VoIP and International Calls

Posted on: 2016-08-08 | Categories:VoIP Services

One of the primary benefits of switching to VoIP – whether for a business or an individual household – is the cost savings. From a business perspective, the total cost of purchasing and implementing a VoIP system (hosted or on premise SIP trunks) can be broadly divided into two categories:

Fixed expenses – These costs include the initial investment for purchasing equipment, hardware, hosted services, down payment for a subscription plan, software licensing fees etc.

Variable expenses – These costs can vary from month to month and largely depend on the volume of calls. So if a company goes from making 2000 calls a day to only 1000 calls a day, the variable costs will also come down correspondingly.

The actual price of making each call which is the rate charged by the service provider makes a significant difference in the overall cost of the system. For instance local calls between different offices are free in most VoIP systems, which means the company pays significantly less each month. The other significant chunk of savings comes from cheaper prices for VoIP and international calls.

VoIP and Cheap International Calling

Not everyone is aware of how VoIP technology works and it is understandable that some people may be skeptical of the cheap prices being advertised by vendors. However these are not simply marketing tactics – hosted VoIP vendors really are able to provide international calls at extremely cheap prices relative to the exorbitant rates charged by traditional phone operators. This significant price difference can make for a cheaper bill in households who have friends or family abroad but the magnitude of savings can be much greater for enterprises.

How Does International Calling Work with VoIP?

Dialing international numbers works the same way with VoIP as with landlines: users need to dial the international prefix, the specific country code, area code which is then followed by the actual number. VoIP or SIP trunk vendors are able to offer cheaper prices because the call is then routed through the Internet – or the corporate data network – instead of regular copper lines.

Some of these calls may travel completely on the Internet without touching the landline network at any point. However most calls will need to be terminated at the nearest PSTN exchange, at which point the operator is charged a small amount for travelling the last mile. Therefore instead of having the whole distance through the PSTN, VoIP and international calls largely use the public Internet or other data networks. This frees vendors from having to pay termination charges in various countries and the savings are directly passed on to consumers or business enterprises.

Types of International VoIP Calling Plans

International VoIP calling plans can be either subscription based or pay as you go, similar to domestic plans. A subscription-based service will typically include a certain number of minutes at the base rate. In most cases international calling is charged separately depending on the destination country. Some operators offer separate subscription packages for international calls as well.

The other type of calling plan is pay as you go. In this case there is no monthly fee but each individual call is charged separately. It is more suited for enterprises that do not have a regular need for calling international numbers but will occasionally need to contact partners, suppliers or customers.

Some vendors even offer specific plans which include unlimited international calls to a handful of countries or to particular destinations. International calls to other areas are charged at the regular rates. This can be a boon for businesses that need to communicate regularly with vendors or distributors located around the globe.

VoIP and International Calls for Mobile Devices

Depending on the configuration of the SIP trunking system or package purchased from a hosted vendor, international calls from mobile devices will not require any separate charges. Mobile devices will be treated just like any other SIP endpoint. Calls can be forwarded to and from mobile phones, similar to IP desk phones.

With VoIP and cheap international calls, the globe just got a whole lot smaller. In the truly international economic landscape and business environment of today, there can be no greater asset than being able to instantly – and inexpensively – contact anyone, regardless of their physical location.