p>When it comes to the ongoing discussion about VoIP phones versus conventional wired phone services for small businesses, both sides have their strong points. To start, the benefits of VoIP are clear to most consumers-it costs less, it provides all of the functionality needed by customers and it is easy to use. On the other hand, there is also a technology angle that must be considered when looking at this issue for a small business. As most businesses are still migrating to a virtual communications environment, having a phone system that allows them to connect with an alternate network is essential.
The advantages of a traditional phone service for small business would be its ability to link up with a local telephone exchange (PTO) as well as other external systems that help reduce communication costs. By establishing a connection to these systems, the provider has the means to send and receive calls on its dime instead of the small business paying for each call. While a VOIP phone service will typically be less costly than the fees connected to a traditional POTS line, it is important to understand the difference between “the fee” you are paying for using the service vs. the “cost per call” that the POTS line charges. The cost per call in a POTS system is determined by your unique connection characteristics, whereas the fee associated with a VOIP phone service is determined by the amount of traffic on the VOIP network as well as the volume of voice calls made. This “traffic” can vary greatly, from high volume calls to minimal volume calls and the “cost per call” is different for each scenario.
For many companies, the amount of bandwidth provided to VOIP phone service is the deciding factor when it comes to deciding whether to go with a provider or not. One company states that they have found that their business is able to operate at maximum capacity by using a low bandwidth plan while another small business utilizes their high bandwidth service and states that the additional cost of the higher rate plan resulted in a return of a significant profit. The fact of the matter is that the majority of VOIP phone providers offer unlimited bandwidth plans with various plans that include features like caller ID, call waiting, conference calling, and voice mail. The VOIP service can actually reduce your company’s overhead while enabling you to utilize more of your company’s resources.