Are VoIP Calls Free?


By Emma Lewis, bOnline

Sometimes, is the short answer. But it really depends which VoIP provider, and pricing package, you decide to choose.

With most VoIP providers you sign up to a monthly payment plan in a similar way to signing up for a mobile phone package. However, every provider and package includes different things (like free call minutes), and you’ll want to keep an eye on the cost too. 

Before you sign up for a VoIP plan, it’s always best to do your homework.

If you find a provider and package you like the look of, check to see if it offers free unlimited calls. Some do, some don’t – and some put a limit on minutes. Look to see how long the contract length is too, especially if you’re running a small business or start-up. Many VoIP providers will tie you into 18 or even 24-month contracts, but some of the smaller providers (like bOnline) offer improved flexibility with contracts of just 12 months.

While we’re on the subject of small businesses, it’s always worth choosing a VoIP provider that specialises in small businesses and start-ups specifically. This is because they tend to offer a more personalised service, often with more competitive pricing.


How Does VoIP Work?


VoIP phone systems allow you to make and receive phone calls in a similar way to a landline phone. But instead of sound being transmitted through copper wires, it’s instead sent over the internet in digital ‘packets’. So as long as you have a stable internet connection (4G, 5G or Wifi), you get crystal clear, reliable voice calls.

VoIP phone systems are typically cloud-based, which means you can access them from any internet-connected device, including your smartphone or tablet. They also tend to come with a whole host of extra features, including call forwarding, voicemail, video conferencing, access to call analytics, hold music and much more.

With landlines being switched off from the end of next year, VoIP digital phone systems are fast gaining popularity as the main alternative. That’s why it’s well worth getting clued up on what makes a good VoIP provider sooner rather than later.


Can I Make International Calls Using VoIP?


As VoIP works using the internet, you can often make significant cost savings on international calls. Again, this is especially the case if you run a business and need to call abroad often, or if you tend to just use your mobile phone. Many VoIP providers also offer competitive rates for international calls, often much cheaper than those offered by traditional phone service providers. For example, BT currently charges up to £1.55 a minute to call the USA from a UK mobile phone. This can seriously add up.

The cost of international calls varies depending on the country you’re calling and the specific VoIP service provider you go with. Some VoIP providers offer international calling plans with flat rates for certain countries, while others charge per minute based on the destination. Again it’s well worth comparing rates and plans offered by different VoIP providers to find the most cost-effective option for calling abroad.

With bOnline for example, you can add an international calls bolt-on for just £6 a month for as many calls as you like.

The key point here is that yes, calls are often free if that is the package type you go for. But before committing to one, ask yourself some basic questions, like how many outgoing calls do I make a month? How much is it currently costing me and what is my budget? Do I need international calling included? With a bit of shopping around, you should find something that fits.

For more information about VoIP: