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 Idaho, 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.
VoIP Phone Service: 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 Idaho. 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 Idaho. 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.
Choosing the Right VoIP Service for Your Idaho 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.
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 Idaho 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.
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 Idaho 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 Idaho 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.
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