Having friends, family or even business contacts abroad can mean costly phone bills every quarter. The quality of long distance international calls on a traditional landline system can also be poor, with crackly lines and the problem of a ‘delay’ over long distances. But there is an answer that can save you money on your international calls – VoIP.
VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is a system of making international calls using your broadband Internet connection rather than your landline. By breaking the data down into small ‘packets’, the conversation doesn’t suffer from the time delay that can be apparent on some landline calls. But most importantly for families and small SoHo businesses, VoIP offers you the chance to make unlimited free international calls and create a call plan that suits your requirements perfectly.
Call plans – the answer for international calls
With VoIP, your provider will offer you the opportunity to create a call plan that reflects your call habits. So if you have family or friends living in India, for example, your call plan could be based around your regular calls to them and provide you with the opportunity to include this region in your plan. By doing this, you are able to make unlimited free calls to India and cheap calls to other designated regions within your plan. In addition, it will give you the opportunity to ‘bundle’ your calls into one monthly payment, allowing you to call abroad whenever you want at no extra cost.
VoIP was originally limited by the technology it used, in particular the quality of the sound cards, speakers and microphones incorporated into computer hardware. However, because of the advances made over the last 15 years, VoIP can now be used on an ordinary phone hand set simply by adding a small adapter. This means that VoIP is now as simple as picking up the phone, making it an accessible and practical option for domestic customers as well as business users.
SoHos and Small Businesses – the VoIP Alternative
Because of the way that the Internet has also changed how people do business, many small companies and businesses run from home are now spending more time and money communicating with contacts abroad. Although email is rapidly becoming the communication method of choice, there are still times when you will need to speak to your suppliers, customers or business contacts direct. Traditional landline based phone systems can make this an expensive exercise. But because of the call plan option offered by VoIP providers, SMEs and SoHo businesses can now benefit from the same advantages as VoIP domestic customers.
The call plan option allows you to select particular regions of the world where you do the most business, and drastically reduces the cost of your international calls. The clarity and the use of standard phone hand sets means that making a call to the USA or Pakistan can be as easy and as cheap as calling a local number. This is particularly beneficial for small businesses with satellite offices abroad with whom they regularly communicate with by telephone.
VoIP is offering both business and domestic customers to save money on their international calls, and is set to become the future of telephony.