Let’s not pretend that you’ve never listened to a late night show, where listeners detail their love lives live on air? It’s these precious and revealing moments that make a good radio station successful, especially the listeners. So make sure you give them air time! Creating a switchboard is one great way of getting closer to your listeners and getting them even more involved in your shows. In this article, we’ll be explaining how to open a phone line for your radio station.

To do this, you have 2 solutions: you can either get a mobile phone number, stay traditional with a standard analogue line, or opt for your own VoIP system (Voice over Internet Protocol, which transmits your voice over the Internet).

The quickest and most tempting solution is probably to buy a mobile phone with a prepaid sim card. You’ll easily be be to purchase one from your local supermarket, post offices or newsagents (depending on which country you’re based in). The choice is vast and for less than £20, you can already purchase to mobile phone with a number on which your listeners can contact you.

ADVANTAGES

  • Fast, simple and effective, this is the perfect option to start off with.
  • If you already have a mobile phone, you can also easily find free prepaid sims cards included with pay as you go packs (often starting out at around £10, for example with O2)
  • There are no commitments, you decide when you want to top up!

DISADVANTAGES

  • You’ll need to remember to top up your card on a regular basis so that you don’t lose your number.
  • To put your listeners on air, you’ll need to have a phone with a jack.
  • This solution may no longer work for you if your radio station goes professional.

Top Tip: Find out how to put your listeners on air.

Prefer fixed to mobile?

If you’re lucky enough to own a studio with Internet, this solution might be the most suitable. You can ask to open a line with any of your major telephone operators and get a fixed phone number with your Internet subscription. All you have to do is connect a landline phone to your internet box and you’re done! And just like with a mobile phone, you can plug your phone into your mixer to put your listeners on the air.

ADVANTAGES

  • Your line is included in your Internet subscription, you kill two birds with one stone.
  • Having a fixed number increases your credibility.

DISADVANTAGES

  • Subscriptions can sometimes be expensive.
  • Most operators ask you to engage in some kind of contract.

VoIP

In 2016, Orange announced its intention to stop its traditional telephone services network as of September 2018, so now’s the time to start calling via the Internet. Thus, several platforms now allow you to make calls via the Internet. This can be done with a software such as Skype or a VoIP provider.

Skype is a free software that allows you to make calls to other people who also have Skype. Create an account, download the software and share your username with your listeners. They’ll be able to call you free of charge and easily communicate with you.

ADVANTAGES

  • It’s FREE!
  • Possible to receive video calls from your listeners.

DISADVANTAGES

  • If you decide to stay in free mode, your listeners will only be able to contact you using your username.

Top Tip: Put your listeners on air thanks to Voice Meeter.

If you want to take things to the next level and access slightly more professional services such as a switchboard  & the possibility of putting your listeners on hold, you’ll need to contact a VoIP service provider such as Voipfone. For £2.40, they’ll be able to provide you with a line and telephone number (Europe + USA) and point you in the right direction in terms of hardware.

ADVANTAGES

  • Probably the cheapest solution as it’s less expensive to transmit information over the Internet.
  • Possibility to choose your services and create a switchboard.

DISADVANTAGES

  • You might end up topping up your credit quite regularly, which can also be quite expensive.

Now you know how to invite your listeners to join you on air via your new phone line. Don’t forget to communicate your new number on all your social media pages!

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