Technological advancements mean that the traditional landline telephone may soon be a thing of the past for many. The increasing popularity of VoIP over traditional telephones is one area in which the Internet is changing the face of communications.

The fading of fixed lines

A survey by ISP Review indicated that a mere 14.5% of 1,911 participants still make use of their fixed line telephone for the majority of calls, while 67.2% would get rid of their landline service altogether if it were not required for broadband. Overtaking the traditional public switched telephone network (PTSN) are internet and mobile-based communications. Around 8.5% predominantly use VoIP services for voice calls and 76.8% use a mobile. This is a significant decrease in the use of landlines even since 2013, where 29.8% reported using a landline for most of their calls. In contrast, VoIP usage has increased from 6.6% to 8.5% and continues to grow.

 Although many would forgo their landline, it’s rarely possible because broadband is bundled with or utilises a fixed line service. For example, all ISPs via BT’s Openreach require the user to commit to a fixed line in addition to broadband, with signals from both being carried via the same cable.

Moving towards standalone broadband and wholesale VoIP termination rates

Increased VoIP popularity correlates with the decreased popularity of traditional telephone services. With cheaper, and in some instances free, calls, it’s an appealing option for more convenient, cost-effective and versatile communication. IDT Express, for example, provides services to help businesses get the most out of VoIP. Firms can purchase DIDs and benefit from a reliable, high quality service with attractive wholesale termination rates.

The requirement for fixed lines may soon change. Rather than being a prerequisite to signing up for broadband, a fixed line and voice call service will be optional. At present, Virgin Media and a handful of new full fibre (FTTH/P) and fixed wireless services offer individual broadband on its own. Even Openreach is shaking things up with its soon to be released Single Order Generic Ethernet Access (SOGEA) to allow for broadband as a standalone option.

Broadband minus the phone line and call service seems to be a logical solution for those frustrated with paying for line rental that isn’t used. However, the potential pitfall with SOGEA and standalone broadband is not always as cheap an option as one would anticipate.

In addition, 5G mobile broadband provides one possible alternative to fixed line broadband and even many 4G services are able to provide faster speeds than some hybrid fibre and ADSL lines. The downsides to 4G relate to its cost implications and data allowance limits; streaming data-intensive media such as films is likely to be very difficult given mobile speeds.

VoIP is becoming the intelligent solution for local and international communications in place of traditional fixed line telephone services. At IDT Express, we offer the best rates and call quality thanks to the maturity of our systems and termination partnerships.