Most wireline phone companies charge more than what you’d pay for most alternatives, and some are taxed more as well. There are some locations where getting new wired phone service is prohibitively expensive or even impossible. Long Distance and extra features like Call Waiting are normally included with alternative phones. More Features: Cellular and broadband phones normally include Long Distance, Voice Mail, Caller ID, Call Forwarding and more, usually at no additional charge. They also have Text Messaging and various forms of data service which are unavailable with a landline. Portability:
If you move your home more than average (or if it’s on wheels), your phone and your number can stay with you. There are no “installation” charges. Temporary Usage: You can have phone service for the season in a vacation home or cabin, or on an extended stay at a hotel or home of a friend or relative without installing a separate line. Internet Access: Your wireless phone can also be your connection to the Internet, either with an internal browser or tethered to your computer, and available wherever there is cellular coverage. Wireless broadband is also available separate from your cellular account.
Wi-Fi for Multiple Devices: You can get a cellular modem that provides a wi-fi signal that can connect to up to 5 separate wi-fi devices. Con’s: Reliability: Wired telephone services have come as close to 100% reliable as is practical. Their network has substantial power backup, redundant circuits and years to get it right. Alternatives are improving but their networks can vary significantly. Cell sites and other communications nodes have a limited amount of backup power. In an extended power outage, such as after a hurricane or snowstorm, the service may not work, leaving you with no service.
Corded phones work in power failures. Cable phones also have a lower level of reliability. Sound Quality: Some alternative phones don’t sound the same or as good as a landline. While your alternative phone may sound fine to you, it may be difficult for others. Also, some broadband phone services just dump their audio into the Internet resulting in widely varying data travel times giving you significant sound delays. Lack of Service: You may be in a location where there are no wireless broadband alternatives or may have poor cellular coverage.
This might be rectified by adding a ‘cell site’ to your home. Broadband Speeds: While there are some fairly fast wireless broadband connections, it may be some time before they will compare to wired or cable connections. Malfunctions: Cell sites can stop working for various reasons. Repairs often need to be made on site and may take time. Broadband services require one or more pieces of equipment at your house which you will need to fix if it fails. Wireline equipment can normally be repaired at the central office. Murphy’s Law says breakdowns will happen at the worst possible time. You Have No Backup:
Unless you have an extra cellular phone, if something happens to your main phone or its associated equipment, or your account, you can’t just plug another phone into the wall. Inconvenience: Some alternative services only offer a single jack for one phone. If you want service throughout the house you either must go wi-fi or cellular. Otherwise, plan on using the phone near your computer or router. With a cell phone you need to keep it close to you if your home is large or on multiple floors. (The Unwired Home) There are companies that offer the best of both worlds of fixed line and cellular communications.
These are just some of the included services offered by the number 1 provider; 1. Price – If you plan to use Skype just for calling other Skype users, then it’s free – you can even have a small online meeting. Skype also lets you video conference with another person using the free plan. The only drawback is that you can’t have a larger video conference on the free plan, as you can only hold a video call with one user at a time. There are no monthly fees to pay, unless you’ve chosen a monthly plan. You can also save on your phone bill by inviting other people who you need to call often to join Skype too.
If you prefer to call on a landline or cell phone, you have the option to choose a pay-as-you-go plan, which charges a small amount for these kinds of calls – if you call international numbers often, using Skype could work out cheaper than using your office phone. 2. Ease of Use – Skype is very easy to install, set-up and begin using. It has a really user-friendly interface that anyone, regardless of their level of tech knowledge, can learn to use. Adding new contacts, sending instant messages and placing calls are all done with the click of a button.
It’s also very easy to know if Skype was set up correctly, as the tool has a test call number where users can check if their audio and microphone are working properly. This is great, as there is no guessing whether Skype was installed correctly or not. 3. It is where you are – With a number of Skype versions available, you can use it anywhere, from virtually any device. Whether you’re on your office computer, laptop, tablet computer, or smartphone, you can have Skype with you and make free or cheap phone calls from anywhere in the world.
This is especially handy if you need to be out and about often for your job, as you can still hold your regular calls from wherever you are via Skype, as long as you’re connected to the Internet. There’s no need to postpone calls just because you’re away from your desk. This is a huge benefit for small businesses as there usually isn’t a large number of staff available to take or make important calls at all times. 4. Reliability – In the early VoIP days, call quality was bad and calls got dropped often.
This kind of technology wasn’t an option for businesses as not only it was very annoying to have calls drop all the time, but it was unprofessional to choose such bad quality services. However, VoIP has improved greatly since then and Skype is very reliable. As long as your Internet connection is stable, you can expect your call won’t get dropped. Furthermore, if the Internet connection is bad for any of the parties, Skype will inform users of that, so they know that the call might get dropped. Skype also encourages users to rate their calls when they’re done, and Skype is continuously improving the reliability of the service.
5. Call quality – As a small business, it’s important to choose inexpensive services that are of high quality – this is where Skype really delivers. Calls both to other Skype users and landlines are crystal clear, so long as the caller has a good headset with a high quality microphone. Calls to landlines and cell phones get connected quickly, and don’t usually suffer from problems such as echoing or words getting cut off. For the most part, it’s as if users are talking to someone just next to them. And what’s better than that for establishing strong and long-lasting business relationships? (Warren)