Learn how much you’ll spend on business phones.
There are many reasons to shop for a new phone system: your current system may not meet your needs, you need additional features, or you just want to see if you can get a better price. When researching business phones, it can be extremely frustrating to be met with endless request forms and lengthy sales calls before you can find out how much you can expect to spend. That’s why we want to break down what goes into a phone quote and help explain the cost.
Calculating Business Phone Cost: Hardware + Service
Phone Equipment Costs
A business phone system generally consists of two main parts: the hardware and the service. If you’ve already made the switch to VoIP, you may have phones that are compatible with several providers. Many VoIP providers can use brands such as Polycom, Yealink, or Grandstream phones, since they are industry standard. But if you’ve using an onsite PBX or had the same system for years, it will likely be time to upgrade. Getting updated phones provides clearer call quality, newer features, and more reliability with fewer issues. And the best part with VoIP phones, you can plug them in anywhere you have an internet connection to work remotely.
The first step to calculating price is to add up the number of phones you need. You can see our full telephone suite with pricing information on our Hardware page. The most common phones our customers choose are the Polycom VVX Series, reliable phones perfect for small and medium businesses. Vonix offers both lease and purchase options, so you can choose between a lower overall upfront cost or a pay-over-time add-on to your monthly bill. As an example, if you have a company requires 10 phones, you’ll generally pay either $1300-1800 up-front to purchase the phone equipment or add $90-130/month to your bill to lease the phones.
The good news is, with cloud-based VoIP, no other onsite equipment is required for the phone system outside of the phones themselves and your regular network equipment (i.e. router and switch). And if you use a power-over-Ethernet switch, you won’t even need power cables for the phones. They can be powered directly through the Ethernet cable.
Of course, if you’re only using a softphone, or a mobile app for your business phones, you won’t have any phone equipment costs.
Phone Service Costs
The monthly service cost with cloud-based phone systems is based on the user, not number of “lines.” There is a good reason for this. Cloud-based VoIP comes with unlimited lines, meaning that your customers will never receive a busy signal. Your business can handle unlimited,* concurrent calls all utilizing the same main number. No need for roll-over lines or multiple numbers.
Generally, prices for cloud-based VoIP systems will vary based on the plan features, number of phones, monthly or annual billing, and contract length. For instance, a phone provider may advertise one low cost as the monthly fee, but you later learn that you only access that rate if you sign onto a multi-year contract and pay for a year up-front. Or, you won’t get access to basic features that you end up paying extra for. Vonix offers straight-forward plans with no contracts on monthly and annual billing options.
When comparing phone providers, pay attention to the fine print on the bottom of the plans pages. Comparing providers purely on the lowest, advertised price isn’t the best way to get a full picture. Rather, you want to find the best match for you based on features, support, and service.
Much like with the equipment, service cost is usually calculated per user (or per extension). Our most popular package, the Pro Plan, costs $34.99 per phone per month. However, if you are moving over from another VoIP provider, you can also take advantage of Vonix’ apples-to-apples price match guarantee. Just provide a copy of your current bill, and Vonix will either meet or beat your current price.
Fees + Taxes
Taxes and fees are generally not included in advertised rates and can add up to 35% on top of your monthly bill depending on the provider. There are several government-required taxes and fees, including state and local communications taxes, sales taxes, Universal Service Fund Fees, and FCC Fees. Providers are also allowed to collect “Regulatory Recovery Fees” which are not actually taxes or governments fees. These go directly to the provider, and they are basically a way to increase the cost of service without advertising a higher cost. Always ask how much the taxes and fees will be when getting a quote; otherwise you may find the bill significantly higher than you expect.
Implementation or installation fees are another common extra cost. Many low-cost phone service providers will charge extra to install your phone system, even when you only need to plug in your phones, and there’s no on-site installation by the provider. Early in the process, ask each provider that you are researching how much you need to pay for installation and what other costs you can expect. Some providers, like Vonix, do not charge for installation.
Example Business Phone Service Price
Let’s say we have a business signing up with our Pro plan, that includes free onsite installation and support, for 10 employees that need desk phones and softphones for each user. To keep it simple we’ll say they’ll all use leased Polycom VVX 350 phones, but in real life you’ll want to choose the right phone hardware for each user.
10 x $34.99 Pro Plan = $349.90
+ 20% taxes & fees* = $69.98
Service total: $419.88
*Vonix only charges government required taxes and fees, no regulatory recovery fees. Example given is in state of Florida.
10 x $13 per phone for VVX 350s = $130
+ 7% sales tax = $9.10
Hardware total: $139.10
Monthly business phone total: $558.98