When you need to find the right business telephone provider for your company in Ashland, LA, it can be confusing choosing between the options available to you. However, the telephone is the first way that most people, especially clients and vendors, will get in touch with you, so having the right type of phone service is very important to a successful business. You want a service that is reliable and that will provide you with every feature that is necessary for you to run a smooth business. Carefully consider the two main types of business phone service companies, VoIP and Analog, before you decide which one is best for your company. You'll need to understand the drawbacks of each service, as well as the benefits. That way, you can make an informed decision about the one that is best for your business overall. Compare these providers in Ashland, LA below and base your final decision on the company that you think is best.
VoIP Phone Service: How Does it Work?
VoIP stands for voice over Internet protocol. This type of phone service has been in use for more than a decade but has only become mainstream in the past few years. Many businesses have decided to try something new and get rid of their PSTN service. New companies, particularly start-ups, are also more likely to try VoIP phone service for their communication needs with their companies. Calls are simply carried through the company Internet provider and are exactly the same as when you use a traditional line. However, since your Internet will be used to conduct business calls, you will want to make sure your connection is strong and secure. If you would like, use our Wirefly Internet Speed Test to make sure you have dependable VoIP call quality.
The biggest difference when it comes to VoIP and PSTN service is the way the calls are carried through each one. A PSTN service still uses an analog signal to deliver calls. With a VoIP service, all calls are digitized and are sent through an Internet service provider instead. Using the Internet to carry calls is much more affordable than using a traditional analog service, so making and receiving phone calls costs less. This is especially helpful for any business that has to make a lot of long distance or international phone calls for their company. Many VoIP providers offer flat rate packages that are specifically for making long distance calls so their customers do not have to worry about huge rate increases on their bills every month.
With a VoIP service in Ashland, LA, you can also request every type of feature that you would get with a PSTN phone service. You are probably used to features such as Caller ID and call forwarding, and these are basic features that most companies offer. You can also put in multiple extensions, have remote access to your voicemail and enjoy fax to voicemail when you choose a VoIP service provider. Just ask your provider when you set up your lines about all the extra features they supply.
Choosing the Right VoIP Provider in Ashland, LA
You'll find that there are many service providers who will try and get you to hire their business in Ashland, LA. 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 PSTN, or Traditional Business Phone Service?
A traditional phone service carries all calls over the PSTN. This stands for public switched telephone network and is generally what most consumers think of when they think phone service providers. This system has been around for nearly 100 years and is made up of cables, telephone lines, satellites and mobile networks. This was the very first type of phone network to ever be used.
However, the PSTN actually is more expensive than VoIP, because of how old and large the PSTN infrastructure is. It requires very regular maintenance and that cost gets passed onto consumers. PSTN is analog, so it is harder sending data over longer distances.
When someone makes a long distance call to or from a Ashland, LA business using the PSTN, the data stops at different places along its journey. The equipment that is in use is also owned by various companies, making these types of calls more expensive. While most of the infrastructure that carries and routes these calls has become digital, the “last mile' is not. The connection between the caller and the local central office is still analog.
PBX and the Analog Phone System
Most Ashland, LA businesses typically use a PBX, or a private branch exchange, that routes the calls that come into their office. The PBX is the system that allows the different calling features found in the analog system, such as call forwarding, voicemail, multiple extensions and conference calls.
With most traditional PSTN phone systems, the location of the PBX can be hosted from a remote location or found right at the user's premises. However, no matter where it is, an analog PBX can be very expensive. When you set up a complete phone system that needs a PBX, you will need different types of hardware that could cause your initial investment to cost at least $1,000. Remember, installation, configuration and future maintenance will not be part of your purchase price. If you have an in-house technical staff that can fix things later on, that would be beneficial to your finances. However, most business owners need to hire a professional, which usually costs at least a $100 an hour or more.
If you do decide to use a traditional PBX for your business phone needs in Ashland, LA, remember that if you need to upgrade or expand later on, it can get expensive. Some PBX systems will only be able to support a small amount of lines. So if your business grows and expands, adding additional lines will mean paying for more hardware.
Unfortunately, a PBX system will also be subject to breakdowns and problems, just like any other electronic system. You may end up paying high repair and hardware bills if something happens to your system. Plus, if it becomes obsolete, you may need to replace it every couple of years, costing your company even more money.
Business Phone Service Providers in Ashland, LA ZIP Codes
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