With the challenging financial realities of the rising cost of living, making ends meet is a monthly struggle for 76% of South Africans who end up with ‘more month than money’ (TymeBank, World Wide Worx Survey: 2018). Being more than mere convenience, switching to Voice-over-IP (VoIP) can help you reduce costs and enjoy free local and long distance calling with a whole-house landline without the bill. With the call clarity advantage of VoIP, it is a good time to make the switch from a traditional provider to a VoIP solution. We discuss the essential steps involved in ditching the phone bill and switching to VoIP below.
VoIP versus a traditional landline
Essentially, there are three options to get a phone service into your home: a traditional landline through your local phone provider, a mobile phone bridge that extends your cellular plan to your home phone system, and a Voice-over-IP (VoIP) system. A landline comprises the use of a copper phone line to connect your home to a phone network whereas, VoIP technology involves the conversion of analogue voice calls into a digital format conveyed over the Internet. Typically, consumers need a broadband Internet connection and an adapter to connect their phone lines to a Router to make use of VoIP. A VoIP system is linked to your Internet and routes your phone calls to a regular telephone grid.
Determine how many lines you will need
Having a clear idea of user numbers before switching over makes certain decisions during the selection process easier. So, the first step in setting up a VoIP connection is to figure out how many lines you will need based on the number of users you plan on having. It will also help you determine which features are priorities and whether or not your Internet connection can support your expected call volumes.
Make sure your home Internet connection is fast enough
Once you have determined the number of users, you need to assess whether your Internet connection will handle VoIP for the anticipated users. Lack of sufficient network and data bandwidth against the number of users can result in poor call quality and dropped calls that accompany an insufficient connection. It will also allow you to anticipate if you need to upgrade your Internet connection to accommodate VoIP. A broadband Internet connection is needed to provide the minimum bandwidth for VoIP calls.
Set a VoIP budget
The various wide-ranging features that VoIP offers may be very enticing when looking at the different add-ons and bonuses you can use. Setting your budget will help keep you grounded and ensure that you do not over-reach in terms of your monthly expenditure. Consider paying annual fees to benefit from monthly savings.