Choosing the Right Laurel, MD Business Phone Service Provider
The ability of your customers to reach out and purchase your product or service in Laurel, MD depends upon your choosing a reliable telephone service provider. Using the telephone remains the number one way most customers still use to get in touch with your business. Choosing the right kind of phone service for your business means contracting with a service that is affordable, dependable, and offers your business the specific features that make doing business with you as easy and convenient as possible. It's important to take the time to carefully evaluate a variety of business phone service types and providers available in the Laurel, MD area before making a commitment. You can choose between traditional analog telephone service, or VoIP service, explained in the comparisons of business phone service providers that follow.
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 Laurel, MD 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 Laurel, MD 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 Laurel, MD 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 VoIP Service Provider
The rise in popularity of VoIP services, especially among smaller businesses and startups, means that there are many providers in the market who are competing to convince you that they are the best choice. Choosing a provider may seem difficult, however, the popularity of VoIP and the number of providers in the market can work to your advantage because it means that the chances of finding the perfect one are higher.
The most important thing to establish before choosing a provider is what your communication needs are. Small businesses will not need a big package with many add-ons, while bigger corporations will benefit from these. Asking yourself how many lines you will need, or which features you will use on a regular basis will ensure that you do not pay for unnecessary items. It is key to consider the predicted growth of your business, this will help you figure out the type of contract you sign as well as assist you in evaluating how much you can spend on a phone service provider.
After you have established all of the above you can look into what the VoIP providers in Laurel, MD are offering. Consider which services they provide and if they are affordable. Remember that with the number of providers in the market, investigating the company's reputation can save you a lot of frustration and money. A good phone system can be crucial to your business's success so make sure that you hire a service that has a good record in terms of reliability and customer service.
Understanding Traditional Business Phone Service
Traditionally, most calls are carried through the PSTN, the public switched telephone network. This is a nationwide system that uses telephone lines, cables, satellites and mobile networks to connect calls. This particular phone service has been around for more than a hundred years and was the very first type of phone service ever to be utilized.
However, the traditional PSTN telephone service is a more expensive choice when compared to VoIP, mostly because of the large infrastructure the system still relies on. Since it is so old and large, regular maintenance is needed to make sure it runs efficiently. Also, an analog signal has a harder time sending data over a long distance.
As a long distance call travels over the PSTN system, it stops at quite a few locations as it moves. The data is transmitted through old equipment owned by numerous companies, making the calls expensive. Most of the infrastructure used to carry and switch telephone calls has become digital, but the “last mile' of the call is still analog. This is another reason a PSTN service can ultimately end up costing business owners more.
Analog Phone System and PBX
Most Laurel, MD businesses use a private branch exchange, or a PBX, that routes the calls that they get within their office. When you have a business phone service, the PBX is what allows the different calling features to happen, such as call forwarding, voicemail, conference calls and more. You also need a PBX to run multiple extensions in your office.
A traditional PSTN phone system can host the PBX either at a remote location or actually at the place of business. Unfortunately, either option can be very expensive. When you need to set up your business phone system using a PBX, you will have to invest in a lot of different types of hardware. This could run your business at least $1,000 to start. Not only that, but installation is not included in this price, as well as the configuration of the equipment and any maintenance that will need to be done later on. You will either need to have someone in your company take care of any maintenance down the road or call the company to have a service representative come and fix the issue. This could run your company at least $100 an hour or more, which can get expensive when you need to call multiple times.
If you do choose to use a traditional PBX for your business, you should be aware that you may have to upgrade or expand it in the years ahead. This is also expensive. Not only that, you may be limited on the number of lines that you can add to your phone system. If you do need to add lines to your growing company, you will be required to pay for the hardware and the installation to accommodate your business growth. A PBX is also known to breakdown, which will also cost a great deal to fix.
Business Phone Service Providers in Laurel, MD ZIP Codes
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