What is VoIP? The ultimate guide to a VoIP Phone System
In this article we will answer the most popular VoIP questions and explain how a VoIP phone system can streamline your business, save you time and save your business money.
What is VoIP?
VoIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol, or more commonly, Voice Over IP and is usually pronounced as ‘voyp’. VoIP is also sometimes referred to as an IP Phone system.
How does VoIP work?
Simply explained, VoIP refers to making calls that are made over the internet rather than over an analogue line, commonly referred to as landline or PSTN.
Using a VoIP service allows you to make and receive calls from almost any device as long as you have an Internet connection using unified communication apps. This makes a VoIP phone system ideal in scenarios such as the Coronavirus / Covid-19 pandemic where users need to work remotely.
VoIP advantages and disadvantages
What are the benefits of a Voice over IP phone system?
Reduced set-up costs and installation time
Some providers, such as ourselves, offer a fast turn around on VoIP orders – including same day. Furthermore, in most cases there is usually no set-up costs for a VoIP phone system however this is dependent on your provider.
Reduced call costs
Compared to calls made via a landline, IP call costs are considerably less. In most cases, you may find your VoIP provider offers inclusive calls like we do.
With most VoIP solutions call recording is available, most of the time at an additional cost. However, call recording can be important if you take verbal contracts or even for training and monitoring purposes.
With our VoIP solution, we can provide call recording and call recording storage for up to 7 years. Furthermore, you can even start, pause, stop and resume call recording live during a call.
From advanced call routing with voice menus to advanced call analytics – VoIP offers a lot of features that businesses may find critical. One popular feature we like is BLFs (Busy Lamp Fields). This feature allows users to see if another user is on the phone, saving a users time needlessly putting calls through to a user who is unavailable. This feature bundled with the many others is why a recent study found staff save around 32 minutes a day when using a VoIP service.
What are the disadvantages of VoIP?
One obvious downside of a VoIP phone system is that it is heavily reliant on an internet connection. Which means if your Internet goes down, you will be unable to place any outbound calls using your device. However, with modern solutions such as VoIP mobile and desktop apps and 5G broadband back-up solutions this issue should not be as prevalent.
As well as an internet connection, VoIP phones are reliant on always having power; meaning if you don’t have power, you are unable to dial out. This is again mitigated if you use the mobile or computer app.
Is VoIP good for small businesses?
VoIP phones systems are ideal for small businesses due to their low install and running costs. Small businesses on average save 68% when bundling their uses into a VoIP plan making VoIP a perfect option for SMEs.
Furthermore, small businesses (and even micro businesses) can also take advantage of features such as being able to pick up calls from anywhere making VoIP indispensable for them.
Can I keep my phone number if I switch to VoIP?
Yes, keeping your phone number when switching to VoIP is usually a simple process. If you wish to transfer or port your number, it is usually a case of letting your new provider know a few details such as the phone number and account details and they are able to transfer the number for you.
Porting or transferring a phone number to a VoIP service takes a minimum of 10 working days if it is a geographic number. Numbers beginning ’03’ can be ported however they can take longer dependent on your provider.
Other numbers such as 08 numbers can be ported in to some VoIP solutions however this is dependent on your new provider.
Is VoIP cheaper than a landline?
Yes, VoIP can save you a lot of money as many VoIP providers such as Globe2 have inclusive calls as part of their VoIP plans. Including other costs such as installation fee’s and install time of a landline, VoIP should be any business’s proffered choice of communication method.
Did you know that small businesses that switch to VoIP reduced their costs by up to 40%?
Should I switch from a landline to VoIP?
As a VoIP provider ourselves, we have seen the savings that businesses can make when switching to VoIP and so we personally recommend switching.
As explained above, the advanced features such as call routing as well as the amount saved in terms of money and time it is definitely worth making the switch.
Furthermore, making calls from a landline will no longer be an option after December 2025, due to the PSTN withdrawal meaning both residential and business customer would need to switch to an IP based phone system.
Do I need a special phone for VoIP?
Yes, you will need an IP Phone to use with a VoIP phone system. Luckily, their are many choices for you to choose from, including Yealink’s touchscreen phone. You can however, save money by opting to use your new phone system with an app that works on your mobile or computer.
If you would like any advice on what VoIP device you need or would like to know your options, get in touch and we will send you a list of our recommend VoIP phones in 2020.
How much does VoIP cost UK?
This does depend on your provider, however at the time of writing we charge £12.99 (excluding VAT) per user license per month. This license includes unlimited calls to UK landlines and UK mobiles (subject to our fair usage policy). Other providers, may charge anywhere from around £10-£25 however these may not include any inclusive calls.
Use our free calculator to see how much you can save. Prices are correct as of the time of writing.
Can I use a work VoIP phone at home?
Yes. You should be able to take your VoIP phone (with power supply if required) and plug it in to your router. This should then enable you to make or receive calls at home using your VoIP phone.
Can I use a VoIP phone to call landlines and mobiles?
Yes, your VoIP phone can make and receive calls to and from landlines and mobiles. You may also find that VoIP providers often include inclusive minutes to landlines and mobiles saving you money.
Can I use VoIP for fax?
Many VoIP phone systems (including ours) allow you to receive faxes, however you can not send faxes via VoIP. In most cases, this will be an option add-on that will cost around £5-6 a month.
Does VoIP require internet?
Yes, VoIP phones require an internet connection to work as unlike traditional analogue phones, calls are made via the internet rather than being sent over traditional copper lines.
How do I switch to VoIP?
Contact a VoIP provider
Keeping your number (optional)
See below with our extra tips in setting up your VoIP system.
Tips for setting up your VoIP phone system
It’s important to set-up your new phone system correctly so that both you and your customers time is used effectively. Find some of our favourite tips below:
Make sure that no voicemail gets missed by setting up voicemail-to-email. This feature sends you your voicemail as an attachment to your desired email address.
Set-up BLF keys
Want to see if someone is on the phone before you try to transfer a call to them? Well this is exactly what you get with BLF keys, they allow you to distinguish if a user is available or not.
Music on hold
It is important you change from the default music on hold settings. Usually, the default setting is set to no hold music and so an annoying beeping noise is made in place.
Learn the basics
Get to know your phone system and all its benefits. VoIP offers tons of solutions such as DND (do not disturb), call forwarding or call forwarding when busy. These features usually set-up via an online portal can come in hand when setting up your phone system.
We think that a VoIP phone system is essential for almost any business because of the advanced call handling features, low cost and scalability. We hope we have answer all your questions – if you have any other questions, let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or leaving a comment.
If you are looking for UK Business VoIP service provider, please get in touch via 03333 446 441 or email email@example.com.
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