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FXO and FXS in VoIP: A Subtle Difference

VoIP Gateways Article

FXO and FXS in VoIP: A Subtle Difference

June 26, 2017

  By Steve Anderson, Contributing Writer

Sometimes all the terminology that comes as a part of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) can be difficult to parse out, and it gets worse when the acronyms get involved. Recently, beroNet stepped in to offer some insight into two key acronyms that give users a few problems in the VoIP field: FXO and FXS.   

The biggest difference between the two terms isn't that letter, but rather the intended function. It relates primarily to what's being connected between the VoIP gateway and its end result. For those who want to connect an Internet-based private branch exchange (IP PBX (News - Alert)) systems to an analog line, users need to turn to FXOperator, or FXO. The gateway is set up to connect to Operator FXO and allow calls to go out along the former line.

Meanwhile, FXS—which is mainly FXSubscriber—is used when there are telephones, faxes, or any other endpoint that works on an analog system in the mix. This is actually more useful than some might expect, given that there are plenty of office environments in which analog endpoints are still hard at work.

It's important, therefore, to thoroughly evaluate what kind of technology is involved in the office environment before even fully setting up a VoIP system with accompanying gateways. There's a general principle that suggests that if something isn't broke, trying to fix it is a terrible idea. Thus, it's not surprising that many firms will want to keep whatever hardware possible in the game and running, and analog endpoints here are no exception to the rule.

That's one of the greatest things about VoIP gateways and VoIP in general; there are so many options, so many potential choices, that it covers just about every kind of office and potential configuration that can be had. There's plenty of reason to bring VoIP into an operation by itself, thanks to the impressive cost savings and slate of new options that it can add to the field, but it's also easy to get caught up in the minutiae and fail to see the forest for the trees.

While VoIP represents a great opportunity for improvement in the office, it isn't really a plug-and-play proposition. Since there are so many options connected with this field, it's the kind of thing that has to be properly and completely considered to reach its fullest value. Still, this downside is also great news, as companies like beroNet demonstrate; there's too much going on in this field to go into it lightly, but also so much that it's likely to produce value at any point.

Edited by Alicia Young

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