Switching to VoIP in 2024

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With the UK’s landline network set to switch off in early 2027, the answer to “Should I switch from landline to VoIP?” must, of course, be yes. Even if you weren’t being forced to upgrade, setting up a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone system offers significant benefits, including cost savings, flexibility, and great call features.

Now is the perfect time to set up VoIP for your business. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to make a smooth transition to VoIP in 2024.

1. Creating a Transition Timeline and Checklist

Estimated timescale: 2-4 weeks

As you prepare for the big switch-off, a successful transition from your current landline system to VoIP depends on you creating a comprehensive and realistic timeline and checklist based on this guide. This will help you stay organised and on track throughout the process.

Exact timescales will depend on your business size and requirements, but you should budget three to six months to make the move to VoIP.

To keep everyone on the same page, break down each task in this list and assign responsibilities to specific team members.

Throughout the transition, maintain open communication with your team and your VoIP provider. Regular check-ins and progress updates will help identify and address any issues that may arise, keeping your timeline on track.

2 – Choosing the Right VoIP Provider

Estimated timescale: 2-4 weeks

To choose a VoIP provider, consider factors such as your budget, the size of your team, and the features you need. Many VoIP providers offer features that can really improve your business communications, such as:

  • Call forwarding: Redirects incoming calls to another number.
  • Voicemail-to-email: Sends voicemail messages to your email as an audio file.
  • Auto-attendant: Provides a virtual receptionist to greet and direct callers.
  • Conference calling: Allows multiple participants to join the same call.
  • Customizable VoIP call routing: Ensures customers are routed to the right person as quickly as possible.
  • Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems: Allows callers to navigate through a menu without the need for a receptionist.
  • Call analytics and reporting: Offers you insights into call volumes and patterns.

Make a shortlist of business VoIP providers that offer the features you want and have a proven track record of reliability, security, and customer support. Read our reviews to get a sense of each provider’s reputation and the experiences of other businesses.

When comparing providers, consider the following factors:

  • Call quality and reliability: Ensure the provider offers high-quality, reliable service with minimal downtime.
  • Hosted vs. on-premises solutions: It’s important to understand the differences between hosted and on-premises solutions. Hosted providers handle the majority of the VoIP infrastructure for you off-site, making them typically easier and cheaper to implement.
  • Security measures: Look for providers that prioritise security and offer features like encryption and secure login protocols.
  • Scalability: Choose a provider that can quickly scale with your business as it grows.
  • Integration capabilities: Consider providers that offer seamless integration with your existing software and hardware, such as your customer relationship management (CRM) systems or mobile devices.
  • Customer support: Opt for a provider with responsive, knowledgeable customer support to help you troubleshoot any issues that may arise.
  • Pricing: Compare pricing plans and ensure you understand any hidden costs or fees. Look for providers that offer transparent, competitive pricing.

Once you’ve narrowed down your list, schedule consultations with each provider. This will allow you to ask questions, discuss your specific needs, and get a feel for their level of expertise and customer service.

After evaluating all factors, select the provider that best aligns with your business requirements and budget.

Did You Know?

VoIP phones systems are a type of packet-switched telephone system.

Find out the difference between packet-switched and circuit-switched systems on our page.

3 – Network Assessment and Bandwidth Considerations

Estimated timescale: 1-2 weeks

Next, conduct a thorough network assessment. This involves analysing your current network setup, including your internet connection speed, router, switches, and cabling.

VoIP calls require a consistent and reliable internet connection, so you’ll need to ensure your network has sufficient bandwidth to support the expected call volume.

As a general rule, each concurrent VoIP call requires approximately 100 kbps of bandwidth. However, it’s recommended to have more bandwidth available to account for other internet activities and to provide a buffer for peak call times.

4 – Hardware and Software Requirements

Estimated timescale: 2-4 weeks

One of the first decisions you’ll need to make when implementing VoIP is whether to use IP phones or softphones.

IP phones are physical devices that connect directly to your network and provide a traditional phone experience. Softphones, on the other hand, are software-based and can be used on computers, smartphones, or tablets.

If you opt for IP phones, you’ll need to purchase compatible devices that work with your VoIP provider’s system. Look for phones with features that match your needs, such as multi-line support, HD audio, or conferencing capabilities.

In addition to phones, consider any other hardware you may need, such as headsets, adapters, or routers. Ensure your network infrastructure can handle VoIP traffic by upgrading to VoIP-optimised routers and switches. Look for devices with Quality of Service (QoS) support so you can prioritise voice traffic over less important data.

On the software side, your VoIP provider will likely have a web-based portal or mobile app for managing your system and changing settings. Check that these tools are user-friendly and provide the level of control and customization your business requires.

5 – Integration with Existing Systems

Estimated timescale: 2-4 weeks

Many VoIP providers offer integration capabilities with popular software tools such as Salesforce, Microsoft Teams, or Zendesk.

  • CRM integration: With this feature, you can make and receive calls directly from your CRM, log call details, and access customer information during calls.
  • Helpdesk integration: This enables your support team to manage and resolve tickets more efficiently by integrating call data with your helpdesk platform. Features such as call queuing can help streamline your customer support operations.
  • Collaboration tool integration: Facilitates seamless communication by allowing you to make and receive calls directly from tools like Microsoft Teams or Slack.

Work with your VoIP provider to understand the integration process and any necessary steps or configurations. Some integrations may require additional software, API development, or specialised support.

During the integration process, ensure that data is syncing correctly between systems and that all features function as expected. Test different scenarios and workflows to identify any potential issues or areas for improvement.

6 – Training Your Staff

Estimated timescale: 1-2 weeks

Provide comprehensive VoIP training to your staff to familiarise them with VoIP features and capabilities as well as changes to existing workflows.
Start by developing a training plan that covers all the key aspects of the new system, including:

  • Basic phone functions (making and receiving calls, transferring calls, etc.)
  • Voicemail management
  • Conference calling
  • Using softphones or mobile apps
  • Accessing and managing online portals

Consider the different learning styles and preferences of your team members. Offer a mix of training methods, such as in-person sessions, video tutorials, and written guides, to cater to everyone’s needs.

Schedule training sessions well in advance and ensure that all team members can attend. Break the training into manageable chunks and provide opportunities for hands-on practice and Q&A sessions.

Identify tech-savvy employees who can serve as VoIP champions within each department. These individuals can provide peer support and help reinforce training concepts.

Offer ongoing support and resources to help employees adapt to the new system. This can include a dedicated helpdesk, FAQ documents, or regular refresher training sessions.

7 – Testing and Trials

Estimated timescale: 2-4 weeks

Set up a small test environment that mirrors your production setup as closely as possible. This should include a representative sample of your team, covering different departments and roles. During the testing phase, evaluate key aspects of the system, such as:

  • Call quality and reliability
  • Voicemail functionality
  • Call routing and transferring
  • Conference calling
  • Integration with existing tools and platforms
  • User experience and ease of use

Encourage your test team to use the system extensively, simulating real-world scenarios and workflows. Collect feedback and document any issues you need to fix before rolling out VoIP to a bigger group.

8 – Managing the Changeover

Estimated timescale: 1-2 weeks

The actual changeover process requires careful coordination and communication to minimise downtime and ensure a seamless transition.

Start by setting a clear timeline for the changeover, including specific dates and milestones. Communicate this timeline to all involved, including your team, customers, and any external partners.

  • Notify your customers and partners of the upcoming change well in advance. Provide them with any necessary information, such as new contact numbers or warnings about temporary disruptions to service.
  • Coordinate with your IT team and VoIP provider to ensure that all necessary hardware and software is in place and properly configured. This may include installing new phones, configuring network settings, and testing integrations.
  • Plan for a phased rollout, starting with a small group of users before expanding to the entire organisation. This approach allows you to identify and address any last-minute issues and ensures a more manageable transition.
  • On the day of the changeover, have your IT team and VoIP provider on standby to provide support and troubleshoot any issues.
  • Once the changeover is complete, monitor the system closely for any performance issues or user difficulties. Be prepared to make any necessary adjustments and provide additional training or support to your team.

9 – Setting Up Hybrid Teams

Estimated timescale: 1-2 weeks

A hybrid team consists of employees who work in a variety of settings, combining those who operate from a central office location with others who work remotely, either from home or from different geographical locations.

A well-configured VoIP solution can seamlessly connect team members, regardless of location, and ensure everyone has access to the same communication tools and features. To set up your VoIP system for hybrid teams:

  • Ensure that all team members have the necessary hardware and software, such as softphones or mobile apps, to access the VoIP system remotely.
  • Configure user profiles and settings to reflect each team member’s role, location, and communication preferences.
  • Set up call routing and forwarding rules to ensure that calls are directed to the right person, regardless of their location.
  • Establish clear guidelines and best practices for remote communication, including the use of video conferencing, instant messaging, and file sharing.
  • Train your team on how to use the VoIP system effectively in a hybrid environment, covering topics such as remote call handling, collaboration, and troubleshooting.
  • Test the system thoroughly to ensure that it can handle the demands of a distributed workforce, including high call volumes and simultaneous remote connections.

10 – Security Considerations

Estimated timescale: Ongoing

Prioritise VoIP security to protect your business communications from potential threats. VoIP systems can be vulnerable to various security risks, such as eavesdropping, call hijacking, and denial-of-service attacks.

To mitigate these risks:

  • Ensure your VoIP provider offers robust security features, such as encryption, authentication, and regular security updates.
  • Implement strong password policies and regularly update passwords for all user accounts.
  • Use virtual private networks (VPNs) with VoIP to secure remote connections and protect sensitive data transmitted over the internet.
  • Regularly monitor your VoIP system for unusual activity or potential security breaches, and have a plan in place to respond to any incidents.
    Train your team on security best practices, such as recognizing phishing attempts and protecting sensitive information during calls.

11 – Support and Troubleshooting

Estimated timescale: Ongoing

Even with thorough planning and testing, issues can arise with your VoIP system from time to time. To minimise disruptions and ensure a smooth user experience, have a reliable support and troubleshooting process in place.

Familiarise yourself with your VoIP provider’s support resources, such as online knowledge bases, user forums, and helpdesk contact information.

Encourage your team to use these resources when encountering issues or questions. They should also know how to report telephone system faults properly to minimise downtime.

Establish a straightforward internal process for reporting and escalating problems, and designate specific team members or IT staff to handle VoIP-related issues. These individuals should be well versed in the system and have direct access to your VoIP provider’s support team.

Regularly review and analyse support tickets and user feedback to identify common issues or areas for improvement. Work with your VoIP provider to implement any necessary updates, patches, or configuration changes to address these concerns.


Transitioning to a VoIP system before the PSTN switch-off requires careful planning, preparation, and execution. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure a smooth and successful switch from your traditional landline to a feature-rich, cost-effective VoIP solution. Remember to assess your needs, choose the right provider, and involve your team throughout the process.
For more information on your next steps, read our complete guide to transitioning your workforce to VoIP.


What are the benefits of switching to VoIP?
Switching to VoIP offers numerous benefits, including cost savings, increased flexibility, and advanced features. VoIP has great reliability, can scale easily, and supports remote work, making it an ideal solution for modern businesses.
How much does it cost to switch to VoIP?
The cost of switching to VoIP varies depending on factors such as the size of your organisation, the features you need, and your chosen provider. However, VoIP is generally more cost-effective than traditional landlines, with many providers offering affordable monthly plans and minimal upfront costs for hardware and installation.
Can I keep my existing phone number when switching to VoIP?
Yes, in most cases, you can keep your existing phone number when switching to VoIP. This process, known as number porting, allows you to transfer your current number to your new VoIP provider, ensuring a seamless transition for your customers and contacts.
Written by:
Eamonn is an experienced B2B writer and content manager, having managed and grown several B2B business blogs in the fitness and hospitality space.