In the past, businesses relied on traditional landline phone services to communicate with both customers and employees. The digital age has ushered in new technology for better and faster connection solutions that streamline operations and get work done more quickly. One of the tools that emerged is Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).
The following explains the differences between landline services and VoIP.
Also known as public-switched telephone networks (PSTNs), traditional analog phone systems were routed through the copper wiring of the local phone company. To utilize landline services, a business has to set up a private branch exchange (PBX) for extensions and call transfers.
A top VoIP phone system does not require copper wires but works by using a business’s internet connection. The technology works by converting speech audio into a digital stream that is transferred through cable, fiber optic or DSL lines to its target. Standard phone jacks are not needed. The phone line is connected to a special adaptor that works with a computer or a modem.
Which Offers the Best Service?
Landline and VoIP services are vastly different technologies. While they share similarities, they do not operate in the same way. When it comes time to make a choice, the needs of the business must be factored in as well as the benefits and disadvantages of each service.
- Convenience. Using a VoIP service removes the restraints of time and location when it comes to making and receiving business calls. Traditional phone systems are in a fixed location, while VoIP allows for virtual connection through a designated extension that will ring all the phones on the network. Customers are able to call the business with ease, and the virtual extension is excellent for directing calls when employees are traveling or just out of the office.
- Customization. VoIP allows for customized plans, which means businesses only pay for the services they need. Employees can use email to share voicemails and can have calls forwarded to their cell phones when they are not at their desks. Landline services cannot forward calls to smartphones, and there are no other services that can be added on.
- Versatility. This is where VoIP really shines. The technology allows the service to be used on various platforms, from cell phones to laptops to desktop computers. It can also be used with customer relationship management software, integrating communication with data and leading to more personal and productive customer relationships. In addition, VoIP handsets can operate in dual mode, making it simple to switch from WiFi to mobile and avoiding the need for both office and mobile phones for employees.
- Functionality. When a business uses traditional landline services, it is limited to voicemail, call waiting, caller ID and call forwarding. VoIP provides voice-to-email, automatic forwarding, video conferencing and virtual receptionist. This creates an efficient network of communication across the business as long as broadband internet is available.
- Reliability. In this instance, landline service provides a slight advantage over VoIP. Copper phone lines do not require electricity to operate, so when there is a power outage, the business can still receive and make calls. Power interruptions take internet service offline, making VoIP unavailable. Fortunately, VoIP is trying to close this service gap with the option to send office calls to a backup number that rings mobile phones, allowing the business to continue operating even if the power goes out.
- Cost effectiveness. VoIP services are less expensive because calls are sent as a data stream instead of using a dedicated copper phone line. While both landline and VoIP come with unlimited domestic calling features, VoIP offers lower rates for international dialing. This is done by using virtual numbers to push calls to pre-determined numbers. This benefits a business by allowing it to create a presence anywhere in the world and only be charged local rates because the virtual numbers are not tied to a specific location.
- Scalability. One of the best features of VoIP is its scalability. A business can add or remove the lines and features that it needs at any given time. As the number of users or employees fluctuates, the company can simply pay for what it needs. A traditional landline service requires a choice between a single line or a PBX setup. Landline systems are limited when it comes to the number of phone lines it can handle, making upgrades inconvenient and very costly.
As the world continues to move forward through the digital age, VoIP present a clear advantage over traditional landline phone systems. It is affordable, versatile, convenient and scalable while being flexible and offering numerous features. VoIP improves the productivity of workers and keeps a business running efficiently.