An Easy Digital Voice Guide for The Over 60s

Vikki BournerWritten by Vikki Bourner, on 18 Apr, 2024

It may not have escaped your notice that technology continues to evolve at a pace that’s too fast for many of us. Sometimes the changes made as a consequence are small and go unnoticed. Others are large and significant. This blog has been written to tackle the latter because how we communicate is also undergoing a huge transformation. More specifically, the current system for home phones is being upgraded to digital voice. It’s a large undertaking to move the whole of the UK from copper wires to digital voice. Yet in just a few short years, everyone will be using this technology to make and receive calls.

At Phonely, we appreciate that change can feel scary and inconvenient. Plus the revolving door of new technologies can be both overwhelming and confusing. But there are so many benefits of digital voice that you should know. So, we’ve put together all the information you need about it in an easy-to-understand, plain English way.

A guide to digital voice that's simple to understand.

Understanding digital voice

Digital voice, also known as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), is a new method of transmitting voice communication. Instead of using traditional telephone copper wires, it uses the internet. Instead of plugging your phone handset into your BT wall socket, you will plug it into your broadband router. This technology offers several advantages, including improved call quality, enhanced features, and cost-effectiveness.

Compared to traditional analogue voice communication, digital voice provides crystal clear clarity and reliability. It reduces the likelihood of interference, static, or other audio distortions, resulting in easier-to-hear conversations. Additionally, digital voice services often include advanced features such as caller ID, voicemail, and call forwarding. This means making and taking calls will be far more convenient and user-friendly.

Benefits of digital voice for pensioners & the over 60s

For older individuals, or those who are vulnerable or have a disability, digital voice can be particularly beneficial. It can offer features tailored to their specific needs making communicating with loved ones and the outside world much easier and far more accessible. Here are some of the features you can find,

  • Better clarity & reliability: As briefly mentioned, this technology provides superior audio quality, ensuring that conversations are clear & easy to understand. This can greatly benefit those with hearing difficulties. They can better hear what’s being said without the interference of static or background noise.
  • Voice commands & accessibility features: Some digital voice services for pensioners include voice commands & features such as large buttons on handsets designed to assist users with mobility or dexterity challenges.
  • Scam & fraud protection: Some digital voice providers offer simple call blockers to protect customers from scams. But VoIP technology can go further. Here at Phonely, we offer a digital voice service which includes our innovative CallGuard feature. It’s an added layer of protection which blocks scammers at every turn.

These are just a few benefits, you can read about the 5 big benefits of home VoIP on our dedicated blog.

Transitioning to digital voice can protect the vulnerable

Telephone scams are on the rise and criminals are targeting the over-60s and those who are considered vulnerable. And as a society, we need to understand that becoming a victim of a scam not only affects your finances but your mental health and wellbeing too.

For Phonely, the dawn of digital voice, allowed our in-house tech team to design a system to shield people from telephone scams and fraud. And that system is called CallGuard. If criminals make it through Phonely’s global number blocker, they will hear an anti-fraud introduction before the call is connected. It will inform them that their call will be recorded. If still undeterred the suspicious call or keyword detection can alert a nominated trusted person who can intervene in live calls. At this point, the caller is likely to hang up. But if they don’t, the trusted person can end the call. Then check the call recording and use it as evidence if a report needs to be made.

CallGuard protects vulnerable people from telephone crime

Common questions when switching to digital voice

In the not-so-distant future, we will all be using digital voice. For some that switch-over has already happened, but for others they still have time. This means there are things to consider before you make the move.

Will my existing phone work with digital voice?

This question, and Do I need a new phone for digital voice? are very common. The answer of which is, it depends on what phone you have. If you have an analogue phone that you’d like to keep, you can buy an adapter which will allow it to work. If you have a phone from your current provider, it may only work with their service. So if you switch providers you will need to obtain a specific handset from them. At Phonely we have adapters and a range of handsets designed for accessibility.

Can I keep my existing number when switching to digital voice?

In most cases, yes. This process is called porting. Porting can take between 7 and 30 days, during which your service should not be disrupted.

Does digital voice work during a power cut?

Digital voice does need a power source to work. There are things you can do to ensure that you can still make calls to emergency services if your power fails. Having a backup battery is a great example. You can find even more in the article we wrote on the subject.

When will landlines be switched off for good?

Before April 2024, Openreach set a deadline of the end of 2025. Then in mid-April, they announced they are postponing the final switch-off until the end of January 2027.

Switch to digital voice now to save money.

In conclusion

We hope you now have a better understanding of digital voice and your mind has been put at ease about any worries you had.

Digital voice technology is the future of home phone communication, which can significantly improve how pensioners make and take calls. With the benefits of improved audio quality, voice commands, and innovative features like CallGuard, digital voice services provide a better alternative all around when it comes to analogue.

The consensus on whether you should wait if you’ve not switched, or switch now seems to err on the side of just get it done now. The most common reason is that it can save you considerable money compared to your analogue phone. And for a pensioner whose income is more than likely fixed, a monthly saving can make a huge difference.

If you want to make the switch sooner rather than later or have any questions about Phonely’s services, please feel free to contact our friendly service team or explore our Plans page to find the perfect option for your needs.

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