District of Columbia Business Phone Service Providers
Finding a business phone service provider in District of Columbia 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 District of Columbia 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 District of Columbia 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.
How to Find a Business VoIP Service Provider
In District of Columbia, VoIP has recently become very popular, as more and more business owners are realizing the benefits to this type of service after comparing it to traditional analog services. This means there are many providers that sell VoIP packages and who will compete for your business. This may seem confusing at first, but it is actually something you can use to your advantage, as you won't have to settle for just one company.
To begin, decide what features you absolutely have to have for your business. This may depend on how much you can spend for your phone service; if you think you will be expanding in the near future you will want to have the right add-ons. You'll definitely want to include call waiting and caller ID on your list, as these are basic features most companies need to use.
Look up the different offers from various VoIP phone service providers in District of Columbia. See what features they offer, how much they cost, and how well their company is doing. Consider their reputation before you make a decision. Having a working phone system in place is extremely important for your company, so you will always want a provider that has a good reputation and provides excellent customer service.
What is Traditional Phone Service?
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 District of Columbia 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.
PBX Systems: What Does This Mean for You?
Most District of Columbia 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 District of Columbia 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.
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