VoIP phone system costs

How much does a VoIP system cost? From the size of your business to the equipment you'd prefer to use, Startups explores the factors that will determine how much VoIP will cost your small business.

About Us

Startups was founded over 20 years ago by a serial entrepreneur. Today, our expert team of writers, researchers, and editors work to provide our 4 million readers with useful tips and information, as well as running award-winning campaigns. In 2020, we helped nearly 2,000 readers find the right telephone system for their business, and our aim is to continue this trend by offering reliable, accurate support and advice to startups everywhere. This article was authored by:
  • Bryn Glover

Our independent reviews and recommendations are funded in part by affiliate commissions, at no extra cost to our readers.

VoIP phone system costs can vary, but when broken down into specific elements it’s easier to estimate the overall costs:

  • VoIP provider package cost per user/per month – ranges from £5 – £20 depending on provider and level of plan
  • VoIP compatible phones – ranges from lower end, basic models (£35) to high end, executive models (£300)
  • VoIP headsets – lower end, basic models cost around £20, whilst higher end headsets cost upwards of £200
  • Broadband provider – VoIP software uses your existing broadband connection to work. Broadband costs can range from between £15 per month to £50 per month depending on operating speeds.

These are the main factors that will impact the overall cost of implementing a VoIP phone system into your business, but there are also several other smaller VoIP phone costs to consider.

To truly get an accurate representation of these costs, the best thing you can do is use our comparison tool to compare personalised VoIP phone provider costs directly. This service is free, takes just minutes, and there are zero obligations on your part.

Or, if you want to carry out further research, read on for our guideline of the rough costs you can expect when using a VoIP phone system for your small business.

Save by Comparing VoIP Telephone System Prices from Top Suppliers Do you already have a VoIP phone system? Compare quotes - it only takes a minute

VoIP vs. conventional phone systems: How do the costs compare?

That VoIP phone systems are cheaper than conventional telephone systems is a fact. But why is it the case?

Well, the key reason behind VoIP’s relatively low price point is that VoIP systems are software-based.

VoIP software uses your existing broadband connection to work, transmitting calls over the internet. So, VoIP requires no lines need to be paid for, laid and maintained – rather, it takes advantage of a service that you’d be paying for whether you choose VoIP or not.

Similarly, VoIP doesn’t require a lot of expensive hardware to work.

Yes, you can choose to buy VoIP phones if you prefer (more on those below), but it is also possible to make VoIP calls simply using the software and your computer – and its built-in microphone and speakers – or a mobile device.

Want to quickly compare bespoke quotes from the best providers in the UK?

You're already sold on VoIP phone software for your company, but now you just need to ensure you get the best possible deal for your small business, as the last thing you want is to be tied into an expensive contract with a poor provider.

This is where we come in. Our free comparison tool will match you with the right provider for your company’s needs, providing you with direct VoIP provider quotes that you can easily compare.

All you have to do is fill out a few details, and we will take care of the rest.

How do VoIP phone system costs break down?

The amount you’ll spend on your VoIP system will be comprised of three facets:

1. A fixed line rental fee

In return for its VoIP services, you’ll pay your VoIP provider by subscription, with a line rental fee each month.

 VoIP system fees can cost anywhere between £10 per user, per month and £50 per user, per month.

 Where on this spectrum your payment plan sits will depend on a number of factors – and not just how reasonably priced your VoIP provider is. These factors include:

  • The package features you’ll need
  • The number of employees you’ll have using the VoIP system
  • The length of your subscription agreement

We’ll explore these in more detail below.

2. Usage costs

On top of your line rental, some VoIP providers will also charge you for the minutes you spend making calls using your VoIP system – much like a traditional phone bill.

Meanwhile, other providers will offer you a call package – giving you a certain number of (or unlimited) minutes to use each month – and charge an additional fixed fee for that.

Of course, some providers simply include usage fees within their monthly line rental charge, meaning that’s the only regular fee you need pay.

3. Any additional costs

You might also choose to fork out some extra money to get your VoIP phone system up and running to the operational standard you desire. These costs might cover:

  • Buying VoIP phone hardware
  • Upgrading to better broadband that can deliver quality VoIP calls

Again, we’ll explore these in more detail below.

For detailed reviews of the top VoIP providers in the UK, check out our guide to the best VoIP phones and providers here.

What factors will affect my VoIP line rental cost?

  1. Package features
  2. User numbers
  3. Agreement length

The features included in your subscription

The more comprehensive and advanced your VoIP package, the more expensive your rental fee is going to be.

VoIP providers tend to offer several tiers of subscription. Your cheaper, more basic packages (sitting at the £10 to £20 end of the spectrum) usually come with most of the expected features, such as:

  • Unlimited VoIP calls, and limited landline calls
  • Voicemail
  • Call holding and forwarding
  • Customer support within certain time frames – for example, 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday

Meanwhile, the more expensive packages (veering towards the £30 to £50 bracket) come with all of the above plus more advanced features, such as:

  • Voicemail-to-text or voicemail-to-email services
  • CRM integration
  • Unlimited international and landline calls
  • Automatic callbacks
  • Call data analytics
  • 24/7 customer support

You’ll need to carefully consider which features you’re likely to need – and work out how much value these features will add to your operations – before settling on a plan.

The number of users you’ll introduce

It’s important to remember that the majority of VoIP providers charge their rental fees per VoIP system user, per month.

Obviously, if you’re a one-man-band, this isn’t something that’ll affect you. But if you have a team of three telemarketers under you, be aware that you’ll be charged a rental fee for each of them.

So, if your rental fee is, say, £15 per month and you’ve got four people using the VoIP system, your total rental cost is going to come to £60 per month – £15 for each user.

The length of your agreement

VoIP providers tend to offer subscriptions in 12 and 24-month contracts, though many will be open to working out a bespoke subscription length with you if you need it.

It goes without saying that the longer your contract agreement, the cheaper your monthly payments will be.

That being said, it’s better to plump for a shorter contract if you’re still getting established. Running a start-up can be an unpredictable affair, and you don’t want to be locked into a contract that you might not need to fulfill.

Do you need a communication system for 5 or more staff-members? VoIP systems offer many benefits when managing larger teams, including multi-party calling capabilities. Tell us your team-size so we can match you with the right VoIP providers and products for your workforce.

What additional cost considerations do I need to make?

  1. The hardware you’ll need
  2. Your broadband connection

Will you need to buy hardware?

While conventional telephone systems require – yep, you’ve guessed it – telephones to be stationed at each user’s desk, VoIP systems are largely software-based and don’t need a lot of additional hardware.

In fact, there are only three pieces of equipment you’ll want to consider buying:

Additional VoIP costsLow priceHigh price
Headset with microphone£20£200
VoIP phones£35£300
ATAs (analogue telephone adaptor)£10£50

1. Headsets with microphones

You can use VoIP software to make and receive phone calls via your computer, tablet or mobile phone – also known, in this context, as softphone devices. This gives you the freedom to simply use the equipment you already have to get going with VoIP.

Having said that, if you’re going to make calls using your computer, using a headset is generally a better idea than relying on your PC’s built-in microphone and speakers.

Using a headset means your calls remain private, and sound quality will ultimately be clearer through it. These factors are especially important if you’re going to have more than one person using the VoIP system at a time.

 Headset prices vary significantly depending on how comfortable they’re designed to be, the quality of sound they transmit, and whether or not they’re wireless.

Generally, you can get a basic headset for around £20, while more advanced varieties can go for over £200 each.

 2. VoIP phones

Of course, if you and your staff would feel more comfortable using phones to take and make calls, that’s also a possibility with VoIP – thanks to dedicated VoIP phones.

VoIP phones – also known as IP phones – look much the same as conventional phones, with a handset, cradle, keypad and caller ID display.

Unlike traditional telephones, however, VoIP phones connect to the internet; either using a Ethernet connector, a built-in modem or wifi. As such, they can make calls using VoIP.

 A low cost VoIP phone will set you back around £30, while models with more functionality can cost up to £100 each. There are plenty of VoIP phone cost options out there, so it’s worth shopping around for the model that suits your business’ needs best.

 3. ATAs (analogue telephone adaptors)

An ATA is a device that plugs into a conventional phone and transforms it into a VoIP phone that’s able to make and receive calls over the internet.

This could be a great option if your office already has conventional phones that you’d rather not see go to waste.

 ATAs can be as affordable as less than £10 each – however, more advanced models can cost up to £50.

 Do you need to improve your broadband connection?

The clarity and reliability of your VoIP calls will rely heavily on how good your internet connection is.

If you’ve got ultra-fast, fibre optic broadband, your call quality is going to be pristine. If your broadband is more unreliable than a London commuter train, it might sound like you’re calling your clients from the bottom of the sea.

This can be a real concern, so if you’ve been suffering with slow internet, it’s worth looking into getting it upgraded before setting up a VoIP telephone system. This, of course, makes for an additional cost. Find out more about the best UK business broadband options today to make sure  you maintain crystal clear call quality.

Is your team not in the office? VoIP systems offer complete portability and accessibility, as well as lower costs that traditional phone set-ups! Use our comparison tool to tell us about your business's requirements, and we'll match you with the most suitable VoIP providers and products.

What’s next?

Hopefully, you now have a greater understanding of the costs involved in setting up VoIP calls for your business.

Now, it’s time to speak directly to VoIP (and other phone system) providers to help you find the best option for your venture – and give you an even clearer idea of how much it’ll cost. We can help you here.

Simply complete our form, and you’ll receive bespoke quotes from the phone system providers who can supply what your business needs. This process is free and fast – so get started today!

Startups.co.uk is reader-supported. If you make a purchase through the links on our site, we may earn a commission from the retailers of the products we have reviewed. This helps Startups.co.uk to provide free advice and reviews for our readers. It has no additional cost to you, and never affects the editorial independence of our reviews.

Bryn Glover
Back to Top