For many businesses, the decision to move over to VoIP will depend on how much it is going to cost per month. If VoIP is more expensive than their current system, it’s hard to justify moving over to VoIP. If it’s cheaper, that’s another matter altogether.
To answer the question of how much VoIP costs per month, there are several aspects to consider. All the following with affect how much VoIP costs your business per month:
- Licence costs
- Handset costs
- Support and maintenance costs
- Data connection costs
By the end of this blog post, you will have a good idea of how much VoIP is going to cost your business per month. You will have all the information you need to determine whether or not moving over to VoIP will save your business money.
If you want to use VoIP, you’re going to need licences. With VoIP, you pay on a per-user basis. So instead of paying for a whole telephone system and lines with a certain capacity, you just pay for the users that you need instead. Each user on your telephone system will require a licence.
The cost of a VoIP licence will differ depending on the provider that you go with. So to get a rough idea of how much it will cost you, I spoke to several providers and asked them how much they charge monthly for a licence. Some of these providers do not publicly reveal their prices, so that’s why they are all labelled ‘provider #1’ and so on.
VoIP Licence Cost
So after speaking to multiple providers, I found the cheapest business-grade licence to be £9 and the most expensive to be £20. You might think that going for the cheapest is a good idea, but it often isn’t. The price disparity here simply highlights the bigger issue of some licences being cheaper but missing a lot of features many businesses consider essential.
For example, provider #1 charge £9 per user. But their licence doesn’t include essentials such as call recording, call queueing, and click to dial as standard. Instead, these features are optional extras, so you could end up spending more than the most expensive of these licences.
Furthermore, some of the more expensive licences also include a certain number of free minutes. For example, the licences from provider #2 and provider #5. Some providers, such as #1 and #3, charge you for all your calls. The costs can soon stack up depending on the number and length of calls you’re making, so it’s often worthwhile choosing a licence that has minutes bundled in.
Lastly, some licences bundle in support and maintenance, such as those available from providers #3 and #5. If you don’t have an in-house team looking after your telephone system, support and maintenance really is essential. If you encounter any phone issues or you need something as simple as a divert setting up, support and maintenance enables you to phone your provider and get the help you need at no extra cost.
Some providers will lease you handsets, rather than asking you to purchase them upfront. This is often advantageous for businesses that cannot afford to spend thousands of pounds on handsets, but it does mean extra monthly cost.
Monthly handset costs will inevitably differ depending on the handsets you choose. IP phones can cost as little as £30 or as much as £800, so it’s hard to say definitively how much you’ll pay per month for your devices. However, I’ve managed to get a rough idea by speaking to a few providers.
Your monthly handset cost will vary according to the following factors:
- The cost of the handset
- The length of your contract
- The number of handsets you have
The longer the contract, the less you will pay per month. Over the length of the contract, the cost will be the same or more costly than a shorter contract. However, it will be more affordable for businesses without a lot of funds.
Sometimes, providers will charge you less per handset the greater the number of handsets that you have. For example, if you have 100 handsets, you may pay £3 a month per handset rather than £5 and so on.
For a mid-range IP phone costing £150 – £200, expect to pay £3 – £10 monthly per handset. For premium IP phones, the cost can be significantly higher.
It’s worth noting as well that your business may not actually require handsets. Instead, softphones may suffice.
A softphone is an application that you can install on an internet-enabled device such as a laptop or a smartphone. The application allows you to make and receive calls using your telephone system on a wide variety of devices.
Some providers will charge you to use their softphone application, whereas others will not. The charge is often as little as £3 – £5 per month, so could work out cheaper than IP handsets.
Support and Maintenance Costs
With any kind of telephone system, support and maintenance is an essential. If you don’t have an in-house team responsible for taking care of your system, you can outsource your support requirements to a provider instead. But how much is it going to cost your business per month?
Support and maintenance costs will ultimately depend on the amount of assistance your business is going to need. Some providers charge as little as £3 per user, or bundle it in with the cost of your licence. However, big businesses may require a greater level of support, so a more costly monthly agreement might ensue.
If you’re spending a lot of money on support and maintenance, consider hiring a new team member instead. Adding a support member to your team might work out more cost-effective than paying out monthly to a provider if you have a large number of users.
Data Connection Costs
A data connection is essential if you have a VoIP telephone system. If you have an IP system, your data connection will be used to make and receive calls.
Some businesses use one data connection for everything; others have numerous data connections for different processes. In some circumstances, it is advisable to have a connection for your VoIP telephone system.
I’ve written blog posts before about VoIP requiring dedicated bandwidth, so investing in a connection just for VoIP could be essential if your current data service doesn’t have enough bandwidth for your other processes and VoIP.
Data connections can vary greatly in price. In my experience, however, an FTTC connection will suffice for VoIP. Please note that this does depend on the number of users you have and the number of concurrent calls that you intend to make.
So how much does an FTTC connection cost per month?
In the UK, FTTC costs approximately £50 per month for speeds of 80Mbps downstream and 20Mbps upstream. So it’s important to factor this into your monthly cost.
Conclusion: How Much Does VoIP Cost Per Month?
Looking at all the information above, we have a rough idea of how much VoIP is going to cost per month:
- Licence: £13.80 per user (average)
- Handset: £6 per user (average)
- Support and Maintenance: £5 per user (average)
- Data Connection: £50 per month (average for FTTC)
In total, it will cost you approximately £25 per user, with an additional monthly charge of £50 if you install a dedicated connection for VoIP.
So if you have 5 users, expect to pay approximately £125 per month, or £175 if you were to install an FTTC connection just for VoIP.
As you can probably tell, your exact costs will be different depending on the requirements of your business. Nonetheless, I hope this blog post has given you a rough idea of how much VoIP will cost per month.