If you’ve seen the commercials for some of the different VoIP phone services, you might wonder why everyone isn’t switching their phone service over to this new technology. Many people and tried it and are finding that it meets the need for inexpensive international calling. Beyond that, there still seems to be some issues that leave it trailing behind as a communication option for most households. Here are ten of the reasons why.
- Voice Quality – Typical landline voice quality is usually crystal clear. If there is a problem, it usually has to do with the quality of the phone itself and not the delivery system. This hasn’t been true with VoIP phone calls. The quality seems to be affected by several different factors, which means that you never know what to expect.
- 911 Calling – Many ViOP services are now providing or offering emergency 911 service, but this continues to be an issue. 911 operators receiving phone calls from a VoIP phone can’t always tell the true location of the caller because the call is being routed through the internet.
- Power dependent – Unlike analog phones and cellphones, if the electricity goes out, your VoIP will not be useable. It was must have power to operate.
- Bandwidth sharing – The fact that the phone service is carrying voice over data lines that are sharing data traffic means that the amount of traffic can affect the quality of the phone call.
- Extra hardware – There are a few VoIP services that only require speakers and a microphone with your computer to operate, but most utilize a special phone that connects into your internet service or computer.
- Pricing – The pricing structures for the different VoIP services vary and can be confusing to understand when compared to standard local and long distance telephone plans. This also makes them difficult to compare to one another.
- Calling limitations – Some people have switched to VoIP phone service and then found out that there are certain phone numbers that they cannot reach using that service; an issue not found with other types of phone communication.
- Security – The fact that the phone calls are traveling the internet highway raises the question of security and privacy for many phone users.
- Dropped calls – Landline phones seldom drop phone calls and with VoIP phones, this can be a much more common problem. It is frustrating enough when it happens on your cell phone, to have it happen on your ‘home’ phone is generally not acceptable.
- Voice delay – One of the biggest quality issues tends to be voice delay in the transmission. This is something that can vary from one phone call to the next. Again, it is something that people are not used to having to deal with on their landline phone, and are easily annoyed by it, when it occurs on their VoIP phone.
If you make a lot of international phone calls, VoIP phone service may be a great money saving option for you, but you aren’t going to see them become the standard household phone in the near future.