Finding a business phone service provider in Shelby, 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.
Understanding VoIP Phone Service
Voice over Internet Protocol is a newer phone service type that gives users an alternative to putting in a traditional analog phone line. VoIP has been around for about ten years now but has just recently become more mainstream. Many businesses are finding that letting go of their traditional service and choosing VoIP is really helping their business communication needs. Using VoIP service gives you quality calls just like the traditional phone lines of old, but the calls are transferred through the Internet. Therefore, you must be sure that you have a strong Internet connection before choosing this type of phone service. If you are not sure if your current connection will support VoIP, use the Wirefly Internet Speed Test to check.
The biggest difference found between PSTN and VoIP is the way that calls are carried. With PSTN service, all calls are carried through an analog signal. VoIP uses the Internet and digitizes the calls you make and receive. A perk of this service is that sending your calls through the Internet is much less expensive than the traditional way, so making and receiving calls costs a whole lot less. This is a great choice for any business that deals with a lot of international calls because the rates are much lower. You'll also find packages that allow you to make unlimited calls to certain areas for one low price, eliminating the need to worry about per minute rates.
VoIP service in Shelby, AL will come with any type of calling feature that you could need for your business. These will include caller ID, multiple extensions, ring groups and call forwarding. You'll also have remote access to your voicemail, voicemail to email and fax to email service.
VoIP providers in the Shelby, AL area provide plans that are meant for small and large businesses alike. You may be a small company that needs just five lines or a large corporation who will require hundreds of extensions for your employees. Either way, there will be a VoIP service that can meet your business needs.
Choosing the Right VoIP Provider in Shelby, AL
You'll find that there are many service providers who will try and get you to hire their business in Shelby, AL. Use the competition you will find to your advantage while you compare and contrast their different plans and rates. Don't settle for the first company that comes your way, and don't let any sales people push you into choosing their plan before you understand what you are getting into.
You'll always want to make a list of the services you absolutely have to have for your company. You may need call forwarding because you close certain days and hours and need to get your calls right away. You could need multiple lines for your larger company or just one for your small store.
Then, look up different offers from business VoIP providers. Check out what type of features they provide and how much they are. You should also double-check their reputation before choosing a company. If they have poor customer service, this isn't a good sign. Remember, your customers need to get ahold of you, so a working phone line is an essential part of owning a business. If a company has too many complaints against them, you may consider passing them by, no matter how cheap they are.
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 Shelby, 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.
PBX Systems: What Does This Mean for You?
Most Shelby, AL businesses use a private branch exchange, or PBX, to route the calls that come through their company. The PBX is what allows the company to enjoy the different calling features, such as voicemail, caller ID, call forwarding and more.
When a company uses a traditional PSTN phone system, they must have a PBX, which can be located either at the company or at a remote location. But it doesn't matter where the PBX is located in terms of cost, as it is still very expensive to use. When you first need to set up the whole phone system, you'll be required to purchase a number of pieces of hardware. Your initial investment could cost at least $1,000, if not more. Other necessary steps, such as installation, configuration and future maintenance, will not be included in your initial purchase price. Therefore, if you need to hire a service technician to fix a problem, you will be paying at least a $100 an hour for them to come out to you.
Additionally, a traditional PBX system in Shelby, AL may need upgraded or expanded in the future, which can be both difficult and expensive to do. Since many PBX systems don't support more than a few different phone lines, if you need more extensions in the future you will be required to pay for the hardware to install them.
A PBX system can also experience breakdowns and issues after being installed. If it does, you will again be responsible for paying for the repairs and any hardware costs that your company needs. There is also the chance that your system could become obsolete at any time, forcing you to replace it.
Business Phone Service Providers in Shelby, AL ZIP Codes
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