Mobile phones are no longer the luxury they once were, but are in fact a necessity for individuals and businesses alike. However, with cell phone plans that contain unlimited minutes running several hundred dollars per year, not including roaming and overage charges, they can be a daunting cost for companies that may have several, or even hundreds, of employees utilizing smartphones.

An easy way for your company to save money on its calls is to purchase cheaper plans with limited minutes or pay as you go plans, and combining that with VoIP technology. VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology is a direct result of e-mail and instant messaging. The first allowed cheap communication via the internet; the second, cheap instantaneous communication. Desiring a more personal connection, people sought to hear a person’s voice in real time over the internet. Thus was born VoIP, which allows users to make phone calls using a broadband Internet connection rather than the traditional analog phone system. Technology experts expect VoIP technology to be the wave of the future for business communications.

The following are 5 ways in which a VoIP service can help your business save on phone expenses without sacrificing the benefits.

1. Long Distance and User-to-User Calls Are Free

VoIP lowers long distance charges by placing calls via the Internet instead of traditional phone networks. When your smartphone is equipped with softphone apps, it can place and receive VoIP and avoid standard carriers charges. The savings in this area can be tremendous. In fact, when you add carrier time-of-day and dynamic pricing premiums, if you have a small business that doesn’t utilize VoIP, you could very well be paying thousands per year in long distance costs.

Also, when both caller and receiver – of both calls and instant messages – are on one interoffice network, the cost is entirely free for a VoIP call.

2. Use WiFi to Reduce Roaming Charges

For some businesses, staff travel cost can run into the tens or even hundreds of thousands per year. Furthermore, while traveling, carriers will charge roaming charges when you leave the country, or even if you just leave their service areas in the country. Of course, VoIP won’t decrease travel expenses altogether. But as long as you have a WiFi connection, VoIP calls can be placed and received, thus allowing you to use your smartphone without incurring roaming charges.

3. Use WiFi or Data Instead of Minutes

With a smartphone equipped with VoIP, it is easy to make scheduled calls over WiFi networks and avoid using costly minutes. These minutes can then be allocated to unscheduled calls, or where it is simply not possible to use WiFi. This is especially cost effective if your company uses limited monthly minutes or pay as you go plans. You can even use cellular data to place a VoIP call. This is great if minutes are more expensive than data, or in an emergency where minutes are particularly low.

4. Data-Only

You could even go a step further and eliminate traditional cellular costs altogether by purchasing data-only smartphone plans for your employees. The idea here is to maximize the use of VoIP rates and Wifi calling while eliminating traditional cellular costs altogether. Costs for each user will be reduced, while call quality and phone functionality will remain comparable to traditional cellular calls.

5. Avoid Hardware Costs

An even further step you can take is to allow your employees to use their own smartphones and tablets for work. First of all, your company would avoid all of the hardware and carrier plans costs. Your only cost would be the softphone app that connects to the office network. Employees would enjoy the ease and comfort of using their own device while using the company’s VoIP network to place calls.

6. BYOD & Hosted VoIP

Businesses that invest in a hosted VoIP solution can also extend their office by allowing employees to use their existing cell phones with their office VoIP phone system. Employees can leverage the existing VoIP system, without any added costs, while reaping all of the cost-savings we’ve already discussed.

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