How Much Does VoIP Cost? [2024 Pricing Guide]

May 22, 2024 13 min read

Chris Reaburn

Chris Reaburn

How Much Does VoIP Cost in 2023? Find out in this guide.

Finding out the cost of switching from landlines to VoIP isn’t straightforward.

It requires digging into various pricing plans and understanding the mix of basic and extra features that meet your business needs.

The cost of a business phone system isn’t just a budget item — it’s an investment to scale your business communication.

Here, we dissect the complex topic of VoIP pricing to help give you a clear idea of what a VoIP phone system might actually cost you. We discuss the main factors affecting the cost and provide tips to ensure you make a financially smart choice for your business.

Breakdown of VoIP Cost

On average, a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone system costs between $25 and $35 per line monthly. Additional features like call recording, toll-free numbers, and equipment rentals cost extra. 

VoIP phone systems provide a substantially more cost-effective solution compared to traditional analog-based phone services. While VoIP requires its own set of expenses from providers as well as indirect costs like a high-speed internet connection, the savings over legacy systems are considerable.

The costs of transitioning to a VoIP phone service can be broadly categorized into recurring and one-time expenses.

Recurring Expenses

👉 Monthly/annual subscription fees

The bulk of the recurring VoIP expenses come from monthly or annual subscription fees from VoIP providers. These fees grant access to the core VoIP capabilities that allow businesses to make and receive calls over the internet.

Subscription plans typically range from basic packages with standard calling features to more premium/enterprise plans with advanced functionality like video conferencing, CRM integration, analytics, and more. Pricing can vary greatly between these tiers.

Monthly plans offer more flexibility without long-term commitments, making them suitable for smaller businesses. However, they tend to carry a higher per-month cost compared to Annual Plans where companies can secure discounted rates by prepaying for 12 months of service.

👉 Per-user or per-line fees

Besides subscription fees, VoIP providers commonly structure their pricing model based on a per-user or per-line basis.

Per-user is best suited for businesses with a defined employee headcount, while per-line works better for call-intensive organizations requiring multiple phone lines and numbers. The more users/lines, the higher the total recurring costs.

👉 Metered calling rates

Many business VoIP providers provide unlimited calling nationwide. However, be sure to confirm the international calling rates. International calls cost up to 90% less than traditional telephone companies but will be added to your invoice if your team dials outside the U.S. or Canada.

The international calling rates with VoIP can vary depending on the destination country, call volume, and time of day. Providers may offer flat-rate plans for specific countries or discounted rates for high-volume international callers.

👉 Feature add-ons

VoIP providers charge for specific features and functionalities according to business requirements. Standard features like call forwarding, voicemail, and unlimited domestic calling are typically bundled.

However, advanced capabilities incur extra fees. Some examples of VoIP features you could be paying:

Make sure to identify which advanced features are essential and budget accordingly, as they can substantially increase costs.

One-Time Costs

Implementing VoIP also involves some upfront one-time expenses businesses must account for:

While the recurring and upfront investment for VoIP can seem high, businesses realize major cost savings of up to 90% compared to traditional telephony — especially for international calling. VoIP usage is projected to grow 35% through 2036 as the benefits justify the implementation costs for most organizations.

5 reasons VoIP is cheaper than traditional landlines

How Much Does VoIP Cost?

While there are some additional considerations with VoIP costs, many providers like Nextiva have simplified the cost structure by including extras like free number porting, softphone functionality, installation, and setup, so you don’t end up paying separately for each service.

Taking monthly or annual subscriptions, number of users, and variations between specific features per plan into account, here’s an example of how much top VoIP phone services could cost small businesses.

ProviderCost/user/month (Billed monthly for 1-10 users)Cost/user/month (Billed annually for 1-10 users)Popular add-ons
NextivaStarts at $25.95Starts at $18.95International calling
CRM integrations
Performance dashboards
RingCentralStarts at $30Starts at $20RingCentral rooms license
Extra international numbers
High-volume SMS
Sales add-ons
OomaStarts around $20
Contact Ooma sales for a quoteExtra phone numbers
International calling
Ooma Premier subscriptions
VonageStarts around $18Starts around $13International calling plans
High-volume SMS
Video conferencing
Call recording
8×8Starts around $28Starts around $24
Integrations with business productivity tools
Call analytics
Auto attendants
International calling 

Hidden VoIP Costs (+How to Avoid Them)

Switching to a VoIP phone system will save money in the long run, but it will only do so if you’re aware of all hidden or unexpected expenses.

There’s nothing nefarious here — these are just the VoIP costs that depend on your location or your specific business needs.

It’s essential to have a solid understanding of the additional costs involved with VoIP calls that can occur. Here’s a breakdown of some hidden or unexpected costs you might encounter:

⚙️ Network Upgrades

VoIP systems rely on internet bandwidth to deliver clear, high-quality calls. If your existing bandwidth is insufficient, you’ll need to upgrade your internet package to meet the demands of VoIP technology. 

Assess your current bandwidth and make sure it can handle the additional load the VoIP system will bring. Try our free VoIP network test to get a realistic figure of how many phone calls your network can handle. 

If an upgrade is necessary, take into account the additional costs, as they will vary depending on your internet service provider and the package you select.

💰Taxes and Fees

Just like traditional phone services (and everything else in life), VoIP services are subject to various taxes and fees. These can include federal, state, and local taxes and regulatory fees.

The tax rates and fees vary between geographical locations, making it imperative to understand the applicable taxes in your area. Phone system consultants say paying between 20% and 30% in taxes isn’t unheard of.

Remember that VoIP tax rates vary by location and largely depend on the business location and phone numbers used.

➕ Additional Features or Add-Ons

Many VoIP providers offer a basic package with the option to add extra features or add-ons, such as advanced call analytics, call center functionality, additional lines, or hands-on customer support, for an additional cost. 

Before committing to a package, evaluate the features included in the base package and identify any additional features your business requires. Understanding the cost implication of these additional features will help you avoid any unexpected expenses down the line.

Tip: Some of these add-ons can be negotiated with your sales representative, so be sure to mention them if you find them valuable, in addition to your business VoIP package.

✳️ Integrations

Integrating with existing business tools like CRM systems or leveraging advanced functions like AI can sometimes necessitate upgrading to a more expensive pricing package. 

Assess the costs of integrating your existing business tools with the VoIP system. If your business requires advanced functionalities, be prepared for additional expenses associated with these features and include them in your VoIP phone system cost.

How Long-Term Commitments Affect VoIP Costs

Before signing any VoIP agreement, it’s crucial to understand the VoIP contract terms. This ensures you know exactly what’s expected of you during the contract and also what you can expect from your VoIP provider.

For an independent explainer of common lingo found in a VoIP contract, Prince Rich has you covered.

Important VoIP contract agreement considerations include:

👉 Length of Contract: Month-to-Month vs. Long-Term Commitments

The length of the contract significantly impacts the cost of VoIP services. 

Month-to-month contracts provide flexibility and are ideal for businesses not ready for a long-term commitment. However, remember that they come at a higher monthly cost.

Long-term contracts come with discounted rates but can also include penalties for early termination. Consider this based on your business’s long-term outlook before committing to any contract.

👉 Termination Fees

Termination fees are charges for exiting the contract before its agreed-upon end date. These fees can be substantial and must be outlined in the contract agreement.

For example, you could be liable for the balance due if you cancel at month six on a 12-month term.

👉 Service-Level Agreements

Service-level agreements are your quality control assurances in a VoIP contract. 

They define the expected service quality, including uptime guarantees. High reliability is essential for business operations, and compensation clauses for service outages provide a financial cushion should your VoIP service drop out for any reason.

Tip: “Five nines” is a common phrase, which refers to 99.999% uptime. This uptime percentage means that five minutes of downtime is anticipated annually.

👉 Limitations or Restrictions on Usage

Some contract agreements might have clauses that limit or restrict certain types of usage constituted as abuse. Examples include automated or predictive dialing — a questionable practice employed by telemarketers. 

These restrictions aim to prevent the misuse of the VoIP service and ensure fair usage.

It’s important you’re aware of any limitations of this type to ensure your business operations comply with the contractual agreement.

👉 Auto-Renewal 

Contract auto-renewal clauses mean the contract will automatically renew for a similar term and price unless terminated by either party before the renewal date. This also ensures your company’s communications are always working and never interrupted.

Be aware of your VoIP contract’s renewal policy, and it’s also good practice to review the contract terms and explore other options in the market at least three months before your contract renewal date. This allows for negotiating better terms or switching to a more cost-effective provider if necessary.

The High Cost of Multiple Communication Apps

Most modern businesses use different applications and software to run their company, also known as their tech stack. Using many potentially outdated and standalone apps generally leads to increased expenses. 

However, cloud-based VoIP services come with many features that can replace or integrate with other communication apps. This alone can lead to cost savings, enhanced productivity, and a simplified communication infrastructure.

Consider the following when weighing the benefits of switching from a diverse tech stack to a centralized VoIP system. 

1. Video Conferencing Programs

Subscription costs for video conferencing platforms like Zoom can constitute a substantial part of communication expenses.

For instance, Zoom, which costs $14.99/month/user, would cost a company with a 50-person team $9,000 annually for video conferencing, something a VoIP provider likely includes as a free or more affordable extra feature.

Additionally, hardware requirements, such as headsets for optimal performance, will incur extra upfront costs.

Since many VoIP systems now come with built-in video conferencing and video calling features, separate subscriptions to Zoom and other video conferencing tools are no longer necessary.

Video meetings are included with Nextiva. Some VoIP phone systems make you pay more.
Video meetings are included with Nextiva. Some VoIP phone systems make you pay more.

2. Team Collaboration Tools 

Collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams or Slack are integral for team coordination. However, the associated costs could overlap with the features provided by a VoIP system — Slack, for example, costs around $12.50/user/month. 

For a 50-person team, that’s $7,500 a year.

Many VoIP services offer integrated text messaging, file sharing, and collaboration tools that can serve as alternatives to these standalone platforms.

Assessing the functionalities and comparing the costs can help make an informed decision on whether a VoIP system can replace or complement existing collaboration tools.

Nextiva unified CX platform
No need to switch between multiple apps with a unified customer experience platform

3. Company Cell Phones

Some companies reimburse or subsidize mobile phones and handsets for their staff — a considerable financial burden often exceeding $50/month per user. However, such reimbursements are more of a perk than the norm — it adds up, especially if someone consumes a lot of data.

Alternatively, business VoIP systems, which provide softphone mobile apps that employees can download to their personal mobile devices at no extra cost, are estimated to be just 8% of an IT department’s budget — a significant reduction for a company that previously provided cell phones and desk phones to their employees. 

VoIP Implementation: IP Phones, Softphones, and Mobile Apps

4. Operational Security

Operational security is paramount, especially when immediate action is required to lock down communications — something personal SMS and messaging apps aren’t designed for.

Furthermore, if employees use non-standard communications or personal messaging apps for work purposes, this can create an increased risk for HR and legal teams.

VoIP systems provide a unified communications solution with robust security features that allow for quick action in case of security threats.

Evaluating the security protocols and features of a VoIP system compared to standalone personal communication apps offers insight into the level of control and security afforded by integrating communications onto a single platform.

VoIP vs. Conventional Phone Systems

With each system bringing its own set of financial implications, weighing VoIP vs. conventional phone systems extends beyond mere functionality. 

Knowing how each system will impact your business is important, as this also contributes to the expenses you must consider before committing to one system or the other.  

ROI of VoIP: Is It Worth It?

Now that we’ve covered what goes into VoIP phone system costs, we need to decide whether or not investing in a VoIP system is the right decision for your company’s communications.

There are many considerations to take into account, such as lower costs, increased productivity, better customer experience, improved business continuity, and operational flexibility.

✅ Measurable Cost Savings  

The direct cost of one phone system over another is often the first thing to consider. 

For example, a business with 100 employees looking into a robust communications platform will likely consider a cloud-based phone system, or they might wonder if it’s better to use their budget to go with an on-premises PBX. Let’s dive in.

Switching to VoIP saves costs

For 100 users, Nextiva Enterprise would cost just under $39,000 in one year.

You’d get every communication feature available today, including unlimited nationwide calling, video conferencing, call recording, a toll-free number, mobile/desktop apps, SMS/MMS, voicemail transcription, and several app integrations. Plus, there’s nothing you have to install — simply adjust a few settings online, and you’re done. 

On the other hand, if you go down the traditional PBX route, you’ll need to invest upfront in technology and spend a non-trivial amount of time to set it up. 

All in all, a PBX will set you back over $62,000 in your first year, not including the IT expertise necessary to set it up and maintain it.

It quickly becomes clear that a complete VoIP solution like Nextiva is far more cost-effective than a traditional phone system. In the example above, Nextiva saves you over 60%, excluding taxes/fees.

For international calling, some providers may offer bundled international calling packages with discounted rates for specific regions or countries or specialize in international calls and offer competitive rates for specific destinations. These providers leverage economies of scale to offer lower costs.

Besides the cost savings, there are other areas to see the upside of VoIP. 

✅ Enhanced Team Productivity

Integrating your phone system and other business applications streamlines workflow, which enhances team productivity. 

Moreover, VoIP supports remote work with advanced features, making it an indispensable tool in today’s modern, flexible work environment (in which more than 4.7 million people are now working remotely).

✅ Better Customer Experience

High-definition call quality and flexible call routing are hallmark features of VoIP, which result in an improved customer experience. 

Seamless integration with your CRM software and other key customer data platforms enriches customer interaction, making every communication more insightful and effective.

Likewise, if customers or partners call an employee and they’re not available or it’s after hours, calls can be forwarded to a preferred destination — even your cell phone. 

Call forwarding in Nextiva

✅ Increased Business Continuity

In the face of unexpected outages, the quick rerouting capabilities of VoIP ensure that business communication remains uninterrupted. High uptime is often part of the service-level agreements with VoIP providers, affirming a reliable communication backbone for businesses.

Nextiva has eight redundant data centers located across North America. This means your team has ultra-high reliability and accessibility, as well as superior call quality. In addition, the network is actively monitored to ensure nothing stands in the way of you talking with your customers. 

✅ More Operational Flexibility

VoIP not only supports remote work but also facilitates global expansion by unifying communication across geographical boundaries. 

And if you decide to forego the office building, there’s not a massive undertaking you need to do to maintain reliable communication. Desktop, mobile, and web apps keep everyone connected. 

The digital call recording, storage, and easy access to call logs provide operational flexibility for modern businesses need to scale effectively. 

Example of call center QA analyzing call recordings with AI

See the ‘Out-the-Door’ Cost of VoIP

Switching to a VoIP phone system is a smart step towards updating your business communications to match today’s digital needs. It’s both an investment and a cost. 

VoIP pricing doesn’t have to be complicated. Think about your needs today and where your company is going.

How do you envision the best way for your team to communicate? 

…It’s probably not using a patchwork of various tools.

Instead, opt for a unified communications solution like Nextiva and focus on serving your customers. 

You could follow our theoretical pricing guide, or you can find out the actual costs for yourself. 

Request a no-obligation price quote ↗

A VoIP expert will work with you to suggest the right plan and devices that fit the way you want to work. And you’ll know the “out-the-door price,” including taxes, fees, and everything else that applies to your specific needs.

Chris Reaburn


Chris Reaburn

Chris Reaburn is the Chief of Strategic Execution at Nextiva. Known as "Reaburn" by friends/family, he is responsible for championing Nextiva's brand and products into the market in support of the company's vision to change the way businesses around the world work and serve their customers. With his previous leadership roles in the communications industry…

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