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 Mississippi: 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.
What is Business VoIP Phone Service?
VoIP simply means Voice Over Internet Protocol. This type of service has been around for about ten years but is just now becoming more well-known and popular among business owners. It is an alternative phone service from the traditional analog line that many people are familiar with, but one that offers many new features. So many companies in the Mississippi area have found that choosing VoIP over the old type of phone service is much better for their communication needs between customers and vendors. VoIP allows you to make and receive quality phone calls through the Internet as opposed to the old-fashioned cables and lines. This means that you must have a strong Internet connection for your VoIP service to work well before you choose it as your main form of communication. We can test your current connection to see if it supports VoIP with the Wirefly Internet Speed Test. However, most Internet providers can now support VoIP service.
One of the biggest comparisons between VoIP and PSTN is the way calls are conducted. When you have a PSTN service, your calls are sent and received by way of a traditional analog signal. VoIP services carry all calls through your Internet connection. One reason many business owners are choosing VoIP service is because the Internet is a faster way to make and receive calls. Plus, you are more than likely to have a reliable connection anyway, so why not put it to good use? It also costs less to make calls over the Internet, as well, which can be a big factor among small business owners who need to keep their budget down. Many VoIP companies offer packages with low international and long distance rates, so you never have to worry about running up a huge bill if you make a lot of these types of calls for your business.
VoIP service also offers every type of calling feature that your company could possibly need or want. You can choose to receive caller ID, voicemail, multiple extensions and call forwarding. If you need fax to email or voicemail to email service, VoIP has you covered.
VoIP service providers in the Mississippi area offer plans for both small and large businesses. So whether you only need a few lines for your family-owned business or you plan on needing hundreds for a large corporation, a VoIP service provider can arrange reliable service for both.
How to Choose the Right VoIP Service Provider
Since VoIP has become more mainstream in Mississippi, there are more and more companies popping up all over that offer their services to consumers. Use this to your advantage, as each company will have different features and rates that you can choose from.
You'll want to carefully consider what you want for your business first. Think about the number of extensions you will need, the features that your company will use the most, if you plan on expanding your company any time soon and what your budget for phone service is.
From there, consider the different companies in your area that offer VoIP phone services. Look at the features they offer and make sure they have what you want. Their prices and packages will be different, so make sure you find one that best suits your needs. However, you will want to make sure the company itself is reliable. Paying for cheap VoIP phone service won't be worth it if the company you choose has terrible 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 Mississippi 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.
PBX and the Analog Phone System
Most Mississippi businesses typically use a PBX, or a private branch exchange, that routes the calls that come into their office. The PBX is the system that allows the different calling features found in the analog system, such as call forwarding, voicemail, multiple extensions and conference calls.
With most traditional PSTN phone systems, the location of the PBX can be hosted from a remote location or found right at the user's premises. However, no matter where it is, an analog PBX can be very expensive. When you set up a complete phone system that needs a PBX, you will need different types of hardware that could cause your initial investment to cost at least $1,000. Remember, installation, configuration and future maintenance will not be part of your purchase price. If you have an in-house technical staff that can fix things later on, that would be beneficial to your finances. However, most business owners need to hire a professional, which usually costs at least a $100 an hour or more.
If you do decide to use a traditional PBX for your business phone needs in Mississippi, remember that if you need to upgrade or expand later on, it can get expensive. Some PBX systems will only be able to support a small amount of lines. So if your business grows and expands, adding additional lines will mean paying for more hardware.
Unfortunately, a PBX system will also be subject to breakdowns and problems, just like any other electronic system. You may end up paying high repair and hardware bills if something happens to your system. Plus, if it becomes obsolete, you may need to replace it every couple of years, costing your company even more money.
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