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Has anyone figured out why PlusNet aren't doing VoIP?

G6JPG-0
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Has anyone figured out why PlusNet aren't doing VoIP?

I find this most puzzling; the only reason I can think of is that BT, as the parent company, are wanting to wind up PlusNet, but given it's still advertising PlusNet on TV and elsewhere, that seems unlikely.

It seems most strange: PN must have many customers who have broadband and 'phone with them - well, all, since at present you can't _not_ have 'phone (or couldn't until very recently, leading to the silly/infuriating "line rental" component), and at least a fair number of those customers (even if only say 5%) actively use the landline. It seems a very strange business decision not to offer a VoIP option; sure, customers can go with someone else (A&A, voipfone, zen, others), but surely there's always the worry (from PN's POV) that forcing customers to do that sort of looking around will also make them (the customers) also look around at other broadband offers too?

Unless they've found that the customers who actively use their landlines are also the most trouble (and thus they'd like to lose us). But I don't really suspect that PN's data-analysis is that fine-grained.

So it's puzzling. I'm _hoping_ PN will change their mind (fortunately my contract runs to late 2025 so I have time to look around leisurely, but I'd really like not to have the hassle of changing/splitting).

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MisterW
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Re: Has anyone figured out why PlusNet aren't doing VoIP?

I'll re post my reply to the other thread here and expand a little.

(and I really don't understand why PlusNet aren't offering VoIP - my only _guess_ is that BT are trying to kill off PN!)

PN have researched that a large percentage of users don't use a phone service. Lets face it, they have the data, they can see what percentage of users never use their phone! To provide a voip service requires significant infrastructure and support investment. PN provide the phone service currently using Openreach/BTw WLR (wholesale line rental) which means they have little involvment in providing the service , other than taking charging information from OR and billing it out. Any support uses OR online diagnostics and requests OR engineers if required.

PN have therefore assessed that its cost effective to offer a broadband only product. Any existing customers who wish to retain a phone service can be offered a transfer to other BT group companies.

I don't know whether their (PN) assessment is right or not, all I can say is that both of my daughters, who are over 40, have never used a landline in their life!. Both of them have internet services at home but neither even has a phone plugged in!

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G6JPG-0
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Re: Has anyone figured out why PlusNet aren't doing VoIP?

I suppose you're right, but it's sad.

You'd think they could come up with some jointing arrangement with a VoIP provider, as you say they currently do with Openreach/BTw WLR, whereby they just "taking charging information from OR and billing it out." They wouldn't have to do the "significant infrastructure and support investment" - just pass on the billing (adding ½%, why not) towards the customer, and passing queries/problems back to the provider (as they do in practice with the broadband).

 

Who knows, landline number use might even increase once VoIP gets better known.

MisterW
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Re: Has anyone figured out why PlusNet aren't doing VoIP?

You'd think they could come up with some jointing arrangement with a VoIP provider,

Yes, you would have thought that was a possibility. However those of us who've been around for a while will remember that Plusnet did have a voip trial many years ago. Originally that was in-house and then outsourced to Gradwell but it wasn't a roaring success. Maybe that has influenced the current thinking , although in fact the trial was perhaps a bit 'before its time'... 

There's also the issue of various organisations becoming aware of the limitations of voip, particularly in power failure and care pendant situations. Not quite sure why they have only just cottoned on to this, the ending of PSTN has been known about for years! but they're now making noises about having to provide battery backup and assessing vulnerable situations. It could become a minefield for ISPs providing Digital voice. Not sure how that will affect the third-party voip providers but I suspect they will be able to get away with the fact its a 'customer informed choice' 

Who knows, landline number use might even increase once VoIP gets better known.

Voip certainly can have some advantages, for instance when I moved house 3 yrs ago, I was able to retain my phone number of 40 yrs standing, despite the fact that I was moving some 50 miles away!. I now have two voip numbers , my old one and another one local to the area I now live in!. I'm always amused when I get spam calls (despite TPS) on the old number and they start 'we're in your area...' , my response  'I very much doubt that...'. Also had cause to go into my bank local branch, they were very confused by the contact number on my account

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G6JPG-0
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Re: Has anyone figured out why PlusNet aren't doing VoIP?

Getting a bit off-topic for this thread, but: outside the minefield of emergency provision during power cuts, you'd have thought there would be a wider market for whatever battery backup provision they're designing (for the routers, presumably); those of us with a reasonable battery lifetime on laptops, let alone all the households with (probably multiple) smartphones, would probably appreciate being able to retain connection during short power cuts; sure, can buy a UPS, but they're expensive, bulky, and high-maintenance for just the average router, for which basically just a box of AA cells (even NiMH ones are over 2½ Ah these days) would keep it going for a while.

MisterW
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Re: Has anyone figured out why PlusNet aren't doing VoIP?

outside the minefield of emergency provision during power cuts

problem is the real 'elephant in the room' is that many FTTC cabinets only have 30-40mins of backup!. Given that many people are still going to be on SoGEA(FTTC) lines for many years , it doesnt matter how much backup you have in the house , you'll still have no internet connection after 30-40mins!.

FTTP is much better, since there's no power required in the network until back at the OLT , which is in the exchange and will have battery and emergency generator backup.

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Protech
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Re: Has anyone figured out why PlusNet aren't doing VoIP?

@G6JPG-0 

 

The reason plusnet does not offer VOIP is that as part of BTs roadmap Plusnet is the value brand , offering a wires only product, with EE providing the premium consumer services.

 

BT itself is focused on business and corporate activities. It's solely a business and marketing decision. 

 

Interestingly when I contacted Plusnet, a few months ago, with a view to rejoining them. I was given the following answer to my question regarding VOIP services.

 


"if you would like a landline with one of our broadband-only packages you will need to get a VOIP landline from one of our VOIP landline suppliers as we don't supply them to our customers

Vonage

BT Digital Voice

Axvoice 

Ooma

 

 

BT digital voice was to be expected, and I was aware of Vonage, however I'd not even head of AxVoice and Ooma.

 

However as they are mentioned as Plusnet "suppliers" I would hope that any landline number migration to one of them would be as seamless as it would be with BT digital voice. 

 

Has anyone here had any experience of moving to one of these alternative VOIP services from Plusnet?

 

 

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MisterW
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Re: Has anyone figured out why PlusNet aren't doing VoIP?

@Protech TBH I suspect what you were told is complete rubbish!

I've never heard of Axvoice or Ooma either. As for BT Digital voice, AFAIK it's only available to customers with BT broadband

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Protech
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Re: Has anyone figured out why PlusNet aren't doing VoIP?

@MisterW 

I suspect you may be right. It was from as Plusnet sales agent 😉

Those other providers seem to be primarily B2B offering cloud VoIP .

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MisterW
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Re: Has anyone figured out why PlusNet aren't doing VoIP?

. It was from as Plusnet sales agent

i once worked in Technical sales support (not Plusnet I hasten to add!) and some of the sales people would say anything to please the customer, and then let tech support pick up the pieces...

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greygit1
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Re: Has anyone figured out why PlusNet aren't doing VoIP?

There are other elephants. Like lack of reliable mobile telecomms. Which BT assume will provide the backup.

Townman
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Re: Has anyone figured out why PlusNet aren't doing VoIP?


@MisterW wrote:

. It was from as Plusnet sales agent

i once worked in Technical sales support (not Plusnet I hasten to add!) and some of the sales people would say anything to please the customer, and then let tech support pick up the pieces...


Got those scars too - especially after they stopped me doing pre-sales support ...

Salesman: Sure it can do that...

Me: Yup, but only after a deal of costly customisation!

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dvorak
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Re: Has anyone figured out why PlusNet aren't doing VoIP?


Moderators Note


This topic has been moved from Home Phone to Everything Else

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corringham
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Re: Has anyone figured out why PlusNet aren't doing VoIP?

I believe that the reason Plusnet doesn't offer VoIP is simply that it is more profitable not to invest in a VoIP service, and simply milk the users that don't want/need VoIP or anything other than just a basic broadband service. It simplifies things and cuts costs for the equipment, the billing system, and the support staff.

They can push anyone that does want VoIP to BT, and if they lose a few customers it is still cheaper than investing in the business.

Archer
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Re: Has anyone figured out why PlusNet aren't doing VoIP?

I note on ISP Review, OR has apparently push the PSTN offload date back to end Jan 2027. Guess that gives us more time to concider options.