Communication is at the heart of any small business, charity or third sector organisation. Whether you rely on telephony solutions to build your donor base, communicate with patients or connect with the local community, the landline VoIP debate is a decision faced by most modern organisations. This article is designed to offer a complete overview of both services and help you decide which is best for your organisation.
Landline vs VoIP
First let’s take a look at exactly what you get from each service. Below we explore the difference between VoIP or landline and spotlight the pros and cons of each.
Telephones have been around since the 1800s, with Scotsman Alexander Graham Bell credited as the inventor of the technology. His game-changing invention was introduced to the world in 1876 and used copper conducting wire to transform vibrations into an electric current. This allowed his voice to travel along the wire to a receiver. Telephones have come a long way since the 19th century, but the general concept of wire-to-receiver transmission remains the same. Modern landlines still rely on cables, typically buried underground or suspended between poles.
Pros of landlines
- Most people are familiar with how landlines operate. This makes them a user-friendly choice for many organisations.
Cons of landlines
- Landline infrastructure is ageing and can make the service unreliable. It’s not unusual to experience static, breakups and dropouts when using landlines.
- Cables are fundamental to landline telephones and can make the service expensive to maintain.
- In 2015, BT announced plans to decommission their circuit-switched Integrated Services Digital Network (IDSN) and Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) completely by 2025. Neither service can keep up with modern technologies or offer the speed, reliability, voice quality and cost effectiveness expected in today’s internet-powered world. This makes a transition to other solutions like VoIP obligatory for organisations that want to stay connected in the digital age.
- Landlines are anchored to a specific cable network. This means the service is unsuitable for hybrid workforces.
The main difference between VoIP or landline is the backend infrastructure. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone systems are internet-based and don’t require a traditional telephone line. However, you do need internet connectivity and access to a broadband line.
The following devices can be used with VoIP systems:
- Dedicated VoIP phones and handsets. These look and feel like traditional landline-based phones but are powered by an internet connection, as opposed to a traditional phone line. They’re packed with features and designed to make communication fast, easy and intuitive.
- Desktop computers and laptops. Applications like Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams, Google Voice and FaceTime can be loaded onto computers and used to support
- The ultimate solution for remote and hybrid workers, smartphones allow employees to make internet-powered calls at their fingertips. Like computers, VoIP apps and platforms can be installed directly onto smartphones.
- Landline phone coupled with a VoIP adapter. This technology combines elements of both landline VoIP. It’s known as SIP Trunking and converts traditional landline handsets into VoIP-enabled systems. We cover this hybrid technology in more detail below.
Pros of VoIP
- VoIP is a scalable telephony solution that grows with your business. It’s easy to add or remove users as needed, making it a great solution for growth-oriented enterprises.
- The best VoIP packages offer free unlimited calls and a simple monthly fee based on the number of users required. This makes it easy to stay on budget and avoids unexpected costs.
- VoIP comes with a full suite of mobile-ready features and desktop apps. This is ideal for organisations with hybrid workforces. It allows employees to communicate, collaborate and maintain productivity, whether they’re working from the office or based at home.
- Upgraded VoIP packages include features like video and audio conferencing, screen sharing and other collaboration tools.
Cons of VoIP
- VoIP is a new technology which means the concept can feel foreign to some people. While there is a learning curve involved, VoIP systems are easy to master, and the benefits are well worth the effort.
- A reliable internet connection is essential for VoIP services. Setting up a connection does require an initial investment however VoIP quickly pays for itself in the form of heightened productivity and communication.
Can you have both landline and VoIP?
Yes, it is possible to have both a landline and VoIP. That said, VoIP offers all the features and functionality of a traditional landline phone system, with added benefits. For this reason, most organisations choose either a VoIP or landline, with VoIP generally the most popular choice.
Do landline phones work with a VoIP?
Traditional Private Branch Exchange (PBS) telephone systems have been around for decades. It’s understandable many people prefer the simple and easy-to-operate nature of PBS systems. Can’t choose between a VoIP or landline? This is where Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Trunking steps up. Affordable and flexible, SIP Trunking converts existing PBX infrastructure into a feature-rich VoIP phone system.
The benefits of SIP Trunking include:
- Continue to use existing landline desktop telephones and infrastructure.
- Future-proof your organisation for the ISDN switch off in 2024.
- Enhance existing voice-based telephony services with advanced multimedia features.
- Unlock significant cost savings.
Transition to VoIP with VS Group
Ready to make the switch to VoIP? At VS Group we specialise in tailored IT and telecoms solutions for small businesses, charities and third sector organisations. We look closely at the unique needs of your enterprise and match them with tiered VoIP packages designed to grow with your organisation. If you’re looking to future-proof your operations with best-in-class telephony solutions, we have you covered.
For organisations not ready to make a complete transition to VoIP, our SIP Trunking service is a great solution. It’s a popular option for clients who aren’t ready to choose between a VoIP or landline. All services are backed by professional support, allowing your team to communicate and collaborate, no matter what’s going on behind the scenes.