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"Voice over IP"

Is this the end of landline telephones?

Our world is more dynamic than ever. Rapid, drastic changes in many areas of life and bursts of innovation are part of today's information society, which has been influenced significantly by the breakthrough of digital technologies. Let us remember a time only 20 years ago when the internet was in its infancy – who would have guessed that traditional landline telephones could soon be a thing of the past? In the area of ​​mobile telephony, mobile phones were already being installed in cars and mobile networks digitally upgraded. And then World Wide Web began its global takeover.

Hardly anyone at that time could have predicted the breathtaking evolution of information and communication technologies (ICT) and their widespread use, much less the imminent end of classic, cable-based telephony. Today, we have to recognise the fact that conventional fixed-line telephony will be superseded by the age of digital telephony.

High investments in landline networks

Of course, landline telephones are by no means dead. On the contrary: Swisscom invests more than one billion francs annually in the expansion and modernisation of the landline network. Their motto and strategy is: "all IP". The term means that all services (telephony, internet, TV) run on the same network via internet protocol (IP). The basis for this is a connection to a broadband network. Switzerland's highly developed broadband network offers perfect conditions for making phone calls over the internet, so-called Voice over IP (VoIP). Phone calls are no longer transmitted as analogue signals, but rather in the form of digital data packets, like services from the internet.

IP telephony isn't yet that well established,. however the federal government has reported that the number of connections is increasing each year. Especially in the business customer segment for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the investment cycle is usually longer and it will therefore take some time before VoIP is standard for all companies.

VoIP offers flexibility and cost control

Two factors provide compelling arguments for the use of VoIP by SMEs: flexibility and affordability.

Advantage 1: Potential for significant savings

IP telephony uses the same network as the internet instead of the telephone network, which results in reduced costs. VoIP is also more affordable because a physical telephone system is no longer needed – it is replaced by a software application. Moreover, the monthly costs tend to be lower. Today there are already flat rates available for VoIP, which offer security by guaranteeing fixed costs. In addition, no costs are incurred for calls over an IP connection, which is usually the company's network. This applies regardless of whether the call is local or international.

Advantage 2: Greater flexibility

A second advantage of VoIP is that it provides greater flexibility and efficiency than ever before. Fluctuations in staffing and structural changes in the company can be responded to quickly. Changes to conventional telecommunications systems are often complex, since physical phone lines are required. With Voice over IP however, channels or numbers on the virtual business telephone system simply need to be turned on or off. Even home office workstations or external employees can be easily integrated into the VoIP network.  VoIP accommodates employees' increasing need for mobile, location-independent telecommunications.

All in all, VoIP can be effectively integrated into the often unpredictable daily lives of entrepreneurs and provides them with any scalability and accessibility required. Regardless of whether you're running a large company or an SME, mobile and flexible working arrangements are becoming increasingly important for companies of all sizes.