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Types of telephone, phone lines

Overview of the various types of telephone lines, phone lines that are supplied by telecoms companies in South Africa.

Copper telephone lines

Copper telephone lines use copper cables that can be installed underground or overhead on telephone line poles. The cost of installing the copper cabling infrastructure and telephone exchanges for these type of telephone lines is very expensive. The original copper telephone line infrastructure in South Africa was installed by the former Post & Telecommunications (Now Telkom). These type of telephone lines work well when the cabling infrastructure is still new, but as time goes by the copper cabling infrastructure deteriorates over time.

The copper infrastructure then becomes very costly to maintain, and the upkeep of ongoing maintenance is very expensive. This is why the monthly rental for these copper telephone lines is very high. Problems and faults occur on these telephone lines from water getting into the cables and they are also the biggest risk for your office equipment getting damaged from lightning. Telkom is currently not repairing major cables faults and discontinuing copper telephone lines in exchange areas where it is too expensive to maintain the  telephone line copper infrastructure.

Find our more about copper telephone lines being discontinued.

Types of copper telephone lines:

Analogue telephone lines

Analogue telephone lines use an analogue voice technology to receive and transmit voice calls over the copper lines.

ISDN telephone lines

ISDN telephone lines use digital voice technology to receive and transmit voice calls over the copper lines.

GSM telephone lines

GSM telephone lines are supplied over a cellular network. They work similar to how your cellphone works, except that these telephone lines are landline based. There is cellular router equipment which is required in order for these telephone lines to work on a telephone, phone system. The  GSM monthly telephone line rental is moderately expensive, but not as expensive as copper telephone line rental.

Types of GSM telephone lines:

Single telephone lines

Single telephone lines work on cordless telephone handset or on a desk telephone handset. Only one telephone call can be made or received at one time on these telephone lines.

Multi line telephone lines

Multi line GSM telephone lines are multiple single GSM lines which are configured to allow multiple telephone call channels.
These lines also include hunting facilities that allow more than one telephone call to be received on a single telephone number.


How to choose which type of telephone lines are suitable for your business.

VoIP telephone lines

VoIP (Voice Over IP) telephone lines work over an internet data connection. These telephone lines are also called IP or SIP telephone lines. These telephone lines can be problematic if they are not installed correctly. It is very important that you choose a reputable supplier that has experience installing VoIP telephone lines.

The majority of telephone lines supplied in South Africa today are VoIP telephone lines. The monthly rental for these telephone lines is very cost effective, and the telephone call rates are also greatly reduced. VoIP telephone lines also have many other benefits and advantages as described below.

Find our more about VoIP telephone telephone lines and pricing.

Types of VoIP telephone lines:

Fibre telephone lines

Fibre telephone lines work over a fbre connection and use SIP protocol voice technology to receive and transmit voice calls over the fibre connection.

Find our more about fibre telephone lines and pricing.

LTE telephone lines

LTE telephone lines work over an LTE connection and use SIP protocol voice technology to receive and transmit voice calls over the LTE connection.

Find our more about LTE telephone lines and pricing.

Hosted telephone lines

Hosted, cloud telephone lines work on a voice server off site from the customers premises. The hosted, cloud telephone lines are hosted on the telecoms companies voice server.

Find our more about hosted, cloud telephone lines and pricing.

Advantages of VoIP telephone lines