Choosing Your Phone Service Provider in Madison, AL
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 Madison, 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 Madison, 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 Madison, 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 Madison, AL that will offer you a plan that is suited to your needs and budget.
How to Choose a Business VoIP service in Madison, 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 Madison, 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 PSTN Phone Service
Traditional analog service is known as PSTN, or public switched telephone network. This system is well over a hundred years old and was the first type of phone service available. The PSTN system is used all over the country and consists of satellites, cables and telephone lines. Our current mobile system is also part of the PSTN phone service system.
The PSTN system is actually more expensive to use in Madison, AL, because of the large infrastructure that needs to be constantly monitored and taken care of due to the age of the system itself. Since the PSTN uses an analog system, data being sent over a long distance can have trouble getting there.
Long distance calls made over the PSTN phone system requires the data to make a number of stops at various locations along the way through transmission. This data flows through equipment owned by a few different companies, making calls more expensive. Most parts of the infrastructure that calls are carried on have been fully digitalized, but the connection found between the local centre office and the consumer is still analog. This is known as the “last mile' and causes this type of system to cost more for consumers.
How a PBX Works with the Analog System
A PBX is a private branch exchange which will route calls within an office and is what most Madison, AL businesses use. When you have a business phone service, the PBX is what allows the caller to use different features, such as voicemail, call waiting, multiple extensions, conference calls and more.
The PBX to a traditional phone system may be found either at a remote location or at the caller's actual premises. But it doesn't matter where it is at, as using an analog PBX can be very expensive. The set-up alone can be very expensive, as a PBX requires different varieties of hardware that are the customer's responsibility to pay. Many times, the initial investment runs around $1,000 to start. This won't include installation of the hardware, or follow-up maintenance. While some companies have information technology employees who can maintain this equipment, many do not. The charge for fixing and maintain your PBX system can run anywhere from $100 an hour and up.
It's also important to remember that if you use a PBX in your Madison, AL business, you will be responsible for the cost of upgrading the system and/or expanding it if need be. This can cost a lot of money to do. Plus, a lot of PBX systems only support a few lines, so the price for having to accommodate your growing business with more lines will be your responsibility.
Additionally, a PBX may experience breakdowns in the future, as do many electronic hardware products. This could cost you a good bit in repair and hardware replacement costs if something happens to your PBX. If the system becomes obsolete in a few years, you will be responsible for that, as well.
Business Phone Service Providers in Madison, AL ZIP Codes
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