Digital telephone systems are the most popular telephone systems in service today. While obsolete analog phone systems converted voice conversations (sound waves) into electrical waves, digital phone systems take the same voice conversations and convert them into a binary format where the data is compressed into "1"s and "0"s.
More specifically digital phone systems sample your voice using a method called Time Division Multiplexing or TDM. When you speak into a digital telephone, your voice is digitally sampled into time slots so that a conversation doesn’t have to use the entire bandwidth of a circuit. The system then uses a clock to synchronize the digital samples and turn them back in to voice. Whereas analog telephone stations can only handle one conversation at a time, digital phone stations can compress more than one conversation as well as a variety of phone system features onto a single pair of wire.
Advantages of a digital telephone station over an analog telephone station include:
- Clarity - While analog telephone stations offer richer sound
quality over digital, the binary code used by digital telephone
stations to transmit data keeps it in tact so that the end
transmission is distortion free. This results in clearer phone calls.
- Increased Capacity - Digital telephone stations can fit more
conversations on a single pair of wires than an analog station.
This allows for less wiring and more efficient communication than
an analog circuit.
- More Features - Due to increased capacity, a digital telephone
station can also fit more features on a single pair of wires. Mute,
redial, speed-dial, function keys, call transfers, voicemail,
conferencing, and other features are all available through digital
systems more resourcefully than with analog systems.
- Longer Cordless Range - If you need a cordless telephone at
your office, cordless phones with digital technology can apply
more power to the signal and increase the range of the phone.
Each manufacturer produces digital telephone stations that use slightly differing TDM protocols, so be sure to speak with your phone installer before purchasing any equipment to make certain they are compatible with your current system.
By Bob Hunter