Looking for a phone system for your business or local office? You have two options: internet telephony or the classic landline phone. But which one to use?
IP telephony is not a new technology. Actually, it’s been around for a long time in several forms, becoming a reliable choice for businesses during the last few years. Every day, more users are transitioning from traditional telephone systems to internet packet-based networks or VoIP.
The type of phone you have at your house or have been using since you were a kid is the analog phone. Analog telephony is the conventional telecom system using the narrow RJ-11 plug to support your standard phone, fax machine and modem. It is also known as POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) or PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network).
Analog service allows subscribers to communicate with one another by converting your voice into electric signals. Users are connected through a copper wire pair that runs from a central switch office to all different homes and businesses. Each landline user is assigned a specific phone number, which allows them to contact one another.
Analog telephony advantages:
- Simple to use. You pick up the handset, dial your number and start talking after the other party picked up.
- Low and easy maintenance. Faults can be traced easily by following the electric signal on your copper wire pair, and the telephones contain only few and simple parts.
- Minimal setup required. You simply hook up your phone with the copper wire pair your phone company installed in your home.
Analog telephony disadvantages:
- Limited scalability without the need for a private branch exchange (PBX).
- The bandwidth is very limited, ranging from 300 Hz to 3400 Hz, which is sufficient for your voice, but not good quality audio.
- Long-distance charges are higher than digital call charges.
As you may have seen in our previous post, IP telephony is a general term to describe a different way to transmit information over the internet, rather than traditional telephone networks to place phone calls.
IP telephony advantages include:
- Lower monthly cost
- Increased effectiveness of call transmission and routing
- Large scalability
- Possibility of data and video transmission
IP telephony disadvantages include:
- Not yet compatible with 911 services
- Inherent security issues associated with the internet
- Power outages, poor internet connections, or failures on the end of the service provider affect communication stability
Why switching from a landline to VoIP?
As the internet has evolved and become universally available, so has IP telephony.
According to a Forbes publication from 2012, 71% of leads are wasted due to extended/delayed response times. In fact, it takes almost two days for a company to pick up the phone and respond to a lead. Those old low-response rates were desperately needing better efforts to contact leads back immediately.
For instance, the Click-To-Call Google study revealed that up to 70% of mobile users click the call feature from their smartphones when they search for a business. This feature is one of the many ways companies can benefit from using VoIP services. This way, they can address problems like the one mentioned above.
VoIP versus landline: Brief comparison
In the next few lines, we’re comparing both in shared criteria to help you understand the reason behind this increasing trend.
- Setup cost and running costs are way lower with IP telephony
- Call pricing. Free VoIP to VoIP calls are often included in your monthly rate. International and mobile calls are typically charged at a nominal rate. With landlines, all calls are charged.
- Reliability. Landlines used to be reliable but now they are becoming obsolete. Telecom sector is investing everyday more to improve VoIP, making it way more reliable when it comes to call connectivity and long-term reliability.
- Multimedia. Transmit voice, video, and any form of information when using IP telephony, while analog phone service has no support for multimedia, it’s for voice only.
- Scalability. Traditional telephony requires additional phone sets and wired phone lines needed to scale. VoIP, on the other hand, is easy and inexpensive to scale as your business grows.
- Add-ons. Enjoy call features at no additional cost (call waiting, forwarding, call parking). Landlines have limited options for add-ons, and most of them have an extra cost.
- Outages. Internet should be functional at all times to use internet telephony, but you can forward calls to a secondary device during a power outage. This is the biggest advantage of an analog phone service as it is available during a power outage.
What to choose: VoIP or landline? Final verdict
VoIP shows to be superior to traditional telephony in terms of features, cost, reliability, and technology. Studies revealed that the global VoIP services market set for rapid growth, and will reach around USD 140 Billion by 2021. Such projections can’t and won’t be matched by any other telecom service, much less landlines.
How to go from traditional lines to VoIP?
You must meet some main prerequisites to start transitioning between these two services:
- Have a reliable internet service provider. Since VoIP utilizes the internet to serve users, having a reliable internet connection is a must. Speed is not a concern for those using a high-speed broadband connection. Generally, you need 100kbps or 0.1mbps for one VoIP device. That is to say, if you need 5 devices, you’d need an additional 500kbps.
- Have a VoIP-enabled device to set up and manage phone calls. The amount of phones required depends on the number of employees using a phone at any given time. You can either:
- Convert your existing analog telephone to a VoIP phone with an ATA adapter (cheaper).
- Purchase a hard phone (VoIP-enabled hard phone)
Finally, look for a reliable VoIP provider and start enjoying!