How to Use Your Mobile Device as a VoIP Phone

Jay Jackson

Sep 09 2019

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It’s 2019, should your business still use traditional landlines? The answer is probably not. Many organizations are already switching over to VoIP systems. Considering they usually are compatible with your existing phone hardware, and even your smartphone, perhaps you should take the leap as well. In this post, you will find out why this technology is increasingly popular and how you can use your mobile device as a VoIP phone.

But, first things first!

What exactly is VoIP?

VoIP is an acronym that stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. It’s an alternative communication service which enables users to make calls over the internet, instead of using traditional phone lines.

How does it work, and why does your business need it?

How it works is that VoIP transmits digital audio “data packets” between any two locations in the world through their IP connections. These data packets are then picked up by cell phone towers, landlines or other VoIP systems.

The initial deployment of this system does not require new hardware or line installation. It’s as easy as plugging a connection into your computer and hitting “go”. What’s more, top VoIP service providers offer superior features that can turn your cell phones into company phones.

One of the key benefits of a VoIP system is that it’s fast and cheap. It helps you eliminate large phone bills every month. Also, it enables your company to operate from anywhere at any time.

Now that you understand how VoIP works and why you need one, let’s delve into various ways in which you can use your mobile device as a VoIP phone.

How to use your mobile device as a VoIP Phone

1.      Call Routing

This function allows an employee to use their VoIP using any other office extension, mobile number, or home phone. Similarly, the caller ID on the clients’ side is the recognizable name and number.

Some offices have a PBX system. It allows VoIP users in the office to automatically register to it, and do configurations that will enable mobile phones to connect to an internal Wi-Fi. This method is advantageous in that the phone only works as a company phone in the office and doesn’t receive signals when connected to external Wi-Fi. This encourages work-life balance.

VoIP technology is flexible and allows you to add hold music, take in a voicemail, as well as access video and conference calls. This makes it easier to use a cellular phone for work or business.

2.      Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

This concept gives employees the liberty to choose the devices they would like to use on VoIP systems. These could be laptops, mobile phones, or tablets. BYOD is popular because people do a lot of work from their smartphones already. By embracing mobile VoIP technology, it is easier for them to attend to work issues without the need for a separate phone.

3.      Dual-mode Cell Phones

These are phones that have both a cellular and Wi-Fi radio. The Wi-Fi radio allows the cell phone to connect to a Wi-Fi network via a wireless router. With dual-mode phones, calls switch automatically from VoIP to normal calls depending on the Wi-Fi connection. Whenever you are connected, your phone automatically calls via the VoIP network.

If you are out of range of a Wi-Fi connection, it automatically switches to the normal cellular network. Normal call rates apply to your call. Often, there is a seamless transfer of a call from cellular to Wi-Fi and vice versa as you move in and out of wireless networks.

4.      Wi-Fi Phones

Wi-Fi phones aren’t exactly cell phones as they only come with only a Wi-Fi radio installed. While they resemble other cell phones, they can only make phone calls when connected to the internet.

You are likely to find Wi-Fi phones in large offices and companies with an extensive Wi-Fi system. Wi-Fi phones are poised to be the next big thing in provision of municipal Wi-Fi. For instance, if a city is connected with a high-speed wireless network, residents will be able to have cheap or free VoIP calls.

5.      Call Forwarding

This capability allows you to use virtual phone numbers. Virtual numbers are helpful when your work often takes you out of the office, you want to use local phone number aliases, or you just want to have separate phone numbers for business and personal use. When you set up a virtual phone number and forward calls to your personal number.

Additionally, you can forward calls from your virtual number to several devices, such as your cell phone, computer, home phone, or tablet. This allows you to choose on what device and from where to accept the call.

VoIP on Android

Not many people are aware that android supports VoIP calls. For the few who are aware, they expect it to be a complicated process. However, this is not the case. In most cases, you do not even need a special setup or third-party app.

Android OS has builtin native support for the SIP protocol. If you are hearing this terminology for the first time, the SIP protocol is the most reliable VoIP technology.

That being said, Android users today have a myriad of choices when making VoIP calls:

  1. A popular alternative is signing up for a service like Skype or Google Hangouts. These networks are technically VoIP systems, but their implementation is through proprietary protocols. As a result, they are closed networks, mean you’re unable to call from outside them.
  2. Using a standalone VoIP that allows Android VoIP apps to work on any smartphone. For example, services like Tango and Viber allow you to make free calls within the same network, however it will cost you extra to call regular phone numbers.
  3. The third alternative is using third-party SIP clients on Android. Most VoIP providers are compatible with the SIP protocol. Even when they don’t have their own Android app, customers can simply use credentials of a free or paid SIP client. Paid apps come with more premium features, while the free options come with basic features.

VoIP on iPhone

VoIP technology on the iPhone is also quite straightforward. The process is well detailed on their support website. All you need to do is toggle a virtual switch. Doing this enables Wi-Fi calling as the default mechanism.

For people or businesses using other Apple devices such as Apple Watch or iPad, it is easy to connect all these devices to your iPhone. You simply tap on your iPad or watch on your wrist to enable your iPhone to make a call.

 Conclusion

Clearly, VoIP is a brilliant, easy, and effective way to cut down on infrastructure costs for businesses. Individuals using their mobile device as a VoIP phone will also be able to save costs on phone bills while increasing availability and functionality. It also increases flexibility for employees who are always on the move.

Setting up VoIP on your android or iPhone is a straightforward process. Go ahead and reap the benefits of using your mobile device as a VoIP phone.

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