Choosing Your Phone Service Provider in Melrose, MA
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 Melrose, MA, 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.
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 Melrose, MA, 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.
How to Choose a Business VoIP Service Provider
The growing popularity of VoIP service means that there are more Melrose, MA 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 Melrose, MA 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.
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 Melrose, MA 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.
Using a PBX and an Analog Phone System
Coupling an analog service with a Private Branch Exchange (PBX) is very common among Melrose, MA 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 Melrose, MA 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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