Choosing Your Phone Service Provider in South Gardiner, ME
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 South Gardiner, ME, 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.
What is Business VoIP Service?
VoIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol, and it is the most advanced type of phone service available in South Gardiner, ME. 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 South Gardiner, ME 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 South Gardiner, ME that will offer you a plan that is suited to your needs and budget.
Choosing the Right VoIP Service for Your South Gardiner, ME 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 South Gardiner, ME 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.
Using a PBX With An Analog Phone System
Most South Gardiner, ME businesses use a private branch exchange, called a PBX, to route the numerous calls they receive. Having a business phone service in place enables the PBX to allow for the use of such important calling features beyond sending and receiving calls, such as multiple extensions, voicemail, call forwarding and conference calls.
Using a traditional PSTN phone system, the PBX either be located on the business's premises, or situated at a remote location. But no matter where the analog PBX is located, its operation can prove very expensive. Setting up a complete business phone system using a PBX requires the purchase of various types of hardware that usually means an investment of at least $1,000. Beyond that initial investment are the costs for installation, configuration and maintenance. A business owner will need to either have an in-house technical staff member handle these chores, or hire an outside professional, translating to costs of $100 an hour or more.
Know that upgrading and expanding a traditional PBX system for your South Gardiner, ME business phone service needs may prove expensive as well as challenging. Many PBX systems can only support a limited number of lines. As your business grows, you will have to pay for more hardware, installation and maintenance costs when adding more extensions.
PBX systems, like other types of electronic hardware, are subject to frequent problems and breakdowns that can adversely affect your business communications, usually at the most inopportune times. Be prepared to pay for expensive repair and hardware replacement costs whenever anything goes wrong with your PBX. Any PBX system also becomes obsolete over time and needs to be updated or replaced, adding additional expenses to your business' bottom line.
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