- How much does the service cost?
- How is VoIP different from my home phone line?
- Is it necessary to subscribe to VoIP phone service?
With the ongoing nationwide transition to NBN in Australia, there also comes the need for customers to change their respective landline services. It’s a subject that can be complex but is otherwise necessary, especially if you don’t want the hassle of not having the connection later on.
If you or someone you know is having trouble understanding the basics of VoIP on the NBN, here’s the 101.
What is VoIP on the NBN?
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. It’s a landline service that is similar to your current landline, save for the fact that you need to be connected to the internet in order to receive and make calls. With VoIP, customers have the option to use a landline or mobile number, which you will also be allowed to keep once you decide to switch to VoIP on NBN.
VoIP on the NBN presents two ways for subscribers to get landline calls: one is through the more common UNI-D VoIP and the other is the more superior UNI-V VoIP, also referred to as Fibre Phone. The UNI-D is currently offered to customers regardless of their NBN connection types, while UNI-V is only available to those with Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) connections.
What makes UNI-V the superior choice between the two is that it assigns a dedicated bandwidth for voice traffic. This way, calls are more reliable this way and the connection is more secure. UNI-V also comes with the option of battery back-up to ensure that you get to keep your connection in case of a power outage.
How much does the service cost?
In some cases, NBN providers offer the VoIP call service as part of a broadband bundle. For plans like these, you will be asked to choose between pay-as-you-go calls or an unlimited call pack to local landline and mobile numbers. Call packs usually cost an additional $10 to your monthly broadband fee.
If you are in the process of switching to NBN from your current broadband connection, be sure to also factor in the costs for VoIP phone service (and the handset) or be on the lookout for plans that offer bundles instead of getting it as a standalone service. Check out this list of VoIP plans in Australia to know more about your options.
How is VoIP different from my home phone line?
As mentioned above, VoIP phone service is dependent on your NBN connection. So, unless you have the UNI-V service with a battery back-up, you lose your landline if you lose your internet connection. The same goes for instances of a power outage, except for those with FTTP connections.
Switching over to VoIP also does not necessarily mean you can transfer the connection for your other devices such as security alarms and emergency alert systems. If you’re not willing to give up on these devices, you will have to coordinate with your provider and register them with NBN Co. to keep the system working.
Is it necessary to subscribe to VoIP phone service?
Before 95% of Australia’s population was connected to the NBN, getting VoIP landline service was essentially optional. However, switching over to NBN also means being required to get the VoIP or risk losing your landline. This applies to all subscribers with FTTP, FTTN, FTTC, FTTB, or HFC Cable types of connections. Those who have the Sky Muster Satellite or Fixed Wireless connections, however, can choose not to get the VoIP service and keep using their copper phone lines.
What type of devices will I need?
You will need one handset and one modem for the VoIP service. Some analogue phone handsets that can be connected to NBN-compatible routers or adapters can be used as well. If you don’t have one, some providers offer them for $30 or you can buy a VoIP phone that’s specifically designed for this purpose.
For the modem, it’s usually supplied by your NBN provider, unless you opted for a BYO plan. Those with FTTP connections won’t need modems for this service as you will only need to plug in your handset to the UNI-V port or NBN Connection Box.
Are there other options available?
The only viable alternative to VoIP at the moment is to sign up for an affordable mobile plan if you don’t already have one. There are plenty of telcos offering unlimited talk and text plans to customers for a reasonable fee, some of which are even powered by the largest networks in the country. Study your options through this list of Australia’s leading service providers or call us at 1300 106 571 for expert assistance.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
When will copper phone lines be disconnected in my area?
Following NBN’s guidelines, copper phone lines will be disconnected 18 months after your neighbourhood is declared NBN-ready.
Does VoIP have better quality?
The quality of your VoIP service depends on your internet service provider. As such, UNI-V offers the best quality among all available VoIP landline services.
Can I continue using my current number?
Yes, you can use your current number even after you switch to VoIP on NBN. However, do note that some providers may charge you for this transfer.
How much data do I need for VoIP?
In general, VoIP does not consume a lot of data. A one-hour phone call on VoIP only needs about 30MB, so an unlimited data plan is not necessary.
If you still have questions, you can contact Compare Broadband at 1300 106 571. We have connections to the top internet providers in Australia. We can recommend the best NBN plans and bundles that will satisfy your budget and VoIP requirements. Call our team today!