HomeBusiness telephone systemsBest business phone lines – Compared and ranked for 2024

Best business phone lines – Compared and ranked for 2024



Are you looking for the best business phone lines? In today’s digital era, telecommunication remains a critical element of business operations. UK companies have a plethora of options for their telephony needs, ranging from traditional landlines to modern VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) services. Understanding these technologies and comparing options is essential for businesses to make informed decisions that align with their operational requirements and budget constraints.

Read on for everything you need to know when choosing business phone lines.

Understanding the different types of business phone lines

Landline

The traditional landline is still prevalent in the UK. It relies on copper wire or fibre-optic networks to transmit voice data. Landlines are known for their reliability and clarity of voice transmission. However, they often lack the advanced features that modern businesses may require.

VoIP

VoIP technology utilises the internet for voice communication. This versatile solution offers a vast array of features such as call forwarding, voicemail to email, and conference calling. VoIP is highly scalable, making it suitable for businesses of all sizes.

ISDN

Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) allows the transmission of voice and data over digital lines simultaneously. While ISDN offers higher quality voice transmission than traditional landlines, it is being phased out in the UK, with services expected to be completely withdrawn by 2025.

PSTN

The Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) is the aggregate of the world’s circuit-switched telephone networks that are operated by national, regional, or local telephony operators. It’s the traditional setup for most residential and many business customers, providing a dedicated line for telephone communication.

Top 5 business phone line packages on offer in 2024

As UK companies navigate the telecommunications marketplace, several standout packages offer comprehensive services tailored to business needs. Here are the top five business phone lines packages available in 2024:

ProviderPackage NameEstimated Starting Price (per month, per user)Notes
BTBusiness EssentialNot publicly listedPrices vary; contact BT for a precise quote
Virgin MediaBusiness VoIPNot publicly listedPrices vary; contact Virgin Media for a precise quote
RingCentralOfficeApprox. £15 – £54 (converted from USD)Exact UK pricing may vary; contact RingCentral for a precise quote
8×8X SeriesApprox. £9 – £44 (converted from USD)Exact UK pricing may vary; contact 8×8 for a precise quote
GammaHorizonNot publicly listedPrices vary; contact Gamma for a precise quote
Best business phone line packages compared

1. BT Business Essential phone line

BT’s Business Essential package is a solid choice for those seeking traditional landline services with the option to add features such as call divert and three-way calling. It is designed for small businesses that require a reliable connection with straightforward pricing.

Pros

  • Established and extensive network infrastructure.
  • Digital phone lines which are future-proof.
  • Free digital phone with certain packages.

Cons

  • Pricing not publicly listed; requires a quote.
  • Digital phone lines may not be available in all areas.
  • Traditional phones are not compatible with digital phone lines.

2. Virgin Media Business VoIP phone line

Virgin Media offers a VoIP package that is highly flexible and scalable, with a range of features such as cloud voicemail and mobile convergence. This package is suitable for businesses looking for an all-inclusive telephony solution that can grow with their needs.

Pros

  • Flexible and scalable solutions.
  • Potential for a wide range of features.

Cons

  • Reliant on internet connectivity for call quality.
  • Pricing information requires direct inquiry.

3. RingCentral Office phone line

RingCentral Office provides an all-in-one communication suite that includes VoIP calling, video conferencing, and team messaging. It’s an excellent package for businesses seeking to streamline their communication platforms and enhance collaboration.

Pros

  • All-in-one communication suite with extensive features.
  • Scalable to different business sizes.

Cons

  • Pricing may be higher compared to some competitors.
  • US-centric features may not all be applicable in the UK.

4. 8×8 X Series phone line

The 8×8 X Series offers a VoIP package that integrates voice, video, and chat all in one platform. With advanced analytics and international calling capabilities, it’s a great match for businesses with a global presence that rely on data-driven decision-making.

Pros

  • Competitive pricing.
  • Unlimited international calls in top-tier plans.

Cons

  • Some services, like unlimited calls, are US and Canada specific.
  • International calls are metered unless on a high-tier plan.

5. Gamma Horizon phone line

Gamma Horizon’s package is a comprehensive cloud-hosted VoIP solution that provides businesses with features such as auto-attendant, call recording, and disaster recovery options. This package is ideal for businesses that need a robust and reliable telephony system with exceptional business continuity features.

Pros

  • Comprehensive cloud-hosted VoIP solutions.
  • Business continuity features such as call recording and auto-attendant.

Cons

  • Not all features may be necessary for smaller businesses, potentially adding to costs.
  • Pricing and package flexibility is not clear without a direct quote.

Each of these packages offers a unique set of features and pricing models. It is advisable for businesses to conduct thorough research and possibly engage in trials where available to ensure the chosen package aligns with your specific operational requirements and expectations.

Comparing business phone line providers

When comparing providers, businesses must consider several factors:

Reliability

For landlines, BT maintains a significant portion of the UK’s network and is known for its reliability. VoIP reliability, however, hinges on internet connectivity. Thus, a provider with a robust infrastructure, such as Virgin Media Business or TalkTalk Business, may be a wise choice.

Features

Providers like RingCentral and 8×8 offer VoIP services with extensive features including video conferencing, analytics, and third-party integrations, which can enhance business communication.

Cost

Cost is a significant factor. VoIP solutions are often more cost-effective than traditional landlines due to lower setup and call charges. Companies like Vonage and Gamma offer competitive pricing models for VoIP services.

Customer service

The level of customer service is crucial, especially for businesses that rely on constant communication. Providers such as EE and Vodafone have dedicated business support teams to resolve issues promptly.

Scalability

As businesses grow, their telephony needs may change. Providers that offer scalable solutions, such as VoIP services from Cisco and Avaya, can adapt to changing business needs without significant new investments in infrastructure.

Transition support

With the ISDN switch-off looming, providers that offer support in transitioning to newer technologies can be particularly valuable. BT, for example, is assisting businesses in migrating from ISDN to VoIP services.

Choosing business phone lines – The verdict

Selecting the right phone line service for a UK company involves balancing various factors including technology type, provider reliability, feature sets, cost, customer service, and scalability. While traditional landlines offer reliability, VoIP and PSTN services provide a blend of innovation, flexibility, and efficiency that can drive a business forward.

As the industry moves towards an all-IP future, it is prudent for businesses to consider transitioning to a VoIP provider, which offers a future-proof telephony solution.

With careful consideration and a strategic approach, UK businesses can choose the telephony service that best suits their needs, ensuring robust and reliable communication that facilitates growth and success.

FAQ about business phone lines

What are the key considerations when choosing a business phone line?

Factors to consider include call quality, reliability, cost, features offered, customer support, scalability, and how the phone line technology aligns with your business needs.

How can I ensure business continuity with my phone system during power outages?

Look for phone systems with backup options, like call forwarding to mobile devices or battery backups, to maintain operations during power outages.

Is it possible to integrate a business phone line with other office systems?

Many modern phone systems, especially VoIP, offer integration capabilities with CRM systems, email, and other office productivity tools.

Can a business phone line support remote or mobile working?

VoIP and digital lines often support apps that allow employees to make and receive calls from anywhere, facilitating remote and mobile working.

What should I do to prepare for the ISDN switch-off in 2025?

Start planning to transition to a VoIP or cloud-based system, as these will be the standard options after the ISDN network is retired.

How does the cost of maintaining a landline compare with newer technologies like VoIP?

Newer technologies such as VoIP typically have lower maintenance and call costs compared to traditional landlines, and they offer a broader range of features.

Compare Prices ⓘ