If your business has traditional landline phone service, is it time to switch to VoIP? If you’re starting a new business, which type of phone system is the better choice? Intercontinental Communications provides both landline and VoIP phone services, so we’ve put together this short but handy guide to help you choose between the two.
Analog or “landline” phone systems are the traditional option and have functioned in essentially the same way for more than a hundred years now. Calls are carried along copper wires, so phone service can drop when lines are damaged by a storm or an accident. Long-distance calls result in extra charges, which can become expensive depending on how many of them you need to make. Advanced features are available, but some of them may require additional equipment.
VoIP, or “Voice over Internet Protocol,” allows you to make phone calls over your broadband internet connection. The vast majority of the United States – about 95% – now has access to broadband internet, so most companies do have the option of using VoIP.
How does VoIP work? Sound is converted into packets of data, which are then transmitted over your broadband cable or fiber internet connection. With a VoIP phone system, you can use any advanced features (such as call routing, text messaging, and video meetings) directly from your cell phone or computer – no extra equipment needed. In addition, a VoIP system is far less expensive than a traditional landline, especially if you need to make a lot of long-distance calls.
Choosing Between the Two
It may sound like an easy choice between landlines and VoIP, but landlines do still have certain advantages. If your business is located in a rural area, you may not have access to broadband internet – in which case a VoIP system is simply not an option. Another reason to stick with a landline for now is if you rely on legacy equipment that might be incompatible with a VoIP system, or if your security alarms rely on landlines to work.
If you do have access to broadband internet and you aren’t still relying on legacy equipment, then you will almost certainly save money and experience better phone service (including better call quality) with a VoIP system.
In fact, your VoIP system should be able to transfer calls to your cell phones even in the event of a blackout or a loss of internet connection. If you work remotely from a home office, you can make or receive calls from your computer or smartphone at home – no one will even be able to tell the difference!
How much can your company save by using VoIP? That depends on your phone service needs, but savings of up to 65% are not uncommon. Installation is also much, much faster, and all you need is a computer or mobile phone.