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 Flint, MI, 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.
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Business VoIP Phone Service in Flint, MI
The newest innovation in phone service is Voice Over Internet Protocol, commonly referred to as VoIP. VoIP provides Flint, MI 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 Flint, MI 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 Flint, MI 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.
Picking Out a VoIP Carrier for Your Flint, MI 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 Flint, MI. 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.
Understanding Traditional Business Phone Service in Flint, MI
Traditional phone services carry all calls over the PSTN, which is the public switched telephone network. The PSTN network is what has been in use for about a hundred years and was the very first phone network to be used. It is available all over the country and is made up of satellites, cables, telephone lines and mobile networks. Most customers think of this type of service when they are considering a business phone service, only because it is what they are used to.
However, a PSTN phone service can cost more in Flint, MI than VoIP service. This is mostly due to the fact that the PSTN infrastructure is old and requires ongoing maintenance to it. Since PSTN is analog, it makes it harder to send data over longer distances.
Making a long distance call with PSTN means that the data sent will have to make numerous stops at locations along the way. Data flows through equipment that is owned by a number of different companies, causing this type of call to be more expensive. While much of the infrastructure that is used to carry, switch and route the telephone calls is completely digital, the “last mile', as it is known, is still an analog connection made between the customer and the local central office.
How a PBX in Flint, MI Works with the Analog System
A PBX is a private branch exchange which will route calls within an office and is what most Flint, MI 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 Flint, MI 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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