Cost is the driving factor for residential take-up of VoIP services in Australia, with pricing structures for VoIP products ranging from all-inclusive monthly subscriptions to pay-as-you-go plans with flat rate connection flagfalls for national and local calls and significantly reduced timed usage for international calls. Despite this variability in pricing plans, consumers have the opportunity to derive significant savings when VoIP service costs are compared to the call costs charged by fixed line service providers. Further information about VoIP pricing is available from our VoIP Plan Comparison Page…
Cost, however, is not the only benefit associated with VoIP connectivity. Additional features, for which the consumer pays handsomely on fixed line services, are also available (and often complimentary) with VoIP. Calling number display, call blocking, re-direction of calls, instant messaging, multiple-party conference calls, video calling, the capacity to send visual or audio files during a conversation and the portability of VoIP, which transcends geographic location. These features are integral to a VoIP service and offer the consumer far more value for money and flexibility than the limited features available on a standard fixed line service.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics notes that 26% of personal internet users utilised VoIP technology for voice or video calls over the internet in 2011, with this uptake having increased substantially from the 10% recorded by the Roy Morgan Poll in 2008. VoIP services have, in the past, suffered from a low level of public awareness and a misconception of lesser quality communication. It has often been assumed that high level IT proficiency has been necessary to install and conduct VoIP communication. In recent years, however, consumers have come to understand that technical proficiency is not required to operate a VoIP service and that increasing consumer uptake of faster, more efficient broadband services have overcome the early latency and lower quality transmission issues associated with VoIP services. According to a survey commissioned by ACMA (the Australian Communications and Media Authority) in 2009, 80% of current VoIP users are very satisfied with their VoIP service, with only 7% indicating any dissatisfaction.
With the advent of the Australian National Broadband Network, currently in its roll-out phase, the quality and speed of our internet capacity is predicted to improve significantly, placing Australia on par with the international community, and thereby elevating VoIP as a legitimate, progressive, cost-effective alternative to the fixed line telecommunications to which we have become accustomed.