) or FXO are the standard phone lines found in homes. Each line has its own phone number and can be grouped together in roll-over groups so that when one line is busy, the call automatically is forwarded to the second line. For those that don't want VoIP and have less than the 8 lines required for a PRI, the FXO is your option.
With 3CX, a adapter (bridge) device is needed to connect PRI or legacy analog phone lines to 3CX. These devices allow you to plug in your lines and then connect the adapter directly to your 3CX phone system with a network cable.
When you're using 3CX with older style phone lines, you may still want to place calls over the internet for other reasons. When you have small remote offices, those remote offices can have phones using your 3CX phone system. These phone would connect to your phone system over the internet. 3CX also enables your android or apple smart phones as a phone system extension. This too would use the internet for your calls.
Using the internet as the foundation of business phone calls is becoming standard as AT&T in the US and SHAW in Canada deploying regular phone service over their private IP (internet) networks however the internet infrastructure is still maturing and may not be the appropriate choice in all areas. If this is the case, 3CX allows you to use legacy phone lines now and move to a full VoIP solution when the time is right.
Helia Technologies | CANADA
3CX Platinum Partner