As consumers, we are just not anchored to one spot and as such the landline is no longer as important as it used to be. We talk on the move, share documents, and even close deals without an office in sight. In fact, doing business in just one place is increasingly uncommon. Businesses have become mobile, with staff spread over different geographic regions, on trains and across continents, the landline phone is effectively dead as we know it.
Day-to-day meetings invariably include sharing contact details such as: email address, phone number, and, a little less frequently, social links and instant messaging IDs. Theses days the phone number most often shared with others is the mobile, rarely ever a landline.
As an average consumer, broadband and the mobile phone is all the connectivity needed. The importance of both has begun to inform our approach to communications. We’re not talking ringtones, we’re talking about phone conversations, messaging and data. When confronted with a landline, many of us are frustrated with how ‘dumb’ landlines can be in comparison to smartphones.
We need something to talk with, especially in the office—for those of us who still need an office. Therefore, the metaphor of the old phone is still useful in some instances. The truth is that it is still more comfortable to talk on an old style receiver than press a thin mobile phone to your ear for an hour.
The phone has been rebooted with VoIP. VoIP is a mouthful that stands for Voice-over-Internet Protocol. What it means is that, like our mobile phones, telephone services are delivered by a network, often the Internet, and not limited to location. So users can now rely on high-quality phone service anywhere they have Internet access. And with easy access to phone rentals users can have complete control over which device they use and are always able to stay on top of the latest technology trends.
The receiver may look like an old phone but it has a greater range of features. From text messaging and auto-receptionist services, to access from anywhere in the world, this new phone is more capable and offers greater benefits. Where the landline just rang blankly, VoIP allows us to download call data from anywhere in the world—home and away, in a coffee shop or in the airport; and with some of RingCentral’s latest mobile features users have more power than ever in the palm of their hand.
It is the flexibility of VoIP and our changing expectation of communication that has relegated the old phone. Online telephony allows businesses flexibility and focus.
“VoIP is an upgrade for your business,” comments Ryan Macapagal, Affiliate Manager at RingCentral. “Whether you need to open a new office on the other side of the country, adjust your business hours on the fly, or prioritise calls from your most important contacts, online telephony makes it possible to adjust how you work, as you work.”
My old phone was tied by copper wire to a specific corner of my office. With the Internet, cloud computing, and a generally more connected world we are not confined to a single spot on the globe. Or in my case, having a phone on the right side of the desk nearest the wall socket. Businesses need to be and are becoming more mobile-centric.
“We are no longer tied to desks,” adds Macapagal. ”We are seeing a shift to mobile, where our habits from home have followed us to work.”
The phone as we knew it is an antique, a relic of a different age. VoIP offers businesses of every size the sort of communications tools that only the tech giants and global companies could afford. The Internet and online telephony combined are delivering better communications and have swept the old landline aside.
Originally published Aug 28, 2014, updated Aug 12, 2020