Are you a business owner who is in need of putting in a phone line for your office or building? If you are, you have more options than previous business owners did years ago. While we all love the use of social media to promote our business services, most customers still use the phone to call in orders, ask questions and voice concerns, to name just a few reasons. You will need a reliable, dependable phone service provider when you own or operate a business in Jones, AL, so understanding your choices is important before you make your final decision. You can choose between a VoIP or analog phone service when you are looking for a phone company that will work with your company. Understanding the differences and similarities first will help you make an informed and educated decision that will benefit your company for years to come.
What is Business VoIP Service?
VoIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol, and it is the most advanced type of phone service available in Jones, AL. VoIP phone service offers business customers an alternative to using the traditional Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) with an analog line. VoIP has been around for over a decade. In the last few years, the service has become more popular as more businesses are making the switch from PSTN to VoIP.
The main difference between PSTN and VoIP is the way in which the calls are carried. A PSTN service offers an analog signal to carry the call, while a VoIP digitizes the calls and carries them through the internet. Before choosing a VoIP service you must make sure that your internet service can handle the bandwidth required. You can use the Wirefly Internet Speed Test to check this. Sending and receiving data from the internet is much cheaper than using the phone network, and if you make frequent long-distance or international calls your phone bill can rise very quickly. However, with VoIP service you will find that the cost of each call is significantly lower to that of a PSTN provider. As well as offering a significantly cheaper service, many VoIP providers also offer a flat-rate package that allows you to make unlimited calls to certain locations without worrying about per-minute charges.
There are many features regularly included in business VoIP service plans. Most Jones, AL providers offer the regular PSTN services such as multiple extensions and caller ID's, as well as offering other interesting features like remote access to voicemail, ring groups, fax-to-email, call forwarding and many other useful add-ons that will ensure that you get the best service for your business's needs.
VoIP service providers offer many different plans. Whether you are a small company with only five lines, or a large corporation with hundreds of extensions, there is likely a VoIP service provider in Jones, AL that will offer you a plan that is suited to your needs and budget.
How to Choose a Business VoIP Service Provider
The growing popularity of VoIP service means that there are more Jones, AL business service providers willing to complete for your business. At first glance, you may initially feel overwhelmed, but having a wide choice can actually work to your advantage.
To determine your needs in terms of business telephone use, ask yourself some important questions. These may include how many lines you will need, what features are important to your business on a consistent basis, will your business be expanding within the next two years, and what are you budgeting to cover business phone service.
Then begin to compare the offers being given by several of the leading Jones, AL business VoIP providers. What services are included in their plans, how are rates determined, and does the service provider have an excellent reputation. Having reliable phone service connecting your business to your customers is critical to your business success. You should ultimately choose a service provider that has demonstrated consistent reliability and the ability to provide excellent customer service.
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 Jones, 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.
Analog Phone System and PBX
Most Jones, AL businesses use a private branch exchange, or a PBX, that routes the calls that they get within their office. When you have a business phone service, the PBX is what allows the different calling features to happen, such as call forwarding, voicemail, conference calls and more. You also need a PBX to run multiple extensions in your office.
A traditional PSTN phone system can host the PBX either at a remote location or actually at the place of business. Unfortunately, either option can be very expensive. When you need to set up your business phone system using a PBX, you will have to invest in a lot of different types of hardware. This could run your business at least $1,000 to start. Not only that, but installation is not included in this price, as well as the configuration of the equipment and any maintenance that will need to be done later on. You will either need to have someone in your company take care of any maintenance down the road or call the company to have a service representative come and fix the issue. This could run your company at least $100 an hour or more, which can get expensive when you need to call multiple times.
If you do choose to use a traditional PBX for your business, you should be aware that you may have to upgrade or expand it in the years ahead. This is also expensive. Not only that, you may be limited on the number of lines that you can add to your phone system. If you do need to add lines to your growing company, you will be required to pay for the hardware and the installation to accommodate your business growth. A PBX is also known to breakdown, which will also cost a great deal to fix.
Business Phone Service Providers in Jones, AL ZIP Codes
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