Choosing Your Phone Service Provider in North Carolina
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 North Carolina, 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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What is Business VoIP Phone Service in North Carolina?
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 North Carolina 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 North Carolina 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 a Business VoIP Service Provider in North Carolina
The growing popularity of VoIP service means that there are more North Carolina 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 North Carolina 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.
Understanding Traditional Business Phone Service in North Carolina
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 North Carolina 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 North Carolina Works with the Analog System
A PBX is a private branch exchange which will route calls within an office and is what most North Carolina 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 North Carolina 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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