Although preparing your phone system or business to be NBN ready (this really just means VOIP-Ready) is actually quite simple and can be done for as little as $65, many telephone companies and or salespeople are inspiring fear in consumers by insisting that they need to purchase unnecessary “NBN-compliant” phone systems “before it’s too late!”. Contrary to what these telco salespeople would have you believe, you probably don’t need to replace your current phone system when NBN becomes available to you.
With the rollout of the NBN, all services that are supplied over the current copper and cable broadband networks will eventually be disconnected. Once your business or home area is connected to the NBN, you will have 18 months to move your landline phone and internet services to the new NBN network (some service providers may have shorter timeframes). This should mean you have more than enough time to get NBN ready. Find out more about moving to the NBN
So, why are many telco salespeople telling businesses that they need to scrap their existing phone systems and spend thousands of dollars on new equipment or sign up to new contracts and “VoIP bundle plans”? Because most consumers don’t know any better and it’s a really effective sales strategy for selling new phone systems. Telephone companies also want to try to re-establish control and replace their diminishing line rental revenue that will be being lost rapidly as people move away from renting the existing PSTN & ISDN lines (which run on the soon-to-be-redundant copper wire). Telco salespeople are re-establishing this control by convincing customers to purchase overpriced telecommunication equipment and locking them into unnecessary contractual arrangements.
Get an ATA Device
It is very likely that your current phone system can become NBN-ready (this really just means VoIP-Ready) with the addition of a simple ATA (Analogue Telephone Adapter) device. ATA’s (also known as phone line adapters) connect traditional landline phones or phone systems to VoIP lines that are already available to you through your existing internet connection (speed & quality testing is recommended) or an NBN internet connection. Readily available and low cost ATAs allow you to connect existing analogue telecommunication equipment to VoIP lines without purchasing an expensive IP phone system and you can pick up a 2 line ATA for as little as $69 – even after installation costs, this is exponentially cheaper than purchasing a brand new phone system.
Another option is to install a VoIP line card into your existing phone system, so that it can run VoIP lines, rather than, or in addition to, PSTN or ISDN lines. Getting a line card is possible for many phone systems – however, many phone companies may not know how to install this on your phone system or even want to tell you about this option, let alone install one for you. If you opt for a VoIP line card, make sure you contact a trusted telephone company or technician who understands your exact phone system and is willing to help.
If an ATA Device or VoIP Line Card Isn’t an Option for You
If, for some reason, using an ATA device or VoIP line card just isn’t the right solution for you, you will need to consider other options. You do not, however, need to purchase new equipment or be locked into a “VoIP phone system plan or bundle” from any telephone company. Aside from an ATA device or a VoIP line card, your choices as a consumer have never been better and popular NBN-ready phone systems can include:
Cloud based phone system solutions
With a cloud based solution, a third-party provider handles your phone system including all the responsibility of running, upgrading and maintaining the system as required at no extra cost to you. As the name suggests, cloud based phone systems are located in the cloud and accessed via your internet connection(s). There are numerous providers out there who provide no contract options at extremely competitive prices. These providers often charge an affordable monthly fee that is inclusive of calls and potentially certain features (the monthly cost can also be cheaper with an additional per-minute calling cost). With a cloud based solution, you have no physical PBX unit on your premises and the only hardware are your handsets and your existing internet equipment such as your modem-router. Two cloud based phone system providers that we trust and recommend are Maxo and ECN – or you can even purchase a cloud based phone system directly through Smart on Hold.
Cloud based systems can be great for businesses that are small, fast-growing or operate from multiple locations, and they can work out to be far cheaper than on-site phone systems. If you decide to go with a cloud-based solution, we strongly recommend that you opt for smaller, independent companies such as Maxo or ECN and that you be very wary of being locked into unnecessary contracts that only tend to benefit the provider.
On Premise IP PBX phone system solutions
An On Premise PBX (also known as an IP-PBX system) is very similar to the old, traditional PBX systems that reside at the business premises. The main difference is that VoIP line routing is done with current and inbuilt IP technology. With an On Premise IP PBX, you are not relying on or paying a third-party provider for maintenance and services. There can be a higher upfront cost than with fully cloud based solutions, but much lower ongoing costs are very achievable as there is no monthly service fees charged by the cloud provider. Low cost VoIP lines can cost as little as $9.95 per month including landline calls. With an On Premise IP PBX, the business needs to maintain their own phone system, usually at their place of work, so a stable internet connection is essential.
Hosted IP PBX phone system solutions
With a Hosted IP PBX, rather than maintaining things like as a stable internet connection at the physical location of the business, the PBX is located in a secure data centre such as Cloud Plus or ECN. The system’s maintenance, expansion and upgrades etcetera are still usually the responsibility of the business who pays for the Hosted PBX, but this is negotiable and often done in conjunction with the host and a third-party provider such as IPVS who originally sold the system.
One of the major benefits of both On Premise IP PBX or Hosted IP PBX solutions is that you can often choose to stay with your local telephone company and use a traditional brand such as NEC, Samsung or Panasonic and all of the feature rich proprietary equipment and advantages offered by that brand – as opposed to having to use non-property and generic handsets like Yealink or Cisco.
Ask Us About Your Ideal NBN-Suitable Phone System
If you need any extra advice on how to integrate VoIP into your business communications, or if you’re unsure about which phone system best suits your business, don’t hesitate to contact us today. At Smart on Hold, we are passionate about helping people to find the best solutions for their business without succumbing to the scare tactics of telephone salespeople or the companies they represent.