Choosing Your Phone Service Provider in Northampton, 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 Northampton, 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: What it is and How it Works
VoIP stands for voice over Internet protocol and is one of the most recent types of phone services available in Northampton, MA. This is an alternative system that has been around for over ten years but is just now beginning to become more mainstream. A large number of businesses are making the switch from traditional phone service to VoIP, especially start-ups who are willing to try a new system. Call quality of a VoIP phone service is just the same as when you have a traditional phone line in place, even though the calls are made through the Internet. For this reason, a reliable business Internet connection is crucial to have in order to receive dependable VoIP service in Northampton, MA. If you want to make sure your connection supports VoIP, use the Wirefly Internet Speed Test to check.
Many people aren't aware of how VoIP phone service works, so they may shy away from it. VoIP carries calls through the Internet instead of a traditional analog signal that many people are used to. Sending calls through your Internet provider is actually much cheaper than the traditional way of making calls through telephone lines and cables. Calls can be made and received for a lot less than what you are paying now. VoIP phone service also offers international and long distance calls for much less of a price. More and more providers are putting together long distance packages that allow you to pay a flat rate each month, perfect for businesses that make a lot of these types of calls. You won't have to worry about surprise bills that put you way over budget.
VoIP phone service plans also offer a variety of features that you can add-on to your package. You can request hundreds of features such as caller ID, call-waiting, call-forwarding, voicemail with remote access and more. If your business is larger and you need multiple extensions, VoIP can supply them for you.
VoIP phone service plans are also designed for different company sizes. You may be starting up and only need a few different lines, or your corporation may have hundreds of employees who all need their own extensions. No matter what, you'll easily find a VoIP service that can fit your needs for a reasonable price.
Picking Out a VoIP Carrier for Your Northampton, MA Business
Now that VoIP has become a favorite with business owners, a lot of carriers are ready to fight for your attention. On first glance this may make it seem hard to pick out a specific provider, but you can in fact benefit from this.
The first step is to take into account your needs in relation to a professional phone system. Think about things like how many extensions you'll require, what functions you'll have to use day by day, whether you expect to expand your company in the coming months, and what your budget is for business telephone service.
After that, you can search for plans from the numerous commercial VoIP companies in Northampton, MA. Scope out the plans they have, how much they cost, and the company's industry standing in general. Keep in mind that functional telephone service is vital to your company's profitability, so try to select a vendor that has established itself positively in terms of dependability and customer support.
What is Traditional Business Phone Service?
As stated before, PSTN has been around for years and is what many people think of when they wish to choose a company. PSTN, or public switched telephone network, was the first kind of phone service ever available. It is used all over the United States and runs over cables, telephone lines and satellites, as well as mobile networks. You may think this type of service would be less expensive since it has been around longer, but this isn't the case.
Since the infrastructure that PSTN runs on is older, it requires ongoing care and maintenance to keep it running. This causes the service charge to use it to cost more for business owners. Plus, the service is analog, making it more difficult to send data further distances. When you make a long distance telephone call in Northampton, MA over PSTN, the data goes through numerous locations and stops along the way. Since the data goes through many different companies, the charge is more. The analog connection is the last step between the local office and the customer, known as the “last mile'. This is part of the reason the price is higher.
Using a PBX With An Analog Phone System
Most Northampton, MA 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 Northampton, MA 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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