Finding a business phone service provider in Alexandria, AL can be confusing at times. But it is a very important first step when you are a business owner, whether you are just starting up or have been in business for years. The telephone is still the first form of communication most customers and vendors go for when they want to get in touch with a business, especially if that business happens to be further away. You need a phone service that is both affordable and reliable, so before you make the decision of what company to go with, do your research. There are two main phone service providers that you can choose from, either a traditional analog service or the newer VoIP phone service. You should understand just what the difference is between the two before you make your final decision. You can compare below the difference between these two types of providers.
VoIP Phone Service: How Does it Work?
VoIP stands for voice over Internet protocol. This type of phone service has been in use for more than a decade but has only become mainstream in the past few years. Many businesses have decided to try something new and get rid of their PSTN service. New companies, particularly start-ups, are also more likely to try VoIP phone service for their communication needs with their companies. Calls are simply carried through the company Internet provider and are exactly the same as when you use a traditional line. However, since your Internet will be used to conduct business calls, you will want to make sure your connection is strong and secure. If you would like, use our Wirefly Internet Speed Test to make sure you have dependable VoIP call quality.
The biggest difference when it comes to VoIP and PSTN service is the way the calls are carried through each one. A PSTN service still uses an analog signal to deliver calls. With a VoIP service, all calls are digitized and are sent through an Internet service provider instead. Using the Internet to carry calls is much more affordable than using a traditional analog service, so making and receiving phone calls costs less. This is especially helpful for any business that has to make a lot of long distance or international phone calls for their company. Many VoIP providers offer flat rate packages that are specifically for making long distance calls so their customers do not have to worry about huge rate increases on their bills every month.
With a VoIP service in Alexandria, AL, you can also request every type of feature that you would get with a PSTN phone service. You are probably used to features such as Caller ID and call forwarding, and these are basic features that most companies offer. You can also put in multiple extensions, have remote access to your voicemail and enjoy fax to voicemail when you choose a VoIP service provider. Just ask your provider when you set up your lines about all the extra features they supply.
How to Choose a Business VoIP Service Provider
Since VoIP phone service has become a popular choice in Alexandria, AL among business owners, more and more providers will be fighting for your business. This can make it hard to decide on which one to choose, but you can use this to your advantage.
You'll need to first think about what you need for your business. Do you need multiple lines? Are you planning to expand your company in the near future? How much is in your budget for phone service? These are just a few important questions to ask yourself. Next, compare the differences and similarities between companies. Figure out what packages you can get and for what price. Bear in mind that you should always pick a reliable and reputable VoIP provider for your business. A reliable phone system is crucial for your company and its continued success.
Understanding Traditional Business Phone Service
Traditional phone services carry all calls over the PSTN, which is the public switched telephone network. The PSTN network is what has been in use for about a hundred years and was the very first phone network to be used. It is available all over the country and is made up of satellites, cables, telephone lines and mobile networks. Most customers think of this type of service when they are considering a business phone service, only because it is what they are used to.
However, a PSTN phone service can cost more in Alexandria, AL than VoIP service. This is mostly due to the fact that the PSTN infrastructure is old and requires ongoing maintenance to it. Since PSTN is analog, it makes it harder to send data over longer distances.
Making a long distance call with PSTN means that the data sent will have to make numerous stops at locations along the way. Data flows through equipment that is owned by a number of different companies, causing this type of call to be more expensive. While much of the infrastructure that is used to carry, switch and route the telephone calls is completely digital, the “last mile', as it is known, is still an analog connection made between the customer and the local central office.
PBX: Private Branch Exchange
Most Alexandria, AL businesses use a PBX, or private branch exchange, to route the calls that go through their office. A PBX system allows different calling features to function correctly, such as multiple extensions, call forwarding, voicemail and more. It is an important part of the phone system.
A traditional PSTN phone system can utilize the PBX either from the user's premises or from a remote location. But an analog PBX has a big drawback, and that is the expense. When you set up a complete business phone system that includes a PBX, you will need various types of hardware that you will be required to purchase to get started. This expense falls on the business owner and the initial investment can be anywhere from $1,000 and up. Other factors, such as installation and configuration, are also not included in the initial price. Any maintenance that must be done on the PBX will also be the business owner's responsibility. Hiring a professional to come out to look at any problems can cost at least $100 an hour, if not more.
A traditional PBX may also breakdown or parts of it can become obsolete, again a problem that can be very costly to fix. Many of these systems do not support more than a few lines at a time, so upgrading to more if your business grows will add on the expense of having to purchase additional hardware. You'll get stuck paying for costly repairs for years to come if you choose this type of phone system for your business.
Business Phone Service Providers in Alexandria, AL ZIP Codes
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