When you need to find the right business telephone provider for your company in Birmingham, AL, it can be confusing choosing between the options available to you. However, the telephone is the first way that most people, especially clients and vendors, will get in touch with you, so having the right type of phone service is very important to a successful business. You want a service that is reliable and that will provide you with every feature that is necessary for you to run a smooth business. Carefully consider the two main types of business phone service companies, VoIP and Analog, before you decide which one is best for your company. You'll need to understand the drawbacks of each service, as well as the benefits. That way, you can make an informed decision about the one that is best for your business overall. Compare these providers in Birmingham, AL below and base your final decision on the company that you think is best.
Business VoIP Phone Service
The newest innovation in phone service is Voice Over Internet Protocol, commonly referred to as VoIP. VoIP provides Birmingham, AL 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 Birmingham, AL 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 Birmingham, AL 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 Find a Business VoIP Service Provider
In Birmingham, AL, VoIP has recently become very popular, as more and more business owners are realizing the benefits to this type of service after comparing it to traditional analog services. This means there are many providers that sell VoIP packages and who will compete for your business. This may seem confusing at first, but it is actually something you can use to your advantage, as you won't have to settle for just one company.
To begin, decide what features you absolutely have to have for your business. This may depend on how much you can spend for your phone service; if you think you will be expanding in the near future you will want to have the right add-ons. You'll definitely want to include call waiting and caller ID on your list, as these are basic features most companies need to use.
Look up the different offers from various VoIP phone service providers in Birmingham, AL. See what features they offer, how much they cost, and how well their company is doing. Consider their reputation before you make a decision. Having a working phone system in place is extremely important for your company, so you will always want a provider that has a good reputation and provides excellent customer service.
What is Plain Old Telephone Service?
With a traditional phone service, your calls will be carried over the POTS, which is also known as a PSTN (public switched telephone network). This system exists all throughout the nation and is composed of many wires, satellite dishes, cellular networks, and landlines. POTS has existed for nearly 100 years and was the first telephone network created.
Having a POTS phone service costs quite a bit more than VoIP in Birmingham, AL, primarily because the POTS framework is incredibly sizable, creaky, and demands continual upkeep. Since POTS is an analog-based system, it's hard for it to dispatch information across distances of any length.
Whenever you call some long distance on a POTS line, the signal will pause at several spots along its path of transmission. Because the signal will move through machinery being operated by a number of businesses, long-distance calls placed on a POTS line are not cheap. Much of the hardware once used to transport, exchange, and direct calls has become completely digitized, but the final link (the bridge linking the regional office to the user) remains analog.
Using a PBX and an Analog Phone System
Coupling an analog service with a Private Branch Exchange (PBX) is very common among Birmingham, AL businesses. A PBX is what allows an Analog Phone System to use different calling features like multiple extensions, voicemail and conference calls, since its main function is to reroute the calls received throughout the office.
If you are using a PSTN service, then the can be located within the office or hosted in a different location. Despite this, there is a big defect of an analog PBX: it is an expensive piece of hardware. From the beginning, it supposes a big investment as simply buying the hardware needed to set up a network can cost upwards of $1,000 without considering the installation and maintenance costs of the network. To keep everything running smoothly, the hardware needs to be maintained which means that you will either need to get an in-house technician or hire a professional service that can charge $100 an hour or more.
Another big drawback in using a PBX for your Birmingham, AL business is that expanding the service can be both difficult and expensive. Most PBX systems in the market support a limited amount of lines, this means that if you begin to branch out or otherwise expand your service you will have to pay for extra hardware to accommodate your needs.
As with all pieces of hardware, the PBX may become obsolete, meaning that it would have to be replaced every few years. This would be a continuous expenditure for your business. As well as becoming obsolete, the PBX can break down or develop faults that would have to be repaired and even replaced, meaning that in the long-run the PBX can become an expensive problem.
Business Phone Service Providers in Birmingham, AL ZIP Codes
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