Despite technological advances in communication, the main way in which people get in touch with businesses is still the telephone. Therefore, choosing a telephone service for your business is very important. However, the effect your telephone service has in your business can be great, which is why it is also hard to choose the appropriate service. A good phone service provider will be reliable and affordable, as well as provide you with all the features your business requires. Evaluating different services and providers is vital so that way you will be able to choose the company that best suits your needs.
There are two types of business phone services offered in Cambridge, MA: Traditional, analog telephone services and business VoIP service. Understanding the difference between them is key to choosing a provider. Below we will compare business phone services to give you the information you need to make the best choice.
Business VoIP Phone Service
The newest innovation in phone service is Voice Over Internet Protocol, commonly referred to as VoIP. VoIP provides Cambridge, MA area business customers with a quality alternative to old-fashioned analog phone lines. Since being introduced a little more than a decade ago, VoIP has become more mainstream, with more business owners choosing to adopt this style of phone service in favor of traditional PSTN service. VoIP is also the preferred business phone system choice for new companies, especially smaller businesses. Even though phone calls are transported over the Internet, users report that call quality with a VoIP service sounds the same as when using a traditional phone line. Maintaining a reliable call quality for VoIP, however, is dependent upon having a quality business Internet connection. The Wirefly Internet Speed Test can prove useful to check if your current Internet connection will supports VoIP telephone service.
How the phone calls are carried is the main difference between PSTN and VoIP service. PSTN service carries calls over an analog signal. VoIP calls are digitized and transmitted through your Internet connection. VoIP service is a lot more economical for most businesses who send data, with the cost of making and receiving calls considerably less than using a traditional phone network. This is important if your business makes and receives a large volume of long distance as well as international calls. Determine whether or not the provider you are considering offers a flat rate package allowing for an unlimited amount of calls to certain destinations rather than charging for calls by the minute.
You can order a Cambridge, MA business VoIP service with virtually any calling feature that benefits your business. These include multiple extensions, voicemail with remote access, caller ID, ring groups, fax to email, call forwarding and voicemail to email.
Most business VoIP providers serving the Cambridge, MA business community offer a variety of plans combining features that suit the needs of businesses depending upon their size. You may be a small start-up venture needing just half a dozen lines, or the national headquarters for a large corporation with thousands of extensions. In either case, or anywhere in-between, there is a VoIP service to meet your needs and your budget.
How to Find a Business VoIP Service Provider
In Cambridge, MA, VoIP has recently become very popular, as more and more business owners are realizing the benefits to this type of service after comparing it to traditional analog services. This means there are many providers that sell VoIP packages and who will compete for your business. This may seem confusing at first, but it is actually something you can use to your advantage, as you won't have to settle for just one company.
To begin, decide what features you absolutely have to have for your business. This may depend on how much you can spend for your phone service; if you think you will be expanding in the near future you will want to have the right add-ons. You'll definitely want to include call waiting and caller ID on your list, as these are basic features most companies need to use.
Look up the different offers from various VoIP phone service providers in Cambridge, MA. See what features they offer, how much they cost, and how well their company is doing. Consider their reputation before you make a decision. Having a working phone system in place is extremely important for your company, so you will always want a provider that has a good reputation and provides excellent customer 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 Cambridge, MA 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.
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 Cambridge, MA 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 Cambridge, MA 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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