Posted on Tue, Dec 29, 2015 @ 03:30 PM by Carlos Lahrssen
As more and more businesses move their communications to email, smartphones and other avenues, it's becoming clear that those with monthly unlimited long distance plans are likely paying much more than they need to - and for good reason. Today, most nationwide calls can be made for free over smartphones and Internet-enabled devices.
The best value for your business’s communication dollar no longer depends on the scope of your phone plan, but rather on how well-suited your devices and Internet service are for your organization’s needs. Everything is moving to the cloud, and business’s that don’t realize this are shooting themselves in the foot in terms of budget and adaptability.
Consider how much you’re currently spending on and using unlimited long distance service. If it’s unlimited, the overall value that service provides depends on how much you actually use those long-distance minutes. Unlimited long distance isn’t worth it in the long run if your business is severely underusing the service.
Traditional Phone Lines vs. VoIP for Long Distance
Today’s largest phone service companies offer nationwide packages anywhere from $15 to $63 per month, per user. On the other hand, emerging Voice-over IP phone system businesses (those whose products and services operate entirely over the cloud), can offer unlimited international calling at similar - or even much lower - rates. International calling with traditional phone service providers may be costing your business as much as $3 per minute, depending on your provider and calling activity.
There’s a major (and growing) distinction between VoIP and conventional phone systems for business. International calls over traditional phone lines are more expensive than they need to be, especially with alternatives like Internet-calling and the pricing plans possible with VoIP.
With VoIP phone systems, the calls you make within your own office cost the same as those made anywhere on Earth with an Internet connection; you don’t have to rely on traditional phone lines to carry your business’s day-to-day communications. What this does is provide a lower cost per minute, per call than any other conventional phone service for long distance calling.
International Phone Service Providers
One way many business cut some of their international costs per call is by using an international long distance service (companies such as ECG and Telna). These services typically cost $0.025 to $0.5 cents per minute, and while they are much more affordable for long distance calling than conventional services, they are not without their own weaknesses.
For one, international phone plans are only good for just that: international calling. They’re an additional cost tacked on to already expensive nationwide phone plans. The real problem with using both services isn’t international phone services, but rather nationwide phone services upgraded with or used for international calling. This is where far too many businesses are currently overpaying for their long distance, and something that is entirely avoidable with today’s breadth of cloud-based communications.
Returning to this article’s main question, how can you know if an unlimited long distance plan is worth it for your business? It really all depends on what kind of service you use (VoIP, traditional phone services or international plans) and how heavily you use them. Does your business rely on and use long distance/international calling every day, or even as a primary form of communication?
Determine how many minutes of these types of calls you currently make, and compare that to what you’re paying. If you’re paying more than $0.10 per minute, per user for long distance calling, you’re overpaying and should look into alternatives to better serve your business.