Is VoIP cheaper than a landline?
Running a business can be challenging. Especially when costs are rising, markets are uncertain and profit margins are tight. One way you may be able to reduce your overheads is by switching to VoIP if you currently operate with analogue telephony. In some cases, you may even be able to cut 40–50 per cent off your call costs.
Why is VoIP cheaper?
Much about the nature of VoIP technology means it is much cheaper to use. Where a regular phone system requires all sorts of infrastructure such as wires, phones and as many different lines as your business will need, with VoIP, you may already have most of these required components – or in some cases, all of them – ready and waiting. With many providers, all you really need is a working internet connection which is fast enough to cope with the requirements of sending audio and video signals online. These days, most business broadband packages can do this comfortably.
As a result, getting set up is usually much cheaper, even when you’re starting from scratch. A conventional business system could set you back hundreds and even thousands of pounds. A cloud-based VoIP system, on the other hand, might be available for as little as £20 per month.
VoIP call costs
VoIP also holds an advantage when it comes to making calls. Most phone services will still charge you for calls whereas internet calls are generally free of charge. Some will also have substantial amounts of free minutes – even for international calls.
They can do this because of the way VoIP sends voice data. A landline will transmit calls through a traditional PBX system. VoIP, on the other hand, sends all data using IP as data packets. It combines voice and data capabilities cutting out the need for separate phone lines for each one.
As a business, you will no longer need different providers for your voice, data and mobile services. This can all come from one source making billing much simpler and more affordable.
Many providers offer a more flexible billing option. When you install a conventional business phone system, you will be paying for a set capacity regardless of how much you end up using. You will need to assess your needs as a business including how many lines you need and how many users you’ll have. In many cases you will have to overestimate your use to make sure you do not run out of capacity. VoIP services, meanwhile, make it easier to manage payments on a ‘per user’ basis. With this option you’ll only pay for as much functionality as you need and nothing more.
Comparing VoIP setups
Prices vary considerably between different VoIP providers and packages. Cloud-based options host all the infrastructure for you which keeps your running costs to a minimum. Alternatively, on-premises VoIP gives you complete control over your system but will cost more to set up.
You may also need to employ people to manage the ongoing maintenance of the system, which can push the price up, although the ongoing costs can be lower. However, for this you get much more control and security.
The full benefits of VoIP
As well as saving your business money, VoIP offers a huge range of services which help you manage your communications more effectively. Systems increasingly offer a number of additional features such as call forwarding, video conferencing, voice and video data. For example, you can easily manage video conferencing and share documents between multiple callers located in different parts of the world. It makes meetings and conversations much more efficient and effective. Decisions made during conversations can be actioned in real-time.
The technology links different modes of communication. You may transcribe calls into emails and store all your data in one place. The result – your operations are smoother, your business more streamlined and your employees much more productive. From this perspective, it’s not only cheaper but offers added value to you and your business.
Money is important and it may well be that this is the first thing you think about, but this is only part of a much larger package. In the modern digital world, technology is becoming increasingly important to business performance. VoIP plays an important part of this, and as connections get faster, you’ll be able to do much more. It will save you money and boost your revenue, reducing the cost of administration and expanding your opportunities.
As the market grows, though, there’s an increasingly high number of providers and package types to choose from. Use our comparison software to search through the available options to find the best VoIP package for your business.