The right phone service provider can help make your Houlton, ME business a great success. Most businesses, both small and large, have an online presence, but the telephone is still the first way that customers get in touch with a company they would like to do business with. Because of this, the right phone service is essential for anyone who owns or operates a business, so you will want to make sure you find a phone service provider that gives you the service that you need. The company you choose should be both affordable and reliable and able to provide you with different features. Before you make your final decision as to who you want to use, evaluate the service types available in your area. You'll find that analog service and VoIP service are the two types that are the main ones near you. Each one has different features and qualities, so it is important to compare the two before you decide which one is right for your business and for your budget.
What is Business VoIP Phone Service?
The more recent type of phone service, VoIP, stands for voice over Internet protocol. This is a new alternative to using the more traditional analog phone lines of the past. VoIP phone service in Houlton, ME has been around for nearly a decade but has just now become more popular among business owners. Many people are making the switch to VoIP from their traditional PSTN lines. Newer companies, especially small start-ups, are also more likely to choose this type of service for their company. They'll get the same call quality as they would with analog but at a lesser price. Calls are carried through your current Internet provider, so it is important to make sure your connection is strong enough that all of your calls always go through. Use the Wirefly Internet Speed Test to make sure your current Internet service provider supports VoIP before choosing a company. If they don't, it would be worth the switch to find a company that does, as you will save money in the end.
The biggest difference between these two phone services is the way that phone calls are carried. Most people using the analog system know that their calls are run through cables and telephone lines. VoIP calls are actually digital and go through your Internet connection instead. This is a less expensive way of making phone calls than by the regular old analog system, so making and receiving calls costs the consumer less. It is also much cheaper to make international and long distance calls with VoIP. Look for a company who has a flat rate package available for these types of calls if you frequently make long distance phone calls from your place of business. You won't have to worry about the cost of per minute calls if you have a package that includes everything.
Another perk of VoIP service in Houlton, ME is that these phone service companies offer many different calling features to their customers. You're probably used to having perks such as call waiting, Caller ID, voicemail and call forwarding. VoIP service offers these and more, such as fax to email, remote access to voicemail, and multiple extensions.
Most VoIP providers strive to meet the needs of all of their Houlton, ME businesses by offering their service to companies both big and small. Maybe you only need one or two lines for your small, family owned company, or your larger corporation needs hundreds of extensions to meet the needs of all of their employees. No matter what you need for your company, there will be a phone service that can fit the bill.
How to Choose a Business VoIP Service Provider
The growing popularity of VoIP service means that there are more Houlton, ME business service providers willing to complete for your business. At first glance, you may initially feel overwhelmed, but having a wide choice can actually work to your advantage.
To determine your needs in terms of business telephone use, ask yourself some important questions. These may include how many lines you will need, what features are important to your business on a consistent basis, will your business be expanding within the next two years, and what are you budgeting to cover business phone service.
Then begin to compare the offers being given by several of the leading Houlton, ME business VoIP providers. What services are included in their plans, how are rates determined, and does the service provider have an excellent reputation. Having reliable phone service connecting your business to your customers is critical to your business success. You should ultimately choose a service provider that has demonstrated consistent reliability and the ability to provide excellent customer service.
Understanding PSTN Phone Service
Traditional analog service is known as PSTN, or public switched telephone network. This system is well over a hundred years old and was the first type of phone service available. The PSTN system is used all over the country and consists of satellites, cables and telephone lines. Our current mobile system is also part of the PSTN phone service system.
The PSTN system is actually more expensive to use in Houlton, ME, because of the large infrastructure that needs to be constantly monitored and taken care of due to the age of the system itself. Since the PSTN uses an analog system, data being sent over a long distance can have trouble getting there.
Long distance calls made over the PSTN phone system requires the data to make a number of stops at various locations along the way through transmission. This data flows through equipment owned by a few different companies, making calls more expensive. Most parts of the infrastructure that calls are carried on have been fully digitalized, but the connection found between the local centre office and the consumer is still analog. This is known as the “last mile' and causes this type of system to cost more for consumers.
Using a PBX and an Analog Phone System
Coupling an analog service with a Private Branch Exchange (PBX) is very common among Houlton, ME businesses. A PBX is what allows an Analog Phone System to use different calling features like multiple extensions, voicemail and conference calls, since its main function is to reroute the calls received throughout the office.
If you are using a PSTN service, then the can be located within the office or hosted in a different location. Despite this, there is a big defect of an analog PBX: it is an expensive piece of hardware. From the beginning, it supposes a big investment as simply buying the hardware needed to set up a network can cost upwards of $1,000 without considering the installation and maintenance costs of the network. To keep everything running smoothly, the hardware needs to be maintained which means that you will either need to get an in-house technician or hire a professional service that can charge $100 an hour or more.
Another big drawback in using a PBX for your Houlton, ME business is that expanding the service can be both difficult and expensive. Most PBX systems in the market support a limited amount of lines, this means that if you begin to branch out or otherwise expand your service you will have to pay for extra hardware to accommodate your needs.
As with all pieces of hardware, the PBX may become obsolete, meaning that it would have to be replaced every few years. This would be a continuous expenditure for your business. As well as becoming obsolete, the PBX can break down or develop faults that would have to be repaired and even replaced, meaning that in the long-run the PBX can become an expensive problem.
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