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What is VoIP?

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a technology that allows you to send and receive voice communication over the Internet instead of a phone line.

While landlines, mobile phones and toll-free numbers use the traditional public switched telephone network (PSTN), VoIP delivers calls by digitizing audio into a data file and sending the data over high-speed, broadband internet.

High-speed, reliable internet is key to VoIP usage. If the connection flickers or goes out, the audio quality will drop accordingly.

How is VoIP used?

To set up a VoIP number for your business, you need to contact a VoIP provider. The payments are often subscription based, much like a phone bill.

Your business may need to contact its provider to install phone adaptors (to change audio into data, and then receive data by unpacking it into audio) or physical VoIP phones. Softphones are quickly replacing traditional desk phones in offices. A softphone, or software-telephone, involves using a microphone, speaker and software to enable VoIP calls from computers and mobile devices.

VoIP first focused on voice communication, but over the past decade many providers have added features like video conferencing, file sharing and messaging to compete with smartphones.

Why should businesses consider using VoIP?

Many businesses adopted VoIP in place of, or in addition to, a landline phone.

One benefit is cutting costs. VoIP can streamline communication infrastructure since the phone and data “lines” are shared.

VoIP is also useful for long-distance calls, allowing companies to reach employees or customers overseas or even telecommute into meetings.

Limitations of VoIP

VoIP focuses on voice communication, which can be great for businesses dealing with high-volume calls. Unfortunately, 96% of consumers find phone calls to be disruptive and more people are letting calls from unknown numbers go to voicemail in attempts to ward off spam.

Overtime, VoIP providers have begun offering texting as part of their service, sometimes as an add-on or bundled feature. Although it may seem easier to go that route, enabling your VoIP number through a service like Zipwhip is often the better option.

High-volume, prompt and efficient texting for business needs a workflow. And a workflow relies on robust infrastructure with specialized features to help your team perform at their best.

VoIP doesn’t specialize in business texting, so the provided texting interface and abilities may end up frustrating users who know they can do more.

Features like automation, dynamic fields and group messaging, plus the ability to integrate programs like Salesforce and HubSpot, can make a world of difference for those looking to capitalize on texting to increase their efficiency and response rates.

Texting from a VoIP or a landline phone number

Zipwhip is on a mission to activate all existing phone numbers for texting. That includes landline, toll-free and VoIP numbers. While some VoIP providers include the ability to text, we think there are perks to having a dedicated software. Especially one that helps companies with TCPA compliance, has direct carrier partnerships and a suite of apps.

Want to learn more about the value of text-enabling your VoIP number? Download our free e-book: The Ultimate Guide to Texting Your Customers.

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