Finding a business phone service provider in Florida 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.
What is Business VoIP Service?
VoIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol, and it is the most advanced type of phone service available in Florida. 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 Florida 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 Florida that will offer you a plan that is suited to your needs and budget.
Choosing the Right VoIP Service for Your Florida Company
When you start your search for the best phone provider, you'll see that there are many VoIP service suppliers battling to do business with you. While you may be overwhelmed at first, you can actually use this to your advantage.
Consider what you need before you choose a company. You will want to know how many lines you will need, whether you will utilize the special features enough to be worth buying them and if your business has the potential to grow down the road. How much the companies charge for service will also be a factor. If you are a smaller company, you won't want a company that overcharges.
Compare all of the features between the companies to see who offers the most for the best rate. Look into the actual reputation of the company, as well. Finding a cheap VoIP service isn't beneficial if the company has poor customer service and a bad reputation. Remember that your company needs to have a reliable phone service to make and receive calls, so choosing a cheap company can actually lose you money if they do not offer reliable service.
Traditional Business Phone Service: What it is and How it Works
The traditional business phone service uses the PSTN, short for public switched telephone network. The PSTN system is still greatly used nationwide and routes calls through a series of cables, telephone lines and satellites. This system is also what most mobile networks go through. This phone system was the first of its kind and has been in use for around a hundred years.
The infrastructure of the PSTN system is very large and old, making it more difficult and expensive to maintain. This causes it to be more costly than Florida VoIP service because of the maintenance required to keep the system operational. PSTN is still analog, and sending calls long distances requires more work and expense.
Making a call over the PSTN when it is long distance requires the data to make stops at various locations. This data goes through different equipment that is owned by multiple companies, making the call more expensive. While most of the infrastructure that carries, switches and routes a PSTN call have become totally digital, the “last mile' is still analog. This is the connection found between the closest central office and the customer.
Combining PBX Service With a POTS System
Most enterprises in Florida use PBX (private branch exchange) service, which directs the calls that come into their office to certain departments. PBX is what enables the usage of different professional communications functions like extra lines, live meetings, call redirecting, voice messaging, and others.
With a conventional POTS telephone line, the PBX may be housed either at the customer's location or on a remote server. Regardless of which solution you go with, analog PBX systems have one major disadvantage: They are quite pricey. Configuring a comprehensive company phone network that runs a PBX requires the purchase of different kinds of machinery, which means making an investment of roughly $1,000 at minimum - and that doesn't include installing, setting up, and maintaining the system. For that reason, you'll have to either assign the chore to an on-site worker with technical skills or hire an expert, which could cost upwards of $100 per hour.
In case you do opt for a standard PBX system for your company's communications needs, it's important to remember that updating or growing it might be problematic and cost a lot of money. A lot of PBX circuits in Florida have limitations on how many lines they can accommodate. If your company expands and requires you to add extra lines, you'll have to buy even more equipment to support this expansion.
Similar to other pieces of digital machinery, a PBX can encounter issues and malfunctions. You might have to spend a lot of money out-of-pocket to repair and replace hardware if some component in your PBX fails. In addition, it could grow to be outdated and require replacement every couple of years.
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