Why are VoIP Phones so Expensive?Posted on: 2016-03-13 | Categories: Business VoIP VoIP VoIP Hardware VoIP Phones VoIP Services
Are you wondering how VoIP phones work and why they became so popular? Cost reduction is perhaps the biggest reason for enterprises looking to switch to VoIP but all too often, enterprises are faced with sticker shock when it’s time to deploy the new system. You may need to spend on upgrading the Internet connection for faster speeds and better bandwidth, replace older equipment with VoIP compatible devices and the list goes on.
The shock of having to shell out so much money to implement VoIP can be mitigated as long as the business has an accurate idea of their requirements, current capabilities and the state of the corporate network. Just like any other investment, VoIP also takes some time to pay off especially if the organization wants to deploy its own custom network via SIP trunking.
But let’s say that your internal network is perfectly capable of handling VoIP traffic without expensive modifications or upgrades. Even then, buying VoIP phones for use with the new network can be an eye-opener. There is plenty of choice for VoIP handsets but some of the models can appear to be arbitrarily or astronomically expensive. Even if the price of the individual unit is reasonable, ordering in bulk for the entire company can easily run into thousands of dollars.
Why are VoIP phones so expensive?
There are many websites that sell VoIP phones and accessories with prices starting from as low as $30. However there are also models which can cost as much as $1500 per unit. The reason for the wide variation and expense is because of the individual capabilities. While the basic models will probably be sufficient for most people, the more expensive ones offer better quality hardware, bundled warranties, audio fidelity, video and conference calling capabilities and so much more.
With better quality hardware, these devices will also last much longer than the average. Some models are specifically designed to withstand drops and falls to ensure longevity. Apart from that, they may also be reasonably future proof in that they will be able to handle the introduction of new services and capabilities by VoIP vendors. For most medium and large organizations, deploying expensive/robust VoIP models makes sense as a long-term investment.
As always, it is a trade-off between quality, features and price. It is generally a choice between buying cheaper models and replacing them in a couple of years vs. going for the more expensive ones which can last many times longer.
How to buy VoIP phones for the enterprise
Just because a few VoIP models are expensive doesn’t mean you have to drop the idea of desk phones completely. Before you rush out to buy the latest and best SIP phones for your company, you should accurately assess the number and type of headsets acquired for different groups within the organization. There are a number of alternatives available for VoIP which means that not every employee needs to have the most expensive high-end model.
Does everyone need desk phones?
Most VoIP features will function exactly the same regardless of the type of device being used. For the most part, all SIP endpoints are interchangeable i.e. the same options are available regardless of whether the call is being answered on a mobile phone, desk phone, softphone or wireless headset. Another VoIP feature that can be helpful is Find Me Follow Me or Multi device ring.
When you combine these two VoIP characteristics, you can see that each user can have different VoIP devices that is suited for their situation/usage. For instance, an employee who does not travel much and is at a desk for most of the day can easily get by with a softphone and their personal/corporate mobile device. Personnel who are often on the road or working from remote locations may appreciate wireless headsets more than desk phones.
In the same vein, sales agents and tech support personnel may be better served with basic models and wired headsets. At the end of the day, you will need to provide desk phones to far fewer employees than the total strength of your organization. Even if many users require desk phones, the vast majority do not need more than the basic models.
When to buy expensive phones
So after your initial assessment, you may be left with a small group within the company that actually need the most expensive or best models. Typically this will be senior management and executives who need additional capabilities like video conference calling, the ability for assistance in receptionists to handle calls etc.
Even then it is not necessary for the organization to spring for these expensive devices from the outset. Whenever a business switches to VoIP, employees will take some time to get familiar with the new system and incorporate the advanced functionality into their workflows. An alternative to postpone the high cost is to equip everyone with basic models and then upgrade them as and when required. This way the initial high cost is spread out over a couple of months or years while still providing the required features.
Check this out: On your VoIP Phones page, you will find a variety of VoIP phones at very decent prices.