Internet-based phone connections aren’t new, but both businesses and residential customers don’t have a lot of experience with them. While many early adopters use them since at least the early 2000s, they’re often seen as a replacement for landline phones. Tech enthusiasts opted into home broadband as soon as it was available.
As the technology matured, “Voice over Internet Protocol” (VOIP) became a cost-efficient option for small businesses, especially those who needed multi-line service. Now that people work from home, it’s worth exploring further. If you’re considering switching to VOIP, here are some details to consider.
Business VOIP and PBX Systems
For much of its second decade of development, VOIP was frequently packaged with digital PBX. These were services for call centers and other businesses that needed to handle internal and external calling with multiple incoming lines. When using VOIP, you can seamlessly integrate your phone service with the software that sends the call to the correct office.
As cloud services developed, many options for using cloud PBX and VOIP to connect remote users developed. Many of today’s providers provide app solutions that serve your business calls to individual mobile phone units.
Residential Customers and Consumer Mobile
Often, replacing a legacy landline with VOIP means saving a few bucks on local service. It also means you get unlimited long-distance and sometimes low-cost international calls. Today’s options that work with mobile 4G and 5G networks also provide the ability to use a dedicated mobile tablet as a receiver. Some allow you to operate a mobile phone using only the 4G SIM.
That allows users to streamline mobile costs, especially if plans for unlimited data usage are available from local carriers. Additionally, users who only need minimal service will find switching to VOIP attractive. This is especially true in an age when many providers offer limited calling time for free. There are only token costs for a basic individual plan with unlimited in-country calling.
Is There Reason To Wait?
Dedicated VOIP handsets are less expensive than ever. Customers that use a mobile device to connect can often skip that cost entirely. When you pair either of those facts with the low cost of service, there’s no reason to wait. There are a few cases where the immediate costs might make it a bad idea, though. In most of those cases, it’s still a good idea to switch eventually. Wait for the timing to be right. Here are some basic scenarios where it’s probably a good idea wait before you make the jump:
- If you would have to cancel a contract with a provider who charges a heavy cancellation fee, that cost needs to be weighed
- If you change services for a landline and you’re also moving soon, it might be better to connect the service to your new location
- When your cash flow doesn’t give you the option to get the handsets and other hardware you need to make the most of the service
- When your phone needs may change soon because your company grew or restructured
If it sounds like now is the time to make the switch for your home or business, don’t wait.
Single-Line Business Customers
There are a lot of seamless options for complex business phone needs at accessible price points. But business customers who only need a single line that goes to a single handset stand to save even more. You can find a single number, multiple-line service to a small number of mobile or desktop app clients for a fairly low price. The price is often competitive with basic business phone services from a legacy provider.
In many cases, the switch from a legacy landline to a VOIP provider saves money in the first month. It also opens up options like forwarding from your VOIP landline to a mobile app if you want to keep a line open for after-hours calls from clients. You’ve got options with VOIP.