Multiple Airlines Ban In-Flight VoIP… Will Cellular Coverage Follow the Same Fate?
January 14th, 2014
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is currently considering a proposal to allow cellular coverage on planes, a service that might include making phone calls over the Internet, but it would be up to each specific airline to determine whether flyers can make calls in the air. While the FCC has not made a final decision as to whether it will allow cellphone use during flights using cellular coverage, the Department of Transportation (DOT) will make the final decision. If the DOT agrees to in-flight cellular coverage, then airlines still would have the right to enforce their own rules, as previously mentioned. Just last month, the FCC lifted its ban on use of personal electronic devices like Kindles, iPads, and Laptops under 10,000 feet, due to the fact that they do not interfere with cockpit instruments.
However, there have already been a few airlines, including, Delta and JetBlue have made the decision to ban in-flight VoIP, which is a common way to communicate in business settings with PBX phone systems. Just last week, Delta’s CEO has sent a company-wide memo to all employees saying Delta would not be allowing cellular or VoIP calls on any flights. However, Richard Anderson, Delta’s CEO, said that the airline is working to allow customers to use text, email, and other silent data transmission services from “gate to gate,” once the ban on cell phones is officially lifted by the FCC.
JetBlue provides a new in-flight Wi-Fi service, known as Sky-Fi, allowing users to access the Internet on flights. Last week, JetBlue opened up a small window where flyers could make calls via VoIP from a commercial airliner and while they discouraged these phone calls, they would not enforce rules against it and would handle situations on a case-by-case basis. However, after an outcry from disturbed passengers, JetBlue officially retracted the use of VoIP on their flights. JetBlue recently stated, “We’ve heard from many customers and the majority have shared that they do not want voice or video calls allowed onboard. We currently do not allow customers to use VoIP onboard. Our inflight team will enforce this as they would enforce any other onboard policy.”
These airlines believe that voice calls in the cabins would be a disruption for the travel experience for flyers. In a Delta Survey in 2012, the majority of customers, as well as employees, said that the ability to make voice calls onboard would detract from their flying experience. Due to the disturbance that voice calls might provide other passengers, it’s unlikely that many flights will allow VoIP or cellular coverage on their flights. But as JetBlue demonstrated, there might be a glimpse of hope to find a happy medium where a small window of time is allowed for phone calls, particularly on business flights.
VoIP Expected to Gain Popularity in Europe: Here’s Why
January 8th, 2014
According to new statistics from Eurostat, 60% of people within the EU28 are online at least once each day, with 79% of households having access to the web in 2013 and 76% boasting their own broadband connection. Now that the majority of people throughout Europe use the Internet on a regular basis, VoIP is likely to become a huge investment for millions of people. Most businesses in Europe also rely on the Internet to complete operations in a variety of industries, meaning that the trend is sure to follow in the business world.
While Internet usage varies throughout the continent, with just 54% of households in Bulgaria being connected in comparison with 95 per cent in the Netherlands, it is clear that the majority of the population can access the Internet at any time. The lowest access rates were recorded in Bulgaria at 54%, Greece at 56%, and Romania at 58%. The nations with the highest access rates included Luxembourg at 94%, Denmark at 93%, and Sweden at 93%. When it came to broadband, Finland topped the charts with 88% of the population having the technology in place, followed by Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands and the UK, all 87%.
Where broadband is widely available and of good quality, it makes sense for any large or small businesses to implement a VoIP phone system. A VoIP phone system can be beneficial to virtually every type of company, no matter the size or industry. With the cost-saving potential, rich media service and features VoIP has to offer, such as online call monitoring and online phone system access, as well as phone portability, a VoIP phone system holds ideal features suited to fit a wide array of business needs. Traditional landlines are considered to be old-fashioned, particularly in businesses, and can be unreliable and expensive to maintain.
Once business owners understand the benefits of VoIP and as costs keep getting lower and service becomes more and more advanced, VoIP is likely to become just as popular in Europe as it is here in the United States.
Welcoming 2014 With a Virtual Phone System
January 2nd, 2014
2013 has whizzed on by and it’s time to start prepping for the New Year. Do yourself and your small business a favor by starting the year off right with a virtual phone system.
You might be wondering how switching to a virtual phone system could have such a positive impact on your business. This single change helps you reduce overhead and adopt more sustainable, affordable operating practices, giving you the potential to make 2014 the most profitable year yet.
Reduce Your Operating Costs
Making long-distance and international calls on a daily basis can certainly get expensive. Fortunately, there are many virtual phone system providers out there that offer affordable plans, including unlimited nationwide long-distance and even unlimited international calling. Plus, with a hosted system, the cost and responsibility of maintaining and repairing the equipment is shifted from you to the provider to help save you even more money. Forget about the set-up costs, maintenance visits and all the related hassle.
Lower Your Equipment Costs
Since the phone system is virtual and hosted off-site, it’s unnecessary to have a dedicated room in the office to house equipment. That frees up more office space for you and your employees.
Keep Your Telecommuters Happy
Telecommuting is a new reality in today’s modern workplace and offers countless benefits to both you and your employees. Telecommuters typically spend more time on the phone, and make more calls per day than office workers. Telecommuters are also happier, take less sick days and stay in their jobs longer. A virtual phone system is the perfect way to manage a remote workforce, while simultaneously increasing productivity and reducing overhead. It’s also a great sustainable and affordable business practice to attract and retain talent in a competitive marketplace,
So what are you waiting for? By investing in a virtual phone system, you can help save your business money in 2014 and beyond.