Most hosted VoIP services available in the UK are designed primarily for business use. Now you might be thinking that there are many more households than businesses in the UK and this is true. There were about 26.7 million in 2014 according to the Office for National Statistics and according to a government paper from December 2015, there were 5.4 million businesses in the UK. (Of these, 99% are SMBs employing 0 – 249 people and 95% micro-businesses employing 0-9 people).
The trend towards triple-play packages for broadband, phone and pay TV services means that many homes are already using VoIP and they will all go that way eventually. Effectively, all the technology is already digital anyway and BT has said it wants to close the old system within 10 years.
But it is businesses that spend all the money and businesses that can benefit most from hosted VoIP services. Even for all those micro businesses, a hosted VoIP service will deliver numerous benefits and cost savings. Digital voice services are more flexible and scalable, so businesses can enable mobile and home workers much more easily and cost-effectively. They can redirect calls to any location and set up local dial-in numbers across the country, if they chose to do so, at virtually no cost.
The features available on hosted VoIP services far outstrip what is available on most PSTN systems. Call forwarding, call recording, hunting, single-number dialling and group calls are all possible. It is easy to use conferencing and you get lots of management information as well.
Hosted VoIP services are also economical and can reduce the overall cost of telephony significantly. All calls are routed over the same broadband connection that carries all the businesses Internet traffic, so there is no need for any additional lines. Most calls are free or charged at a very low rate – even calls to mobiles are at a significantly reduced cost with most packages.
For these reasons, hosted VoIP is and will remain a service very much focused on meeting the needs of businesses of all sizes. Do take a look at our latest post about The benefits of VoIP for businesses.