What is Fixed VoIP?

Learn everything you need to know about fixed VoIP and what it can do for your business.

man-in-office-using-fixed-voip-on-desk-phone.png

What is Fixed VoIP?

Learn everything you need to know about fixed VoIP and what it can do for your business.

man-in-office-using-fixed-voip-on-desk-phone.png

What is Fixed VoIP?

Learn everything you need to know about fixed VoIP and what it can do for your business.

man-in-office-using-fixed-voip-on-desk-phone.png

What is Fixed VoIP?

Learn everything you need to know about fixed VoIP and what it can do for your business.

man-in-office-using-fixed-voip-on-desk-phone.png

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) changed the world of telephony for the better.

Not only do VoIP phone systems help businesses save on costs associated with traditional phone lines and telephone networks, they also offer excellent call quality, better reliability, and the flexibility to make and receive VoIP calls from anywhere on multiple devices.

When discussing VoIP phone numbers, the terms fixed and non-fixed VoIP phone numbers often come up. Both options use the same technology, but understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each is crucial when it comes to choosing the right VoIP solution to suit your business needs.

In this article, we’ll be diving into what fixed VoIP means, by covering:

What is a VoIP business phone system?

A VoIP business phone system facilitates voice-based phone calls over the internet, as opposed to a local telephone company that requires a traditional phone line connection.

VoIP phone systems also benefit businesses with advanced VoIP calling features and low-cost pricing plans. These features include:

  • Advanced call management
  • Auto-attendant
  • Audio conferencing
  • Business text messaging (make and receive text messages via the internet)
  • Call analytics
  • Call blocking
  • Call forwarding
  • Call queues
  • Call recording
  • Call routing
  • Extension dialing
  • Music on hold
  • Video conferencing
  • Voicemail and voicemail to email

How does VoIP work?

VoIP works by placing calls using an internet connection, meaning a physical phone line isn’t required.

VoIP telephony protocols allow for voice signals to be converted into data packets and transmitted over an IP network. Here’s the process of how VoIP lines work step-by-step:

  • VoIP converts voice signals into data packets
  • Packets are compressed and sent over the internet
  • VoIP service provider facilitates the call between participants
  • Data packets are uncompressed and heard by the receiver as audio

Traditional phone systems require a landline phone connection and desk phones wired to a specific location. They have a specific area code attached to them, too.

Instead, VoIP technology allows businesses to leverage voice phone service from any geographical location with an internet connection and compatible device (this could be an IP phone, desktop, tablet, or mobile phone).

What is a VoIP phone number?

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Another component required to place voice calls over the internet is a VoIP phone number (also called virtual phone numbers).

VoIP phone numbers look and function in the same way as regular telephone numbers, with the major difference being that they’re assigned to a user, rather than a specific phone line.

What does a fixed VoIP phone number mean?

A fixed VoIP phone number is a telephone number that’s attached to a physical address. It’s an internet-based phone line that’s assigned to a real address and an account owner. Fixed VoIP numbers can be moved with your business premises using a process called porting.

Since they’re linked to and can be traced back to physical locations, fixed VoIP phones are unlikely to be subject to fraudulent activity and scams, as it’s harder for fraudsters to mask their identity.

Alternatively, non-fixed VoIP numbers aren’t linked to a physical address. In the modern business world, having a physical address isn’t always necessary. If your business serves a global audience or you run a small business that requires you to manage remote teams, then a non-fixed VoIP is a great option as you can still get local numbers with local area codes.

Many reasons why businesses once chose fixed VoIP numbers are no longer as relevant as they used to be (more on that later), so it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons of fixed and non-fixed VoIP phone services.

How fixed VoIP works

Although a fixed VoIP service is linked to a physical address, it doesn’t have a physical line. Instead, the business VoIP phone system uses the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) to determine its assigned address and transfer the signal to the internet service.

When a VoIP call is placed from a compatible device, the recipient of the call will see the VoIP number on their caller ID.

What is a fixed VoIP number used for?

We mentioned before that VoIP numbers look and work much like regular telephone numbers. Since they use the internet to make calls, however, they also open businesses up to several possibilities and functionalities that traditional landline numbers don’t offer, such as the ability to sign on with desktops, laptops, and mobile phones.

Businesses often use fixed VoIP when they have a lot of important personal, financial, or geographical information to safeguard. Organizations that operate locally and don’t make international calls might also turn to fixed VoIP to mitigate the risk of exposing their company information and save on the costs of a non-fixed VoIP system

What is the difference between fixed and non-fixed VoIP phone numbers?

The main difference between fixed and non-fixed VoIP is that the former requires the phone number to be linked to a local presence and a physical address. They’ll also have different local and international calling and pricing plans which will differ between VoIP providers.

Non-fixed VoIP numbers are easier to attain than fixed numbers, and can be for personal use. They’re often issued by free or low-cost VoIP providers. Non-fixed VoIPs can also be used in any country, even those on the other side of the world from the provider’s base! Often, businesses will choose to have both a fixed and a non-fixed VoIP phone number.

There are some things that both types of phone numbers have in common, including that they both:

  • Rely on an internet connection and VoIP lines to place calls
  • Can be used with compatible VoIP phones and devices
  • Provide VoIP benefits such as ease of use, cost savings, and reliability
  • Can be used to send and receive business SMS text messages
  • Provide a range of calling features to enhance business communications

Some of the key fixed VoIP vs non-fixed VoIP differences are illustrated in the table below:

Fixed VoIPNon-fixed VoIP
Requires physical address that matches the local area code, difficult to establish a presence outside current locationDoesn’t need to match a physical address, so local presence can be established in other regions and countries
Trackable and legitimate, emergency calling services are more dependable as addresses can be tracedNot linked to a physical address, making it more difficult for emergency services to identify caller location
Can be accessed on different devices if authorized for the addressVoIP users can access their business phone system from any internet-connected device including desktop computers, laptops, and cell phones from anywhere in the world
As the number is fixed, calls to international numbers can get expensiveCheap and cost-efficient for long-distance and international calling
Local numbers provide authenticity and encourage trustNon-fixed VoIP phone numbers typically don’t feature a local area code, but many modern solutions facilitate local area codes for non-fixed VoIP phone systems

Key business advantages and disadvantages of fixed VoIP

Advantages

Security

Fixed and non-fixed VoIP service providers take security seriously, so they should both offer encryption features on your phone to protect against fraudulent activity.

Fixed numbers are traceable, which means scammers can be more easily identified—which is why many consider this the most secure option.

Modern cloud PBX and unified communications solutions often have measures in place to combat these kinds of calls, such as call blocking or spam prevention.

Can be tracked by emergency services

This is one of the major benefits of choosing a fixed VoIP system. Fixed VoIP numbers are linked to your business’s exact geographical location, so emergency calls can be traced. This can create a safer work environment for employees.

Local numbers are more trusted

Some claim that fixed VoIP numbers make a business more trustworthy as receivers are more likely to pick up when they recognize the area code in the caller ID.

However, this isn’t as relevant these days as many modern cloud phone systems and unified communications solutions allow you to have non-fixed VoIP numbers with local area codes.

Disadvantages

Fixed VoIP phones are tied to physical addresses

These days, it’s not always advantageous for businesses to be tied to a physical location.

That’s why more companies are opting for a non-fixed VoIP service, as it empowers them to reach a global audience. Moreover, it allows remote teams and call center/contact center agents to use the system and all its features on any internet-connected device with a software app.

Expensive international calling

The fact that your VoIP business phone system is tied to a physical location can make international calls more expensive. This might not appeal to global audiences, and international clients might be required to pay a fee to contact you, which doesn’t meet the needs and expectations of modern consumers.

Fixed or non-fixed VoIP: Which is the better option?

Whether you choose a fixed or non-fixed VoIP phone number all depends on your specific business needs. Does your business only cater to a local audience? A fixed VoIP number might be all you need. But, if you have multiple local presences around the world or manage remote teams, then non-fixed VoIP makes more sense.

8x8’s business phone system empowers your business to work from anywhere. Whether you’re working with remote teams or servicing customers all over the world, 8x8’s cloud PBX provides non-fixed VoIP numbers and essential features to enhance your business communications.

In addition to calling features, your team can collaborate with voice calls, video conferencing, team chat, and a range of business app integrations to enhance productivity. With a single platform to manage all your locations and users, managing a global workforce has never been easier (or cheaper!)

Ready to get your own voip phone system? Contact sales or request a demo today.