Everyone likes to show off their mobile phone. Smartphones aren’t just communication tools; they’re almost fashion accessories these days. People obsess about their size, aesthetics, and how many features they’ve got. There’s just one problem: with all all those big budget TV ads celebrating the latest Android or iPhone, the world has forgotten about the advantages of fixed phones and VoIP.
Although some people have long predicted the phasing out of fixed phones, reports of their demise have been greatly overstated. Whilst the traditional copper wire network is now very antiquated, and BT is switching off ISDN in 2025, VoIP has proven to be an outstanding replacement. Consequently, fixed phones are still very much an integral part of the modern offices. Here are the main reasons why.
Most businesses will benefit from some combination of both fixed phones and mobiles: VoIP for office desks, and mobiles for when employees are on the move. However, those tempted to rely purely on mobiles should think again.
The main reason is that fixed phones provide better sound quality. The latest VoIP handsets, for example, offer HD voice quality that’s a big step up from standard definition. What’s more, a VoIP call won’t drop out like a mobile that loses its signal. And the quality won’t vary depending on what part of the building you’re in. You’ll never have to say “can you hear me now?” ever again.
Phones you can rely on
Dependability is always a priority in the business world. And few things are as dependable as a fixed desk phone. If you rely exclusively on your mobile then you run the risk of your battery running out at an inopportune moment. This simply isn’t a problem with VoIP. There’s no battery and no charger to scurry around looking for.
What’s more, when a fixed phone rings then you’ll know exactly where to find it: it’s right there, on the desk, where you left it. Rely on mobiles and you’ll often have to frantically search your pockets, desk draws, and sift through piles of paper when a client or colleague tries to reach you. It’s like Countdown. How long have you got before that all-important call goes to voicemail?
Talk about comfort
Here’s another reason why businesses still love fixed phones: they offer the ultimate in comfort. This isn’t a big issue when you’re chatting for five minutes, but if you’re negotiating something complex, or trying to build a relationship, then conversations can last a long time. And when that happens you want to be comfortable.
Fixed-line handsets benefit from decades of ergonomic evolution. Their curved design is easy to hold and locates the microphone nearer your mouth and the receiver closer to your ear. They’re designed for just one specialist purpose: talking. Mobile phones, on the other hand, sacrifice comfort and ease-of-use for aesthetics, portability, and a host of extraneous features.
Finally, there’s always been something reassuring about fixed phones. They’re not just comfortable; they’re comforting. Why? It’s because they’re traditional, familiar, and predictable. They also have a certain gravitas. They’re objects that make us feel business-like and ready to work in a dedicated office space.
Although smartphone technology is incredible these days, VoIP has vastly increased the potential of fixed phones too. In fact, their potential is even greater because size and portability isn’t a barrier. They can include larger touch screens, pack in more quality applications, make advanced call handling easy, and serve as comprehensive office communication hubs.
Even the most basic VoIP phones these days offer three-way conferencing, SMS, and call hold features. Meanwhile, the top-end phones include both HD voice and video conferencing with impressive 1080 x 800 resolution screens. You can even project video calls onto an external display, which is ideal for business meetings. Bluetooth connectivity and the ability to utilise Android-based applications isn’t unusual either.
Here to stay
Business people will continue to love their fixed desk phones for years to come. They might not fit comfortably into a jacket pocket but they have plenty of advantages that smartphones don’t. For example, fixed phones also make it easy to tap into company directories, speak to colleagues around the office, and keep in touch with remote workers. They’re simple yet sophisticated, and also traditional yet futuristic. After all, arguably the best thing about fixed phones is their full Internet browser and the fact that they’re incredibly scalable.
In a world where BT is no longer supplying ISDN to businesses, the future of VoIP looks assured — especially with full fibre broadband delivering ever faster and more sophisticated cloud-based applications. VoIP, with its low call charges, minimal onsite equipment, and Internet connectivity integrates with this emerging business world perfectly. So if you’re still using ISDN services, or you think that using a portable phone is the only way to move with the times, then think again.