An interesting thought occurred to me today during a visit to a new potential customer. VoIP is growing drastically in New Zealand with the major telco ISPs rolling it out at both the back end and the front end. This makes a lot of sense for businesses who want to reduce their total phone bill by using SIP providers and not paying line rental charges, which in turn gives a very quick return on investment. I imagine most home users will also want to lower their costs. Given the number of new kiwis migrating from overseas, they will want to phone home. Most calls these days are via our mobile phones, but the international calling charges can be horrendous depending on the country you are calling. There is a lot of debate whether we actually need a landline now, given most calls to a landline are generally bad news for most of us! (I’ve happily been landline free going on 8 years now).

Given overseas calls are more affordable with a traditional phone, what options does that leave the home user? Some consumer grade routers have a FXS port to plug in an existing phone and use their internet provider to make calls. However, they still pay the ISPs overseas calling rates which can defeat the purpose of having a VoIP phone. Most IP phones are geared toward businesses with things like on hold buttons, busy lamp fields, transfer keys, blind and attended transfer options, etc. This can be a little confusing for the average home user. Of course, these office grade phones can be quite expensive too. So, what can we recommend when the customer isn’t a business, but a home user? (A lot of fledgling businesses start from a room in their house. So the question can also apply to them!)

 

Grandstream, phone home!

 

As I’ve already alluded to, some routers don’t have a FXS port to facilitate an analogue phone. The next best option is to use what’s called an ATA (Analogue Telephony Adapter) which can be registered against a SIP provider of choice (we certainly have a lot now, compared to 10 years ago!). Grandstream have their smashing HT801 and HT802 units which are easy to set up and can sit merrily next to an ONT (Optical Network Terminal for fibre) using a standard analogue phone. This setup achieves a simple phone line, reap the benefits of cheaper calls, and removes that pesky line charge.

Another good option is something along the lines of a VoIP DECT portable phone. This has an added benefit from an operational perspective, as they are very similar to analogue portable phones people have had in their households for years. They consist of a base station and a charging station for the portable, which grants cord-free calling in the living room. Grandstream’s DP722 and DP752 DECT solutions are a fantastic fit for this as it’s simple to use and looks sleek with its colour screen and familiar portable phone aesthetic. This setup gives us a high-quality phone with the ability to use HD audio codecs to upgrade from “tin can” quality to radio quality. Grandstream also has a portable WiFi phone (the WP820) which is another good option for the home or small business customer.

Whether it’s via an ATA or VoIP enabled portable, they’re excellent ways to save on call costs and free your customers from line rental fees. Want to know more about these solutions? Contact our VoIP team today!