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reply to horacebork

Re: voip is digital - why use an ata?

ok - to answer your question
we have a customer with 20 incoming POTS lines
they did not like the cost of the POTS lines
they had no features from the telco provider (just dial tone and roll over)
they had a phone system (Iwatsu) from 10-20 years ago already wired throughout their building with Iwatsu handsets. phone system in basement is as big as a refrigerator
wiring in building only done to accomodate the phone system (1 pair of wires to each office - non-twisted basically, western telephone wire) - historic building
cost too high to re-wire for all new phones
want to use VOIP for features, lower cost
their phone system did not even offer an voicemail
solution: VOIP lines mated into their old phone system with ATAs (in this case, we use an ATA which is made for a business and does and converts lots of VOIP lines to analog, not just 1 or 2 or 4)
results: minimal equipment purchase (just enterprise ATA device to convert all VOIP lines to analog), cost savings from VOIP lines, features from VOIP (voicemail, etc...)

that is a business example of using VOIP and ATAs

for a brand new install, where ethernet wiring available and no phone system exists, we would use digital handsets and likely no ATAs except where needed for a legacy device

we might use a PBX server offsite or else onsite for a lot of lines

Grandstream, for example, makes some excellent and affordable digital handsets for example that are in most price ranges for small business and even home users