Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone service enables users to make and receive calls via a high-speed Internet connection rather than a traditional phone line. These services can take a wide variety of forms – from single-user computer connections to complex systems not dissimilar to a traditional corporate PBX exchange.
Learning about the average pricing and costs of VoIP business phone systems will help you determine if switching to this new technology is a wise investment for your business.
How It Works
A VoIP service provider transmits two-way voice in real time over an Internet connection. In this way, it works very similar to standard telephones that utilize analog lines. However, VoIP service offers lower up-front costs than traditional phone services, as well as more predictable operating costs, easier growth management and reduced concerns about equipment obsolescence. Many business phone features include:
- Caller ID, call parking, call attendant, and call transfer, as well as call forwarding to your home phone or mobile phone.
- Digital voicemail, digital directories, and numberless calling.
- Call data and analytics that registers the number of total calls made, the number of calls that were answered, the length of each call and its total cost. You can also set up call recording – an important feature for customer service centers.
- Integration with customer relationship management (CRM) systems, including click-to-call and other features.
- Cloud-based phone service can prove advantageous to businesses whose employees travel frequently. Furthermore, in the event of a disaster or other event that prevents you from getting to the office, you can still access your business calls.
Many of these features – such as digital voicemail – are unavailable with traditional analog phone systems. Just looking for a traditional phone system? We have phone system vendors waiting to give you the system you need.
Pricing and Costs
The pricing of VoIP phone systems will vary depending upon your existing phone structure and desired features. The most basic systems will simply require computers or specialized handsets that connect directly to a cable or broadband internet connection. However, these systems are appropriate only for small businesses – most larger businesses will require a larger up-front expenditure to make the switch to internet telephony.
- For example, a basic 16-feature VoIP phone system – similar to a traditional PBX exchange – will typically cost between $10,000 and $30,000. While this cost is considerably higher than standard digital phone systems, the difference can be offset by savings on long distance calling and decreased administrative costs.
- To implement a business phone system, you will need several pieces of equipment: a central device, such as an IP PBX to manage the calls; IP compatible phone handsets or headsets; and a broadband or satellite data network with sufficient bandwidth.
- You can also utilize cloud-based VoIP services, which host the call software on independent servers. For a monthly fee, your business can access the software online from any location.
When deciding whether to make the switch to a voice over IP phone system, consider the up-front installation costs as well as the long-term costs of the service. Although you may be required to purchase new equipment and wiring, you may find that your new system pays for itself in call savings within a matter of months.