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For mobile workers who travel internationally, how does VoIP cut costs?

For mobile workers who travel internationally, how does VoIP cut costs?

For mobile workers who often travel between several countries, how does VoIP technology really save costs on long-distance charges?
Will any telecommunication policies of different countries distort the cost-effectiveness of VoIP?
Excellent questions! It can make a huge difference! For instance, your mobile users now are probably using either cell phones (expensive roaming!), hotel phones (increasingly charging by the minute-OUCH), or calling cards. In the case of the latter, you may be getting double-billed and the rates are certainly higher. When I say double billing, I mean charges from one country to the country of origin for the card and then out of the country of origin to the new country.

When you have mobile users, they can use a softphone to hit your switch from their location and then the calls can be routed as needed. Also, all calls into the office are at no charge -- outside of the normal internet charge that they are probably already incurring for e-mail, etc. When all of your calls come back to a single location for routing, tolls can be avoided, where possible. Even when there are tolls, bulk pricing on long-distance from a local office is generally less expensive than any of the other methods mentioned.

Another cool feature is that if you have several office locations, when workers use your VoIP network, the call can be routed between sites so that you can take advantage of the lowest cost. For instance, if you have a VoIP switch in London and one in China -- and one of your users needs to call a London number -- they hit your switch and it goes to London, where it is a local call and not a toll call.

I often travel globally, and in some areas the roaming rates for my cell phone are as high as $2.00 per minute. This adds up in a big hurry! But I could talk to anyone on my switch or in my company for no additional charge over an internet connection. It is all a matter of routing -- if you are calling another VoIP device, it is not charged by the minute.

I am not aware of any policies that would affect this, though the quality of the infrastructure may have an impact. By utilizing VoIP first, mobile users can always revert to other means if the quality is not sufficient.

Another thing to consider is unified messaging. If someone calls you and you are not available, they can leave a voice mail that will be routed to an e-mail. You can download your e-mail and listen to your voice mail. Then you don't have to pay for the call back to corporate or to the cell company -- just to listen to voice mail.

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