Choosing the Right California Business Phone Service Provider
The ability of your customers to reach out and purchase your product or service in California depends upon your choosing a reliable telephone service provider. Using the telephone remains the number one way most customers still use to get in touch with your business. Choosing the right kind of phone service for your business means contracting with a service that is affordable, dependable, and offers your business the specific features that make doing business with you as easy and convenient as possible. It's important to take the time to carefully evaluate a variety of business phone service types and providers available in the California area before making a commitment. You can choose between traditional analog telephone service, or VoIP service, explained in the comparisons of business phone service providers that follow.
* Most providers offering unlimited calling and or other promotions have restrictions based on term contracts or promo periods. Rates shown do not include E-911 charges and taxes. Read providers terms and conditions before you purchase.
VoIP Phone Service in California: 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 California. 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 California. 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.
Picking Out a VoIP Carrier for Your California Business
Now that VoIP has become a favorite with business owners, a lot of carriers are ready to fight for your attention. On first glance this may make it seem hard to pick out a specific provider, but you can in fact benefit from this.
The first step is to take into account your needs in relation to a professional phone system. Think about things like how many extensions you'll require, what functions you'll have to use day by day, whether you expect to expand your company in the coming months, and what your budget is for business telephone service.
After that, you can search for plans from the numerous commercial VoIP companies in California. Scope out the plans they have, how much they cost, and the company's industry standing in general. Keep in mind that functional telephone service is vital to your company's profitability, so try to select a vendor that has established itself positively in terms of dependability and customer support.
What is Traditional Phone Service in California?
With traditional phone service, your calls will be carried over the PSTN, a nationwide system of cables, satellites, mobile networks and telephone lines. This analog system has been around for nearly a hundred years and it was the first of its kind when it first started. Using a PSTN telephone service in California can be very expensive because of the size of the infrastructure involved and the cost of maintaining it.
If you plan on sending data over long distances a PSTN service might not be the best choice, as it is an analog system and as such, it has trouble sending data across long distances. This happens because the data will stop at different locations while being transmitted, not does this make it unreliable in long-distance transmissions but it also becomes expensive very quickly, as the data passes through different equipment that is most likely owned by different companies. Currently a lot of the network is digital; however, what is called “the last mile' –the connection between the local central office and the customer– continues to be analog.
Analog Phone System and PBX in California
Most California 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.
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