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There are three major types of telephone stations currently available to business owners: digital, analog and VoIP. Digital phone stations are the most popular with IP telephones rapidly gaining ground, but analog telephone stations still have specific uses in business communications. Read on to learn about the features of an analog telephone station so you can make an informed decision for your business.

The main difference between analog and digital phone stations is the way an audio signal, or voice, is transmitted to the other end. An analog phone turns the voice into electronic pulses that create vibrations in the receiver's speaker which can be heard as the voice. Conversely, digital telephones typically sample the audio signal via some form of Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) to transfer the audio signal. By sampling the signal, digital telephones use less bandwidth on a telephone line.

Analog telephone stations have been in use for decades making their technology much older than digital but still reliable and easy to use. Since an analog phone doesn't use digital sampling, it is unable to compress data as efficiently as a digital phone. Therefore, analog technology consumes the entire circuit when in use. This makes it impossible for multiple phone calls to be made at one time. This is also true for analog phones connected to a phone system or network. If you own a smaller business, this may not be an issue. Larger businesses, however, have the need to make multiple calls at once and take advantage of added telephony features thus requiring digital telephone stations.

One major advantage of an analog telephone station is the cost. Compared to digital phones, analog phones are much less expensive. This can mean great savings when considering cheaper telephones for common areas like lobbies, employee break rooms, and waiting rooms. In addition, analog telephones are not the only devices that can be connected to an analog station port. Other common analog devices include desktop and tabletop conferencing phones, fax machines, credit card terminals, and modems. When one of these devices is needed, you should make sure that an analog station port is available on your phone system.

Most phone systems manufactured today can accommodate analog, digital, and IP telephone stations. Depending on the configuration of the system, you may need to add a card or module to your PBX to use an analog device. In any event, you can consult with your telephone installation professional just to make sure.

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