Finding the Best Phone Service Provider in Alabama
When you own a business in Alabama, the most popular way to have customers contact you is still via telephone. This goes to show that having a sound, reliable telephone provider for your company is still the best way to bring in business and allow your customers to contact you easily. A phone service should be dependable, consistent and cost-effective, and should offer the services that you really need to run your business the right way. Make your decision carefully when you are choosing what type of phone service to choose in Alabama. You'll be given two choices when you need to set up a package, either VoIP or Analog. Each service has different features to them, so it is vital to understand what they offer before choosing one over the other. Before you make your final decision, read on to understand what both phone services offer and the differences they have.
* Most providers offering unlimited calling and or other promotions have restrictions based on term contracts or promo periods. Rates shown do not include E-911 charges and taxes. Read providers terms and conditions before you purchase.
Business VoIP Phone Service in Alabama
The newest innovation in phone service is Voice Over Internet Protocol, commonly referred to as VoIP. VoIP provides Alabama area business customers with a quality alternative to old-fashioned analog phone lines. Since being introduced a little more than a decade ago, VoIP has become more mainstream, with more business owners choosing to adopt this style of phone service in favor of traditional PSTN service. VoIP is also the preferred business phone system choice for new companies, especially smaller businesses. Even though phone calls are transported over the Internet, users report that call quality with a VoIP service sounds the same as when using a traditional phone line. Maintaining a reliable call quality for VoIP, however, is dependent upon having a quality business Internet connection. The Wirefly Internet Speed Test can prove useful to check if your current Internet connection will supports VoIP telephone service.
How the phone calls are carried is the main difference between PSTN and VoIP service. PSTN service carries calls over an analog signal. VoIP calls are digitized and transmitted through your Internet connection. VoIP service is a lot more economical for most businesses who send data, with the cost of making and receiving calls considerably less than using a traditional phone network. This is important if your business makes and receives a large volume of long distance as well as international calls. Determine whether or not the provider you are considering offers a flat rate package allowing for an unlimited amount of calls to certain destinations rather than charging for calls by the minute.
You can order a Alabama business VoIP service with virtually any calling feature that benefits your business. These include multiple extensions, voicemail with remote access, caller ID, ring groups, fax to email, call forwarding and voicemail to email.
Most business VoIP providers serving the Alabama business community offer a variety of plans combining features that suit the needs of businesses depending upon their size. You may be a small start-up venture needing just half a dozen lines, or the national headquarters for a large corporation with thousands of extensions. In either case, or anywhere in-between, there is a VoIP service to meet your needs and your budget.
How to Pick the Right VoIP Service Provider in Alabama
VoIP phone service plans are becoming more and more abundant in Alabama, so you will more than likely have your pick of the company you wish to choose. This can seem overwhelming at first, but don't let it be. You don't want to choose the very first company to come along! Use the different offers to pick and choose who will work the best for your company.
Before you pick a company, decide exactly what you will need for telephone service. Questions to consider are the number of lines that you will need for your business and whether that number could grow in the future, the features you will need to have and how much is in your budget to spend on phone service.
From there, you can browse through the various packages that many of the VoIP providers are offering. Look at the services they offer, the prices of their packages, and the overall reputation of each company. You won't want to choose a company just because they are the cheapest, as they may not be reliable. You'll always want to make sure that your customers can get ahold of you through your VoIP phone service, so choose a company that has great feedback.
Understanding Traditional Business Phone Service in Alabama
Traditionally, most calls are carried through the PSTN, the public switched telephone network. This is a nationwide system that uses telephone lines, cables, satellites and mobile networks to connect calls. This particular phone service has been around for more than a hundred years and was the very first type of phone service ever to be utilized.
However, the traditional PSTN telephone service is a more expensive choice when compared to VoIP, mostly because of the large infrastructure the system still relies on. Since it is so old and large, regular maintenance is needed to make sure it runs efficiently. Also, an analog signal has a harder time sending data over a long distance.
As a long distance call travels over the PSTN system, it stops at quite a few locations as it moves. The data is transmitted through old equipment owned by numerous companies, making the calls expensive. Most of the infrastructure used to carry and switch telephone calls has become digital, but the “last mile' of the call is still analog. This is another reason a PSTN service can ultimately end up costing business owners more.
PBX and the Analog Phone System in Alabama
Most Alabama companies use a PBX, or private branch exchange, to route calls that are received within their office. When you set up a business phone service, the PBX is what allows the users to enjoy the different call features, such as voicemail, caller ID, multiple extensions and more.
The PBX in a traditional PSTN phone system may be located at a remote location or at the user's premises. But no matter where it is, an analog PBX is expensive. A complete business phone system which uses a PBX will need countless types of hardware that the business owner must purchase themselves. This investment may start at $1,000 and up. Not only that, configuration and maintenance will be a separate cost, which could run you a $100 an hour or more.
Upgrading a traditional PBX in Alabama can be difficult and expensive. Many of the PBX systems only support a small amount of lines. This will become a problem if your business becomes larger and you need to add more extensions. You'll end up having to pay for more hardware to accommodate your growth, as well as the service hours to install them.
A PBX may also experience issues and breakdowns, much like other types of electronic hardware. This could result in expensive repairs and hardware replacement costs if you have a problem with your PBX. If your PBX becomes obsolete, you'll also be responsible for replacing it, which could conceivably occur every few years. This could end up costing you hundreds of dollars over time, plus the aggravation of having to have a costly service team come in.
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