Choosing Your Phone Service Provider in Middlefield, 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 Middlefield, 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 Middlefield, 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 Pick the Right VoIP Service Provider in Middlefield, MA
VoIP phone service plans are becoming more and more abundant in Middlefield, MA, so you will more than likely have your pick of the company you wish to choose. This can seem overwhelming at first, but don't let it be. You don't want to choose the very first company to come along! Use the different offers to pick and choose who will work the best for your company.
Before you pick a company, decide exactly what you will need for telephone service. Questions to consider are the number of lines that you will need for your business and whether that number could grow in the future, the features you will need to have and how much is in your budget to spend on phone service.
From there, you can browse through the various packages that many of the VoIP providers are offering. Look at the services they offer, the prices of their packages, and the overall reputation of each company. You won't want to choose a company just because they are the cheapest, as they may not be reliable. You'll always want to make sure that your customers can get ahold of you through your VoIP phone service, so choose a company that has great feedback.
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 Middlefield, 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.
Combining PBX Service With a POTS System
Most enterprises in Middlefield, MA use PBX (private branch exchange) service, which directs the calls that come into their office to certain departments. PBX is what enables the usage of different professional communications functions like extra lines, live meetings, call redirecting, voice messaging, and others.
With a conventional POTS telephone line, the PBX may be housed either at the customer's location or on a remote server. Regardless of which solution you go with, analog PBX systems have one major disadvantage: They are quite pricey. Configuring a comprehensive company phone network that runs a PBX requires the purchase of different kinds of machinery, which means making an investment of roughly $1,000 at minimum - and that doesn't include installing, setting up, and maintaining the system. For that reason, you'll have to either assign the chore to an on-site worker with technical skills or hire an expert, which could cost upwards of $100 per hour.
In case you do opt for a standard PBX system for your company's communications needs, it's important to remember that updating or growing it might be problematic and cost a lot of money. A lot of PBX circuits in Middlefield, MA have limitations on how many lines they can accommodate. If your company expands and requires you to add extra lines, you'll have to buy even more equipment to support this expansion.
Similar to other pieces of digital machinery, a PBX can encounter issues and malfunctions. You might have to spend a lot of money out-of-pocket to repair and replace hardware if some component in your PBX fails. In addition, it could grow to be outdated and require replacement every couple of years.
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