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VOIP Vs PSTN: The Pros And Cons

Published on 21 March 13


Voice Over Internet Protocol telephony has several advantages over PSTN telephony systems. It gives you savings in cash and several additional features you can enjoy. Letâs take a look at the two technologies.

PSTN requires dedicated telephone lines from the service provider. In VOIP, one internet connection is all you need to transmit all voice channels. In PSTN 64 KBPS is used in each direction by analog telephone lines. VOIP uses compression and therefore can need as little as 10 KBPS in each direction. If there is no transmission when not audible, this is called silence suppression and this saves even more bandwidth.


There are some features that are available on PSTN for an extra cost. These include music on hold, conferencing, caller ID and call waiting. These are available on VOIP for no charge. Remote extensions are a standard feature with VOIP. Such extensions for branch offices and teleworkers (PABX extensions) are expensive with PSTN and for every remote extension additional dedicated lines are needed.

Upgrading and expanding PSTN capabilities is complicated and may involve several additions of hardware and adding lines. Enhancing the VOIP experience on the other hand usually just requires software upgrades and additional bandwidth. For VOIP, hundreds of companies are available for call termination. In PSTN, very limited least call routing is available because provisioning of a line is done by one company.

On average a business line rental for PSTN is $40 and for VOIP is $11. A typical call costs 17 cents on PSTN and 14 Cents on VOIP. An average mobile call costs 35 Cents per minute and flagfall on PSTN. On VOIP the same call would cost about 32 Cents per minute without flagfall. There are no free calls on PSTN. On VOIP you can call users on the same gateway free.

PSTN Advantages
  • PSTN has several advantages to its use.
  • It is a tried and tested technology.
  • It is easily maintainable.
  • Setup can be done without any hassles.
  • Usage is simple

PSTN Disadvantages
  • It requires a dedicated line for making and completing a call.
  • Scalability is limited.
  • You cannot use bandwidth optimally with this technology.
  • You need to pay maintenance fees every month.
  • Call charges are higher than VOIP.

VOIP Advantages
  • VOIP is the newest technology for telephony. It transmits data by a packet switching method. This increases the effectivity of data transmission.
  • You can transmit data, video and voice at the same time.
  • It is scalable to a large extent.
  • Bandwidth is well utilized since the data is transmitted in a compressed form.
  • Not too much of hardware is needed since the internet is at the core of this form of communication.
  • There is a huge reduction in call costs by properly using bandwidth. This means that making calls via VOIP is cheap and easy.
  • You get free value added services.

VOIP Disadvantages
  • The disadvantages of VOIP include possible echoes and unpredictable sound quality.
  • To make sure that you avoid the following disadvanteges, make your own business voip plans.

The disadvantages you face from VOIP are associated with the VOIP provider. A good, reliable and well known provider will offer you great service. As a result VOIP as a technology is almost perfect.

If you are considering making a choice between VOIP and PSTN, consider a hybrid system. Keep PSTN at the periphery of this system and VOIP at the core. This will give you the best of both worlds.

The near future belongs to VOIP. By migrating over to VOIP now you will not only save money but be a part of the future as well.
This blog is listed under Telecommunications Community

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  1. 05 December 18

    Don't you think the VOIP disadvantages part was a bit loose? Not too many points to identify the disadvantages of VOIP

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