5 minute read |

Using VoIP for business international calls at the best rates

VoIP phone service background

Remember the days when making a long-distance call cost an arm and a leg? If you do business globally, then you’re probably used to exorbitant phone bills. No matter the telecom provider you choose, there’s no escaping the high cost of international calls. Fortunately, improvements in technology mean you can now make international calls (both inbound and outbound) without applying for a small business loan.

The solution is quite simple really – VoIP international calls are much less expensive than traditional calls and offer the same high quality as a landline. In addition, most of the features you get from a VoIP system also apply to long-distance calls. 

International calls with VoIP

One of the biggest reasons to switch to a VoIP system – either an on-premise solution or a hosted service – is cost savings. Businesses may be able to cut their phone bills to less than half (or more) by upgrading to a modern communication platform. Since international calls are so much more expensive than local calls, your organization will see bigger savings if you make or receive a lot of international calls. 

If your business is still using analog systems and landlines, there is no better time to switch to VoIP. Suppose your office is already using a VoIP system but you have not considered using it for international calling. Then it is time to see what you are missing. If you’re not sure about making internal calls over VoIP or are hesitant about VoIP international rates, then you’ve come to the right place. 

Keep reading for a comprehensive overview of VoIP international calling, how it works, and the advantages of using VoIP for all your calls

International business communication needs

Before we dive into VoIP international calls, let’s talk about why international calling is crucial to a business. Regardless of whether you sell to retail customers (B2C or Business to Consumer) or business organizations (B2B or Business to Business), your employees will have to make some long-distance calls. 

If you are a B2C company with operations in more than one country, then you will also receive calls from international customers. Gone are the days when customers were willing to spend the time and pay long-distance charges to contact a business. Today’s consumer expects exceptional customer service instantly. That means you either need to have a local office or provide a toll-free number for customers. While you may reach out to foreign suppliers and partners, those calls are likely a much smaller fraction of your total outbound calls. So inbound international calls are a much higher priority for you along with the occasional outbound call.

B2B companies, on the other hand, often make a lot of international calls to their clients. In 2022, few enterprises are truly local. It’s much more likely that you have employees in a dozen countries, suppliers located across the world, and clients from every corner of the globe. In that case, both outbound and inbound international calls are crucial to your company. 

International business communication

The best way to call internationally

Before VoIP phone systems became popular, you did not have much choice when it comes to calling internationally. You can certainly shop around for the best rates and plans from telecom providers but almost every single vendor offered similar rates. Once you were locked into a service contract, you could not switch to a competitor easily even if the current vendor raised prices. 

The best way to make international calls – for personal or business use – is to use VoIP technology. While there are other benefits, the cost savings alone is enough to make a solid business case to switch. VoIP international calls cost a fraction of the prices of traditional telecom plans, often only a few cents compared to several dollars. 

Did you ever think you could call an Australian customer for less than 2 cents per minute? Or contact someone in Antarctica for less than $2 per minute? It’s possible with VoIPstudio’s international call rates. Even if international calls are only 10% of the total call volume for your business, they probably account for a bulk of the monthly phone bill. Why not upgrade to a modern phone system and slash your phone bills at the same time? 

Outbound and inbound international calls

We have talked about the importance of international calls to a business. However, the value of international calling has increased over the last two years of the pandemic. Thanks to social distancing policies and employees having to transition into remote work, phone calls have become even more crucial to organizations. This applies to both inbound and outbound VoIP international calls. 

With travel coming to a screeching halt and people unable to go to offices, international calls have become a way of life. Enterprises have started to realize that geographic location should not stop them from hiring employees in different cities, serving clients in new areas, or launching operations in new markets. 

Local presence

Despite globalization, there are still multiple benefits of having a local presence. A company with a local office instills trust in customers that your business is here to stay. They have a quick and easy way to contact your office by calling the local number. In general, consumers trust local businesses much more than they do international organizations. So having a local presence can offer benefits to your brand. 

That being said, it’s not easy to open an office in another region or even country. There might be legislation, regulation, and multiple processes to go through before you can open an office and hire local staff. In many cases, it can take months or even years. This is where having a virtual VoIP number with the area code of your choice can come in handy. 

A virtual number is basically the same as a regular phone number, except it is not attached to a specific location or a device. Just as you can purchase a VoIP number with any area code within your country, you can also buy one that appears to be located in another country.

Suppose a business has had operations in France for several years and is now hoping to expand into Canadian markets. While opening a physical office may take months, the company can purchase a VoIP virtual number with a Canadian area code. They can start market research in this new market, recruit local staff, and contact potential clients even before they launch products and services there. 

This type of arrangement offers benefits to callers, as they get a way to call the business without having to pay long-distance charges. 

As you might expect, virtual numbers are only available on modern VoIP systems like VoIPstudio and not on older analog networks using landlines. 

Communicate with clients all over the world

Whether you are dealing with millions of retail customers or thousands of high-value business clients, it is important to communicate with them frequently. With a traditional phone system and service plan, your staff will always worry about the cost of long-distance calls

They might hesitate to call a client and prefer other methods of communication such as email instead. However, email or text messaging is not always the best method to communicate with customers. Sometimes a phone call will resolve an issue quicker than multiple emails over the span of several days.

When you want customers to be able to call you when it is necessary or to call them to resolve issues, the last thing you need is to worry about the phone bill. With VoIP international rates, you won’t think twice about calling a customer halfway across the country or on the other side of the world. In fact, you may even forget that there is a difference between local and international calls!

Collaborate with partners and suppliers

Let us imagine for a moment that there is a business that does not have any international customers. They provide products and services solely within the borders of one country. So you may expect they don’t have much need for international calling. However, the same enterprise will still have to communicate with suppliers, distributors, and partners all over the world.

The business world is much smarter than it used to be, many decades ago. Thanks mostly to digital communication systems such as VoIP-based phone services, no one is more than a phone call away. There was a time when expanding beyond the borders of a country was beyond the reach of small and medium businesses. Not anymore. Today almost any enterprise can grow and serve customers in any market they choose. 

How can VoIP international calling be so cheap?

You have read a lot about making VoIP international calls and why it is important to most organizations. But how can VoIP international calls be as cheap as a local call on landlines? The answer lies in the way VoIP works and the technology it is based on. 

In order to understand why VoIP international calls are so inexpensive, you need to know how VoIP and landlines work.

How landlines work

Traditional phones are connected with wires to other devices on the network. Whether you want to call your neighbor or someone in Bulgaria, the devices at each end need to be connected with physical cables. When you dial a number, the portion of the network connecting both endpoints is reserved for your call. 

This is the basic reason why long-distance calls were so expensive – it is related to the distance between the caller and recipient. Another reason for the high cost is that the cables themselves can carry a limited number of calls. Laying cables between long distances is exorbitantly expensive and providers charge customers high prices to recover their investment. 

How VoIP works

VoIP works very differently from the above network. Instead of needing a separate infrastructure of its own, it uses the existing internet-based protocols to transmit voice over data networks. In other words, the same internet connection that carries your email will also send voice calls. 

To achieve this, VoIP converts your voice into data packets that can take any route to their destination. You don’t have to reserve a part of the network for a particular call. When all the packets reach their destination (by whatever route is quickest for each packet), they are reassembled and converted back to voice for the recipient to hear.

By using VoIP, voice calls and emails are essentially the same on any data network. Just as you don’t pay for each email you send or receive, any call that uses the internet or any data network is completely free. That’s why local VoIP calls are free for most users and businesses.

This also brings us to the reason why international calls are not free but still relatively very inexpensive. Most international calls travel over the internet for the most part. But they still may have to traverse the local analog network for a part of the call. You are essentially paying for using this tiny portion of the network, hence the incredibly low price per minute. 

By utilizing the existing infrastructure – your internet connection – VoIP allows businesses to make free or inexpensive calls. All you need is a fast and robust internet connection with enough bandwidth for concurrent calls. 

How VoIP works

Advantages of VoIP for international calls

Beyond the cost savings, there are many other benefits to using VoIP international calls such as virtual numbers, reports and dashboards, HD quality voice calls, mobility, and the option to add video calling, conferencing, and other features. 

Inexpensive rates

You have already read about the low VoIP international rates but there is another way you save money as well on such calls. Most VoIP providers, including VoIPstudio, offer per-second billing as opposed to per-minute billing on older landlines. What this means is that your calls are charged for the exact amount of time you talk, not one second more. If a call lasts for 55 seconds, you only pay for 55 seconds. You don’t pay for 1 minute because the vendor is rounding up to the closest minute. 

Now 5 seconds may not seem so much, keeping in mind that prices are often as low as 1.6 cents per minute. But how many calls do your staff make every day? Per week? Those costs can quite easily translate to several hundreds of dollars on international calls every month. So even apart from the low cost of VoIP international calls, you will save even more thanks to per-second billing. 

Easy to use

Switching to a completely new technology or enterprise system can be daunting. You have to purchase the new system, implement it properly (within budget and on time), then train your staff to use it. If you go with a reliable hosted VoIP service, there’s nothing for you to buy other than VoIP-enabled phones. You don’t have to implement the project over months, most VoIP devices are ready to go within minutes

As for training your staff? You use VoIP phones the exact same way as you would a landline. The user experience does not change at all. You still pick up the phone and dial any number you choose. The only difference is that users can now make and receive calls from multiple devices – a desktop, a laptop, a mobile phone, or a desk phone. 

Bundles or pay as you go

When it comes to VoIP international calls, you can pick how you want to pay for those calls. You can buy bundles that will include a set number of minutes for free. Or you can pay as you go, so your monthly bill will depend on usage. Unlike traditional phone services, there are no confusing or opaque plans with different rates for everyone. VoIP international calling plans are inexpensive, easy to understand, and transparent.

Use virtual numbers for a local presence

Using international virtual numbers can pay for themselves several times over when you’re expanding to new markets or regions. You need not limit yourself to just one or two. Depending on what your provider offers, you can buy and use as many as you want. What’s more, you can remove the numbers and stop paying for them the moment you no longer need them. No waiting for contracts to end or worries about budgeting.

Allow teams to collaborate without worrying about call costs

Ever think twice about calling an international colleague because you know the call will take a while? And you’re worried about your budget? This may happen several times a day throughout your teams. No one thinks twice about a local call but long-distance calls take some thought. Not anymore. 

Now teams can collaborate without worrying about huge phone bills or upcoming budget meetings. Let your teams reach their full potential when you give them free rein to communicate over the channel best suited for the situation. Quite often, it turns out that a quick call can resolve issues instead of scheduling a meeting or sending several emails. 

High-quality calls

There was a time when VoIP calls meant low audio quality. Even on landlines, international calls could be distorted, experience interruptions, or otherwise make it hard to hold a proper conversation. With VoIP, you can enjoy high-quality HD audio on all your calls. While factors such as network traffic, internet speed, and concurrent calls can affect call quality, your communications will benefit from crystal clear audio. Even on conference calls. 

Use mobile apps to make calls

When you work remotely or have employees who need to travel for work, mobility is very important. That’s something VoIP systems offer at every turn. 

For instance, you can connect multiple devices to the same VoIP number to make/receive calls on whichever device you are closer to. Users can also set rules regarding which device should ring in what order. Suppose you know you will be traveling between 1 pm and 5 pm every day. You can set calls to ring your desk phone during office hours and your laptop when you travel.

The biggest mobility benefit however is the ability to make and receive calls on a mobile device. This means you don’t have to worry about customers seeing your personal phone number. For the most part, you will have to download and use your vendor’s mobile app to make calls but other than that, it’s very easy to make business calls. 

Users also have the option to have all their devices ring at once or have the call ring each device in turn until you can answer it. It all depends on individual users and their needs. 

multi device voip app

​Travel abroad and bring you business numbers with you

Small business managers sometimes need to travel abroad to different countries. But while their business is not big and still growing they need to keep answering calls from their contact numbers.

When using VoIP you can allow this, as inbound numbers are connected to your cellphone or VoIP computer app through the Internet. So if for example your business is from the UK, and you need to travel to Germany, you can keep answering your business inbound calls to UK numbers from Germany. Your customers will not notice that you are abroad. Same whay you will be able to call back customer using your UK call presentation number, no matter where you are located as long as you have Internet service.

Similar advantages to VoIP local calls

In addition to all the above benefits, you can enjoy the other advantages of VoIP calls with your long-distance calling. For instance, you can tag calls and organize them into reports. Categorize calls based on location, user, time of day, or any other criterion you can think of. 

You can make changes to your system from a central dashboard. For instance, you can buy new virtual numbers within minutes and assign them to an employee. No longer have a use for one number? Delete it and stop paying fr it instantly. There’s no need to wait for the installation or remove cables. 

At a user level, your staff can set call rules about devices, experience visual voicemail, and call recording for international calls as well. They can also access these settings from any device, making it flexible enough for any circumstance. 

If you’ve ever wondered about VoIP international calls and how they can benefit your business, you should now have all the answers you need. So why wait? Get started with VoIP international calls for your organization right away!

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Thousands of businesses across the world trust VoIPstudio for all of their most vital business communications. Why not be the next?

Thousands of businesses across the world trust VoIPstudio for all of their most vital business communications. Why not be the next?

Start a free 30 day trial now, no credit card details are needed!