Telecommunications companies often provide clients with T1 phone lines that can transfer voice and data in digital form at 1.544 Mbps. It was originally developed to be used as a trunk for intra-metro transfer of bulk voice calls between telecommunication company offices. T1 were meant to transfer all the voice data for 24 simultaneous calls.The 1.544 Mbps line rate and 24-call bundle are the defining factors for T1 that have survived despite having a lot of new technology emerging since then. T3 lines which bundle T1 and other high-speed systems can now zip hundreds of calls simultaneously through coaxial or optical fiber cables. Therefore, T1 are not of much use for the telecommunication company to use as trunks.Instead, they are now offered to clients as an upgrade on a normal line or DSL. T1 provide businesses with a lot of flexibility and advanced communication features. T1 can be used by large companies for all their voice and internet data. Companies can combine DID (direct inward dialing) with a single T1 to get hundreds of phone numbers.Before this, a business with large call volumes from than 6 desks had to subscribe to more than one line and use a PABX system to route calls. Even more were needed for internet access, VPNs (virtual private networks) and hosting web and email servers, intranets, etc. All this can be wrapped up into a T1, with only two simple telephone wires between the business and the telecom company.This easy installation and reduced maintenance also improves service on the telecom company’s part. This is in addition to the performance improvement because of digital voice data transfers. In fact, T1 phone lines usually come with service level agreements that guarantee a minimum uptime, performance and reliability of service.In case anyone is wondering why two phone wires can handle all the communications traffic of a large business, the answer lies in digital communications technology. Telecom lines normally transfer analog voice signals that need a lot more space and time. By using a digital format to transfer voice, it reduces the space required, so the two wires of a T1 can easily handle 24 voice channels of 64 kbps each, and even more if the data is compressed.Customers can specify what their T1 should be used for. For instance, a common arrangement is to use 23 for calls and the remaining one for required services the telecommunication company provides. Some companies that have heavy data transfers may want Data T1 configured so that all 24 channels are dedicated for high speed internet.Fractional T1 phone lines are cheaper because some of the channels are turned off. They can be used by smaller businesses that need both voice and data transfers with more speed and reliability than an ordinary line or DSL, but are not big enough to utilize all 24 channels. Integrated T1 have each channel allocated for either voice or data, with a standard arrangement being a 50-50 split.
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