What is Mobile VoIP?
With the rise of remote employees, video conferences, and 24/7 business needs, mobile VoIP offers business owners and staff the same VoIP functionality they use at the office, on their mobile or handheld devices. This is typically provided through a dedicated app, and while many people are familiar with this technology already, even if they are not consciously aware of the fact.
Think about apps like Skype, or WhatsApp. It is likely that you use one or both of these on a regular basis. But when it comes to mobile VoIP with some of the top US providers, you have to think bigger to get a true understanding of the potential benefits.
The simplest way to imagine mobile VoIP transforming your business is in creating a mobile office. Think about the common tasks and interactions which take place in your physical office space: mid-day conferences, collaborative chats, IT support issues, and customer service requests. Mobile VoIP is increasing its functionality all the time to encompass these features into a fully portable system for communication and collaboration.
Comparing the Top Mobile VoIP Providers
If you’d like a quick comparison of top VoIP providers, here’s a glance at what the 10 top mobile VoIPs have to offer:
Nextiva is a VoIP provider geared towards small- and medium-sized businesses. One of its strengths is its flexible packages, which allow you to choose which features most complement your business needs. Nextiva’s 3 packages offer a wide slate of features including Cloud PBX, advanced call monitoring, free local and toll-free numbers, and with the larger packages, professionally recorded greetings and call recording.
Vonage is a well-known VoIP provider with features and capabilities that can serve everything from small to enterprise businesses. It’s scalability makes it especially ideal for businesses expecting to see growth. It offers an affordable mobile plan that includes unlimited calls and SMS, team messaging, and apps for desktop and mobile devices, as well as premium and advanced plans that include all of the above mobile features and more.
Another industry leader, RingCentral offers one of the most flexible pricing structures, making it accessible to businesses of all sizes and needs. RingCentral also offers one of the largest roster of features, complete with virtual receptionists, away messaging, call trees, mobile forwarding, and even fax integration. With dedicated apps for Android and iOS, as well as a responsive 24/7 customer support team, RingCentral makes a solid case for itself as a reliable mobile VoIP system.
4. Ooma Office
A recipient of PC Magazine’s Business Choice award as #1 VoIP provider for Small Business, Ooma Office carries with it a lot of expectations, and lives up to them. Small and independent business owners love the no-contract service and praise its reliability, call quality, and seamless mobile apps. Ooma may not be robust enough for larger businesses, but provides award-winning service with exceptional mobile capabilities for those looking for a leaner, more affordable VoIP.
Appropriate for the animal it was named after, Grasshopper can be heard from just about anywhere. This was no accident--Grasshopper is a small VoIP whose voice quality, capabilities, and performance far outweigh its actual size. Grasshopper puts a special focus on inbound calling, though its mobile app also offers outbound call services with a digital dialer programmed into it. At once accessible and robust, Grasshopper makes a lot of noise even amongst its larger competitors.
The nationally recognized telecommunications company offers VoIP services backed by the same infrastructure and heft of the larger company. Verizon offers many traditional VoIP features and a few unique to the service, including fiber optic internet, wireless backups, and business-friendly tools like mobile fleet management.
Targeted primarily towards enterprise businesses, Aircall has an impressive infrastructure and business integrations ranging from Zendesk and Salesforce to Pipedrive. Aircall has mobile apps for both Android and iOS users that allow them to manage communication needs, including annotating and tagging, no matter where they are.
This affordable, hosted VoIP performs strong for its price point. It boasts excellent uptimes, analytic tools, plenty of calling options, and flexibility for scalable businesses. Its mobile apps provide access to all of your usual contacts and provide seamless transition from desk phones to mobile devices.
9. Alliance Phones
All of Alliance Phones’ plans include unlimited calling in the US and Canada, as well as a solid roster of features and affordable, no-contract pricing plans. Alliance is a cloud-based VoIP, meaning it offers a more affordable option with mobile capabilities and dedicated Android and iOS apps.
Intermedia offers contract-free VoIP plans designed primarily for small and medium-sized businesses. It’s known as a reliable, user-friendly system with good uptime and single-dashboard accessibility that makes it easy to access by phone, computer, or mobile. The system automatically forwards calls to mobile, making it a solid choice for those always on the go.
Popular Features of Mobile VoIP
Mobile VoIP has come a long way since simple voice calls over the internet. Here’s a look at the many features that can benefit you and your business:
- Link separate offices. If you have more than one office, this is a great way of creating a seamless working environment between them. It also helps alleviate time differences for global workers, as staff can take calls or meetings from home or on the move. Check with your provider to see if it offers PBX capabilities, helping you create a private branch exchange for your staff, not only for all of your physical offices, but also on mobile.
- Appear ‘always on’. Working hours can become a thing of the past when your mobile phone is also your office phone. Any time a customer has a query or a concern, they have a direct line straight to the correct staff member. VoIP providers allow users to create extensions and groups of extensions so that calls can be routed effectively. If your business wants some downtime, you can also create personalized voicemails or greetings which explain opening hours or redirect accordingly.
- Conferencing. Conferencing capabilities are improving all the time, and can include video chat, instant messaging, and a conference floor monitor system. This last tool allows admin to manage invitations to meetings, questions coming in, and options like muting certain members.
- Screen sharing. This means that IT support or other colleagues can see your problem or example at a glance from their own screen. Mobile VoIP also allows for video and file sharing, all over the internet, and without a third party middleman.
- CRM. Customer relationship management tools which can be integrated into the top business VoIP solutions include Salesforce, Act, Zoho, Microsoft Dynamics, and Oracle. These allow you to keep track of your customer data, your incoming and outgoing calls, capture call notes, and explore real-time accountability.
- Integrations: Whether it’s customer service, office staff or teleworkers, your business deserves to get the most out of its employees. Your business VoIP can support this, with integrations with popular productivity software such as G-suite or Office 365. Amongst others, Salesforce Desk and Zendesk can support customer service, while software such as Clio or ConnectWise are great for business management.
- Security. Security is paramount when it comes to business VoIP, both for mobile and desktop. The latest trends in security include powerful ID authentication tools, end-to-end encryption, and Transport Layer Security (TLS) or Secure Real-Time Transport Protocol (SRTP) encryption.
- Professional look. For small businesses especially, having your business number routed directly to you wherever you are is priceless. Some companies allow you to create unique local numbers around the globe, so that your customers always feel that you are a professional local presence for them. Whether your user is calling from Japan or Australia, they will be able to use a unique local area coded number to call your mobile directly.
Mobile VoIP Quality and Performance
The biggest concern that customers have when it comes to mobile VoIP is reliability. This is key when it comes to the image of your business and your interactions with both customers and staff alike.
While free mobile VoIP services, or those intended for personal use, may include issues such as latency errors or weak signal, mobile business VoIPs is a whole different ball game. The most important reason is Quality of Service or QoS. All VoIP companies are required to meet QoS protocols which include an evaluation of jitter, latency and delay, ensuring a certain amount of resources are allocated to voice calls.
Don’t forget to factor in bandwidth, though. If you’re using WiFi, your call is only as good as the bandwidth it is using. Working from a crowded coffee shop full of people using the network might slow you down.
It’s also worth remembering that unlike wired-in VoIP on desktop and in the office, your data charges may vary from provider to provider. While the calls themselves may not be charged, the use of the internet might well be. Users will need to be aware of how much mobile data they have to play with and how much will be used, especially with data-heavy tasks such as video calls. Of course, using home WiFi or any other connection can bring those costs down.
Other common concerns you may want to talk to your mobile VoIP provider about include:
- Your VoIP works seamlessly between desktop and mobile, updating in real time, for example when it comes to reporting or client management.
- The ability of the mobile VoIP app to work in the background, allowing you to continue other work or check email while you take part in a call.
- Degradation issues. Can you limit the bandwidth for certain parts of the interaction, for example giving more resources to voice over video quality, or helping to send a file more quickly?
How Do I Know Which Mobile VoIP to Choose?
Choosing the right mobile VoIP can feel like an arduous task, especially with so many elements to consider. Our experts have compiled the definitive chart of the best mobile VoIP solutions, both standalone and to complement Business VoIP for the office. Make sure to review the top providers on factors such as price, reliability, features and customer service, to help you make the right call, literally.