VoIP, or Voice Over Internet Protocol, has quickly become the leading standard for telecommunications the world over. Despite this, however, there’s still plenty of myths about VoIP phone systems UK business owners believe all too quickly.
VoIP is less fiddly, less expensive and more secure than some myth-peddlers would have you believe. Here at Planet Numbers, we’ve helped thousands of businesses improve their customer and client outreach with just a few communication tweaks. We’re in a great position to bust some of those nasty VoIP myths – so let’s get started!
MYTH: VoIP Isn’t Secure.
FACT: VoIP has never been safer to use.
We’ve all heard horror stories about companies ruined by stolen data, people listening in on calls, and reputations taking a nose-dive. Many of these issues occur through poor communications setups – and, of course, with VoIP phone systems being cloud-based, it’s only natural to assume they’re less secure than the standard.
Thankfully, VoIP phone systems aren’t at any more risk of being breached than a normal phone connection. In fact, they arrive with more security add-ons than your standard copper line connection. You’re altogether safer with VoIP!
Qualified VoIP installers work hard to ensure that encryption at either end of your system is optimal. Providing you pair your VoIP setup with leading firewall and network security, your calls are private and your customer data is safe.
Don’t always take the ‘default’ option when setting up VoIP, either – consider adding a few security tweaks and extras. For example, consider setting up two-factor authentication, call logging and monitoring. You’ll never look at a copper line again.
MYTH: VoIP Requires Extremely High Bandwidth.
FACT: Providing you have at least 100 kbps in bandwidth, you can use VoIP in your office(s).
Let’s break this down into handsets or headsets. For each headset, you’ll need 100 kbps in bandwidth available. Therefore, just multiply your number of desks or handsets by 100. If you have 32 agents in your main office, you’ll need an internet connection offering at least 3,200 kbps in bandwidth.
VoIP doesn’t rely on the strength of your internet connection – it adapts to your speeds and maximum bandwidth. If you have a large operation, it makes sense to scale up your bandwidth, of course – but you’ll never be ‘locked out’ just because you’re not on the top package.
This scalability means even one or two-person operations can benefit from VoIP connectivity. The more personnel, the faster your connection will need to be.
If you’re really unsure about your bandwidth and your office’s compatibility with VoIP, always check ahead with your internet service provider! Alternatively, it’s easy to perform a quick, free internet speed test online – just ensure you do so from a device connected to your WiFi.
MYTH: VoIP Is Only for Big Businesses.
FACT: Offices of all shapes and sizes can benefit from VoIP – and do!
VoIP offers benefits that all businesses can benefit from – enhanced security, call quality, lower drop-outs and even cost savings. As established, even sole traders and startups benefit from VoIP – providing they have enough bandwidth.
VoIP is more ubiquitous than many people imagine – in fact, we use it in our everyday lives, not just in the office.
Every time you have video chatted with someone via FaceTime or used the internet to call them (such as via Skype), you are essentially using a VoIP phone system. This technology has actually been around for over 20 years now and – with BT set to retire copper lines and traditional phone telephony in the coming years – it’s rapidly becoming the leading standard.
VoIP is scalable, too – which means small businesses can simply add more handsets and toggle service add-ons as their business grows. If they need to scale down, they can simply remove handsets or desk phones – and can use bespoke SIP setups to tailor calls to their everyday needs!
MYTH: VoIP is Expensive.
FACT: VoIP is more cost-effective than managing a standard phone line for your business.
Traditional telephony may be simple, but it carries costs such as line rental, potential repair fees, and even the knock-on costs of business downtime. Traditional phone lines are at the mercy of electrical faults and even changes in the weather – and if your internal phone line goes down, you’re at risk of losing serious business until someone fixes the problem.
VoIP not only removes this risk but also reduces loss of income. The technology is fine-tuned to provide constant connectivity 24/7, and won’t be cut off by a stray leaf on an outside line, or a little rain getting into a local phone cabinet. That means you’ll never lose out on a potential sales call, or get cut off helping a customer.
That means you’ll get to build more revenue and cut back on potential loss. What’s more, you won’t have to pay additional line rental fees or exorbitant package rates with VoIP. It’ll scale up in fees just as it scales with your business’ size and needs – you really only ever pay for what you need.
You’ll also find VoIP handsets are getting more affordable and the manufacturing market is growing yearly. That means more choice in terms of great value VoIP tech, and less money spent on investment and upkeep!
MYTH: You Can’t Use VoIP on Your Current Devices.
FACT: You can connect millions of devices to VoIP, and probably won’t need to replace all your tech.
Providing your handsets and comms devices have an ethernet port, you’ll be able to connect them to VoIP. While many outdated devices won’t be compatible with internet calling, the majority of phones and devices offices currently use can be configured to work with a new VoIP setup.
Mobile devices are even easier to set up, too. The big change happens at your modem, not at your devices – once VoIP is fully installed, simply connect your tablets and/or phones to your WiFi – you’re good to go.
It’s a good idea to upgrade your communications tech every so often, but you don’t have to invest in a completely new fleet of IP phones if your handsets have ethernet connectivity. Always check the ports at the back of your phones to make sure!
If you’re unsure whether or not your devices will work, check with us. Our expert team will take a look at your tech and let you know if you need to upgrade.
MYTH: You’ll Lose Your Number by Switching to VoIP.
FACT: You may be able to port your existing number(s) when switching to a VoIP solution.
Changing your business phone number(s) is a hassle. Your customers may already be very familiar with your current numbers, and redoing all of the marketing is going to be a cost drain. That’s why you should always consider ‘porting’ your number(s) when moving to VoIP.
This process allows you to keep your current area code and a unique number even though you’re moving to internet calling. A word of warning, porting over is never guaranteed (as it depends on number availability). But it’s completely false that you’ll always leave your number behind. All you have to do is ask!
In some cases, if you want to set up new numbers alongside VoIP, it may be worth creating new ‘virtual’ call signs. Virtual numbers aren’t tied to physical telephony points, meaning you can make and take calls with any UK area code through VoIP. It’s a massive boost if you want to attract London clients (but are based up north), for example!
MYTH: VoIP is Difficult to Install and Maintain
FACT: You can get set up with VoIP in a matter of minutes.
Moving from traditional telephony to VoIP phones systems isn’t about unhooking all your old cables and replacing them with new ones. At Planet Numbers, for example, we simply provide you with the hardware you can plug into your power supply and modem. It really is plug-and-play, and all of the complex networking takes place at our end of the supply.
Maintaining your VoIP isn’t a nightmare when you have engineers and experts you can call. Not only is VoIP more resilient than traditional copper line telephony, it’s easier to fix if something goes wrong. If you do ever notice an outage, you can call your hosted VoIP provider for assistance and a fix within minutes.
Traditionally, fixing a phone line into your business or reconfiguring your internal network could take days. That’s time without sales calls, without customer service, and with company losses piling up. VoIP removes all of the risk and provides you with simple telephony you can always depend on.
MYTH: VoIP Call Quality is Always Poor.
FACT: VoIP call quality is superior to the old standard!
Yes, if your internet connection’s unstable, your call quality may stumble. However, providing you have enough bandwidth and a reliable ISP, you can expect fantastic call clarity.
Traditional phone connectivity falls prey to weather, electrical interference, and even location problems. How many times have you genuinely struggled to hold a conversation with a landline when travelling?
Old-style phone calls crackle, buzz, mute and even drop with very little fuss. It’s very frustrating – and could lose you business!
VoIP is ‘always-on’ and routed via data – it’s more stable, which means high quality calls. It also arrives with added features including noise cancelling – which you can toggle through your handsets. What’s more, the higher your bandwidth, the better your call quality will be.
MYTH: VoIP Isn’t Very Popular.
FACT: Cloud and VoIP communication is growing in popularity year by year.
While it may seem to be the ‘new kid on the block’, more and more businesses are adopting VoIP. It’s said to be growing at almost 20% CAGR. That adds up to a market size of more than $100 billion by mid-decade!
Let’s consider the remote working boom of the past few years, too. The COVID-19 pandemic saw many people working from home (or at least away from the office). This increased the need for flexible connections, and in many cases, boosted interest in VoIP. Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Meet – all rely on VoIP!
With VoIP, businesses can choose to go ‘fully mobile’ or set up as a ‘hybrid’. This means they can keep some staff in the office, while others can connect to the same network off-site. The extra flexibility means businesses can cut costs and keep employees happy and healthy.
MYTH: VoIP is Only for Tech Companies.
FACT: If you make and take calls, you’ll benefit from VoIP!
It’s a misconception that VoIP is so ‘complex’ or ‘niche’ that only IT or tech companies benefit from it. As we’ve seen, the security and cost-saving benefits extend to all industries.
Here’s an example. A small, independent clothing company only has two phones, but is struggling to pay its telephone bills. Their lines are constantly cut off due to bad weather, and they’re losing money as well as time.
With VoIP, this clothing line already cuts the cost of line rental, and ensures no calls drop. With added call features and no dropped lines, they never miss a sales call. That helps to build their client base, shave expenses, and boost their bottom line!
You could run a printing firm, a recording studio, even a small farm – and VoIP can still benefit your business.
MYTH: VoIP Won’t Be Around Forever
FACT: Traditional phone connections will be phased out by 2025.
Soon, the only way you’ll be able to make and take calls is via the internet. BT has, in a bold move, warned UK consumers that they can expect a ‘switchover’ by 2025. This means all phones and devices that plug directly into the ‘old-style’ sockets will become obsolete.
Instead, business and private users will need to connect phones to internet modems. This means VoIP is set to sweep the nation!
With the majority of the UK having access to high-speed internet, this move makes sense. What doesn’t make sense, however, is the myth that VoIP is just a ‘fad’. If anything, it’s the ‘next big thing’!
There’s a big push to encourage business owners to switch to VoIP sooner rather than later. Leaving the switchover until the last minute may be expensive and cause serious headaches!
As VoIP is so easy to set up and manage right now, business owners are running out of excuses to try it out. You’ll see nothing but VoIP phone systems UK wide in just a few years!
MYTH: VoIP Isn’t as Advanced as Traditional Landline Technology.
FACT: VoIP is more advanced than basic telephony!
While VoIP’s been around for three decades now, it’s always improving. While brilliant for their time, physical landlines are less reliable and trickier to manage. They’re also open to more abuse and cost more to run and fix in the long run.
VoIP also offers lots of extra benefits. Using SIP trunking, you can manage different transfer call options, your auto attendant, call waiting tools and even analytics. Unlike traditional phone lines, VoIP is smarter in that it will scale up and down as you need it.
You can also conduct many types of calls through VoIP. While setting up a conference call is possible through traditional lines, it’s hard to manage. VoIP provides video calls, conference calling and direct conversations all in one package.
MYTH: VoIP Won’t Help Grow Your Business.
FACT: You’ve never had more opportunities than with VoIP!
VoIP can open up even the smallest of local businesses to the wider world. International calling costs through traditional landlines are very expensive – meaning many businesses keep calls local or national.
With VoIP, you’re not billed per minute, only for the data you set up through your ISP. That means you can receive and make calls anywhere in the world. The internet – and VoIP – have helped to ‘shrink’ the planet, and expand businesses’ outreach!
VoIP will also help you to retain customers and build on new leads. Traditional lines that drop calls and frequently disconnect can put many callers off getting in touch. With VoIP, your lines are always active, and therefore open to calls you might have missed through old-style telephony.
VoIP is helping companies embrace the 24-7, worldwide service model. You can take more voice calls, cater to more territories, and grow your business to new heights. If you ever need to scale back down again, you can!
Despite the fact VoIP has been around for many years now, there’s still a lot of myths to debunk. By 2025, we’ll all be making calls via data – which means now is the time for your business to take full advantage.
The team at Planet Numbers has years of experience in helping small to large businesses make the switch to VoIP. No matter what you do, nor where you are on your journey, we’ll help make communication cheaper, more efficient, and more exciting. Think of the doors you’ll open to new sales and clients with data calling!