Are VoIP phones better for the environment than landlines?

As a leading provider of communication services in Hampshire and beyond, Kingstar Services always looks at ways to enhance communication. With growing concerns about the impact of technology on the environment, we decided to take a closer look at the most commonly used phones: VoIP phones and traditional landline phones. 

In this article, we’ll look at the advantages and disadvantages of these phone systems, focusing on how they impact the environment. We’ll look at energy efficiency, electronic waste reduction, remote work, energy usage and internet reliance. 

Advantages of VoIP phone systems for the environment

VoIP systems have become more prevalent in recent years as they can be more versatile for growing businesses and those who do business internationally, work from home or have hybrid offices.

There are several benefits of VoIP for a business phone system, and from an environmental perspective, the advantages include the following:

  1. Energy Efficiency: One of the most significant advantages of VoIP phones is their energy efficiency compared to traditional landlines. VoIP phones operate using the internet, which typically requires less power than the hardware used in landline phones. This reduction in energy consumption results in a lower carbon footprint, contributing to a cleaner and more sustainable environment.
  2. Electronic Waste Reduction: The disposal of electronic devices is a significant environmental issue, and traditional landline phones are no exception. On the other hand, VoIP phones can help reduce electronic waste as they do not require additional hardware and can be easily updated through software upgrades. This reduces the amount of waste that ends up in landfills and helps to conserve natural resources.
  3. Remote Work Capabilities: In recent years, remote work has become increasingly popular, and VoIP phones play a crucial role in enabling this. By allowing employees to work from home, remote work reduces the carbon emissions associated with commuting and business travel. Furthermore, many VoIP phones are equipped with advanced features, such as video conferencing, allowing seamless collaboration between remote workers.

Disadvantages of VoIP phone systems for the environment

Of course, nothing is perfect! VoIP technology also has potential drawbacks to the environment. This includes: 

  1. Data Center Energy Usage: One of the main disadvantages of VoIP phones is the energy consumption associated with the data centres that host the technology. Data centres are responsible for storing and processing vast amounts of data, which requires significant energy. The energy consumption of data centres can make VoIP less environmentally friendly than it appears on the surface.
  2. Internet Reliance: VoIP phones rely on a stable and reliable internet connection, which means that they depend on the infrastructure that supports the internet. This infrastructure requires significant energy to maintain and can contribute to carbon emissions. Therefore, the carbon footprint of internet infrastructure can further offset the environmental benefits that VoIP phones offer.

Although these disadvantages are a factor, in most cases, businesses will already be using the internet, so the real question is how much more usage will you need for VoIP?

How much more bandwidth will a VoIP phone system use?

It is difficult to determine the exact amount of additional internet usage that a VoIP phone system will consume, as it depends on several factors, such as the number of users, the frequency of use, and the quality of the internet connection.

However, as a general estimate, a VoIP phone system typically uses between 60-100 kbps of bandwidth per call, with video calls consuming higher amounts of bandwidth. For larger organisations with many users and frequent call volume, the additional internet usage can be substantial and may require upgrading the existing internet infrastructure.

It is important to keep in mind that a reliable and stable internet connection is essential for a successful VoIP phone system. A poor-quality internet connection can result in poor call quality and other technical issues, which can impact the system’s overall performance.

Are VoIP phones better for the environment than landlines?
Photo by Brandon Hoogenboom on Unsplash

Do traditional landlines impact the environment?

Regarding environmental impact, traditional phone lines consume little energy and do not require significant technology infrastructure. They are also durable and long-lasting, reducing the need for frequent replacement. 

However, traditional phone lines rely on a physical network of copper wires and other hardware, which can impact the environment during the production and disposal stages. 

The production of materials for traditional phone lines requires using natural resources, and the disposal of these materials can contribute to electronic waste.

Choosing the right phone system for your business 

VoIP and landline phone systems offer unique advantages and disadvantages for the environment. 

VoIP phones offer energy savings through IP networks, remote work capabilities, and a reduction in the need for physical travel. However, the energy consumption of data centres and the reliance on internet infrastructure can offset these benefits.

Landline phone systems are known for their energy efficiency, long-term durability, and limited reliance on technology. However, they are less versatile than VoIP phones and may not offer the same remote work capabilities.

In the end, both VoIP and landline phone systems have the potential to positively or negatively impact the environment, and the choice of technology will depend on the specific needs of the business or organisation.

If you want further help choosing the best phone system for your business, get in touch with Kingstar Services. We’ll be happy to help.

Image of phone lines to answer the question Are VoIP phones better for the environment than landlines?
Photo by Todd Aarnes on Unsplash

Article authored by Laura Bean Creative Little World


Philip Gilkes

My aim and mission are to provide a personal level of service that keeps your tech running correctly and helps your business thrive.

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