Finding a business phone service provider in Lafayette, 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: What it is and How it Works
VoIP stands for voice over Internet protocol and is one of the most recent types of phone services available in Lafayette, AL. This is an alternative system that has been around for over ten years but is just now beginning to become more mainstream. A large number of businesses are making the switch from traditional phone service to VoIP, especially start-ups who are willing to try a new system. Call quality of a VoIP phone service is just the same as when you have a traditional phone line in place, even though the calls are made through the Internet. For this reason, a reliable business Internet connection is crucial to have in order to receive dependable VoIP service in Lafayette, AL. If you want to make sure your connection supports VoIP, use the Wirefly Internet Speed Test to check.
Many people aren't aware of how VoIP phone service works, so they may shy away from it. VoIP carries calls through the Internet instead of a traditional analog signal that many people are used to. Sending calls through your Internet provider is actually much cheaper than the traditional way of making calls through telephone lines and cables. Calls can be made and received for a lot less than what you are paying now. VoIP phone service also offers international and long distance calls for much less of a price. More and more providers are putting together long distance packages that allow you to pay a flat rate each month, perfect for businesses that make a lot of these types of calls. You won't have to worry about surprise bills that put you way over budget.
VoIP phone service plans also offer a variety of features that you can add-on to your package. You can request hundreds of features such as caller ID, call-waiting, call-forwarding, voicemail with remote access and more. If your business is larger and you need multiple extensions, VoIP can supply them for you.
VoIP phone service plans are also designed for different company sizes. You may be starting up and only need a few different lines, or your corporation may have hundreds of employees who all need their own extensions. No matter what, you'll easily find a VoIP service that can fit your needs for a reasonable price.
How to Choose a Business VoIP service in Lafayette, AL
Since VoIP is a very popular feature nowadays, there are many different companies that provide it and will compete to get your business. It may seem difficult to make the choice of who gets your business, but you will actually be able to use this to your advantage.
To begin, consider what your needs are when it comes to needing a telephone line for your company. Think about how many lines you will need to have, what types of features your company will absolutely need on a regular basis and if your business could expand in the future. Of course, you will also need to consider how much you can pay for your VoIP service.
After you decide this, consider the different companies in Lafayette, AL that offer business VoIP services. You'll be faced with many, but take your time to compare their features and rates. Look at what services they offer, how much they cost and whether they provide service in your area. You'll also want to consider the actual reputation of the company and how long they have been in business. Don't lose sight of the fact that a working business phone is absolutely crucial to your business. You need a company who can deliver on their promises and be there when there is a problem. A good track record of the company and great customer service is also quite important.
Understanding Traditional Business Phone Service
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.
Using a PBX and an Analog Phone System
Coupling an analog service with a Private Branch Exchange (PBX) is very common among Lafayette, 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 Lafayette, 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 Lafayette, AL ZIP Codes
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