Why VoIP is Different Than “Traditional” Phone Systems?
Traditionally, telephone calls are placed using physical equipment each step of the way. A pair of dedicated channels is needed to complete each call and must be maintained for the duration of the call. This type of call is impacted by factors such as distance, traffic, and availability, which can add to the cost of the call.
Over the last decade, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services have been gaining in popularity. Let’s explore how VoIP has raised the bar when it comes to communication.
What is the difference between VoIP and traditional phones?
VoIP calls are placed via the Internet, rather than through copper wires over telephone lines, sending the audio (your conversation) in digital “packets”. Using a process called “packet-switching”, voice data is transmitted and assembled at each end of the conversation with enough speed to ensure continuity throughout the call. By removing many of the limitations faced by “traditional” telephone calling, VoIP tends to be a much more cost-effective method of communication.
Improve business agility with VoIP phone system
Because of its use of the Internet, rather than physical hardware, VoIP also allows businesses more agility when it comes to scaling their telephone systems, adding/removing features, or restructuring their networks.
This agility, coupled with a host of available features, gives businesses the power to operate in a more streamlined manner and to serve their customers much more effectively without the need for additional personnel and equipment.
VoIP phone systems come with minimal equipment costs and can be implemented wherever your company may have an office while traditional phone lines constantly need to have equipment upgrades and service repairs to function without fault.
What are the advantages of VoIP over traditional telephone lines?
The greatest benefit of VoIP is the ability to carry long-distance calls with rates that significantly lower the standard international calling rates. This would allow your business to expand beyond geographical borders and even internationally with the ability to provide services to wherever the customers may be. If your company is located in the US, you will be able to enjoy unlimited calls to US phone numbers.
Modern VoIP services also come with mobile apps and cloud support allowing employees and team members to attend calls from anywhere they may be. This is a very handy feature that was useful while the world had to hit pause during the pandemic, and it continues to bring people together with the modern hybrid workplace model a lot of companies have adopted as we emerge out of the pandemic era.
Companies are able to deliver messages to all employees more efficiently via VoIP compared to having to reach everyone over the phone. VoIP allows callers to engage in something known as multi-party calling. This is especially useful for small and large businesses that need to conduct conference calls with multiple callers. All callers can join the same call and engage in the same conversation. Currently, this is a built-in feature of the most popular VoIP providers.
VoIP services also come with features such as internet fax, business text messaging, and video call functions. Such a comprehensive communication suite is going to be a great addition to your business.
What are the limitations of VoIP?
There are several factors that you may want to consider before adopting a VoIP phone system:
- Internet connection: connectivity to the internet is a must for VoIP services to operate. You will have to invest in a separate router and/or internet connection for your VoIP service to ensure uninterrupted service. This could also mean that you may not be able to reach geographical areas with low signals.
- Quality of the call: since the VoIP call is transmitted via the Internet, it might not seem like the smoothest call at times. You may experience low-quality voice and video or slight delays in the speed of transmission creating a very tedious experience from time to time. This may be dependent on how strong your IP signal is. You may also experience sudden call drops when using a VoIP service due to connectivity issues.
- Security concerns: since VoIP calls are transmitted via the internet, there is the possibility of interceptions and eavesdropping which can compromise the level of security of the conversation. Most VoIP vendors are diligent about security and have gone to extra lengths to ensure that you are able to securely communicate. It is also advisable to educate your staff and follow a thorough VoIP call protocol.
- Not reliable as an emergency service: we reiterate, that VoIP services are dependent on an active internet connection which means it might not be the most reliable way to communicate in case of an emergency where internet services may be compromised. These days, most VoIP providers provide an E911 service that would alert someone of your location in case of an emergency.
VoIP v. Landline: which is a better fit?
These days with robust internet connection speeds and the mainstream availability of 5G. VoIP services have become much more reliable and don’t seem to suffer from their usual drawbacks as much. And with the introduction of cloud-based services, VoIP phone systems are easier to use than ever.
If your company is on a mission to increase its reach and be available to more customers beyond your locale, investing in a VoIP service may be a great choice. Additionally, you will also have the option to scale up your VoIP phone system along with your company when the time comes.
By now it should be clear that a VoIP phone system can give your company more freedom than you can imagine. If you have arrived at the decision that a VoIP system is a right fit for your company’s mission, we can recommend what VoIP service is right for you using our phone systems buyers’ guide. You can also compare all the top phone system providers on the market and also compare each system against each other to ensure that you pick the best option for your company’s needs.