What are the Benefits of VoIP?

By Sheila Shanker
Updated: March 07, 2011

Used by many businesses, big and small, VoIP is a popular option for phone communications. Unlike regular phone service, VoIP (Voice over IP) uses digital technology to transmit information over the Internet. If you have a fast, reliable broadband Internet service, you are ready to take advantage of this technology. Specific benefits of VoIP are:

VoIP Cost Savings

The most obvious benefit of a VoIP system is the cost savings in phone expenses, especially if you make lots of long-distance and international calls. You pay a monthly fee starting at around $30, which often includes many features, such as 3-way calling, that you have to pay extra when using your old phone service. Many VoIP services integrate your fax needs, eliminating the need for a regular phone line for this service, another savings possibility.

The cost savings is most glaring when looking at long distance and international calls that you can get for a very reasonable fee from your VoIP provider. Depending on your service, you may get special discount deals in calls at a certain area of the U.S. or abroad. This is beneficial when you have offices in different places in the U.S. or offshore – you can call them the same way that you would call someone locally.

The Federal Communications Commission recognizes the cost benefits, as it states,

"Some VoIP services offer features and services that are not available with a traditional phone, or are available but only for an additional fee. You may also be able to avoid paying for both a broadband connection and a traditional telephone line."

There are many VoIP service providers in the marketplace, improving competition, making costs go down, while offering features to attract customers. Talk to as least three providers to see which ones will give you the best deal for your money.

Flexibility with VoIP

A VoIP service offers flexibility not available with your traditional phone service. When you need to add more phones to your service, it’s a simple process that usually your IT department is involved, although many times business owners choose to do the work themselves. This is also the situation when an office move across the city or the country – the firm can keep the same phone number, and the down-time is minimum with no involvement of your old phone company in the process.

The scalability of VoIP system is related to its flexibility and simplicity. The trend is to keep as many functions as possible within one structure that is easy to manage. A VoIP system may be set up to allow for videos and other high-tech feature in the same line, benefiting your business in the long run, and making troubleshooting much easier to perform.

A VoIP system should be considered when a small business owner is reviewing his or her options. Not only it saves you money, but gives you flexibility and simplicity not available with your old phone company system. The VoIP system is simple and generally easy to troubleshoot. It’s a technology accepted by the Federal Communications Committee and is not just a fad – VoIP is here to stay.

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