Choosing Your Phone Service Provider in Columbia, NC
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 Columbia, NC, 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.
Business VoIP: What is it?
VoIP (short for 'voice over internet protocol') is a relatively new means of communication that presents business owners in Columbia, NC with an alternate choice to standard landlines. Though VoIP has been around for over 15 years at this point, lately its use has become much more commonplace, and an ever-growing number of corporations are switching over to it and giving the boot to their regular POTS (plain old telephone service). In addition, new businesses - particularly smaller-sized start-up companies - tend to opt for VoIP for their professional communications demands. The quality of calls made over VoIP is no different than that of an old-fashioned telephone line, even for calls that take place over the Internet. It is advisable to verify that you have a solid business network connection for dependable VoIP reception. You might want to try out Wirefly's Internet Connection Speed Test to find out if your present connection speed is compatible with VoIP.
The fundamental distinction between VoIP and POTS comes down to how phone calls are sent and received. With a POTS system, phone calls are transmitted primarily through an analog data frequency. With VoIP, every phone call is electronically encoded and sent over the web instead. Communicating over the Internet is much more cost-effective than doing it over a standard signal, enabling you to take and make calls at cheaper rates. If you place a lot of calls to overseas countries, you'll notice that VoIP carriers bill much less for international calls than regular phone service providers. Numerous companies also offer fixed rate plans that let you make limitless calls to various countries without adding on per-minute fees.
A commercial VoIP plan may include any communications function that you could ever need for your Columbia, NC enterprise. A stockpile of unique features will be at your disposal, including multiple lines, ring groups, call waiting, caller ID, innumerable voicemail features, and much more.
Most professional VoIP companies in Columbia, NC have a selection of plans developed to accommodate the demands of organizations of all sizes. It doesn't matter if you're a small, single-line business or a huge firm with hundreds of lines; you can always find a VoIP system that will satisfy you.
How to Choose the Right VoIP Service Provider
Since VoIP has become more mainstream in Columbia, NC, 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.
Understanding PSTN Phone Service
Traditional analog service is known as PSTN, or public switched telephone network. This system is well over a hundred years old and was the first type of phone service available. The PSTN system is used all over the country and consists of satellites, cables and telephone lines. Our current mobile system is also part of the PSTN phone service system.
The PSTN system is actually more expensive to use in Columbia, NC, because of the large infrastructure that needs to be constantly monitored and taken care of due to the age of the system itself. Since the PSTN uses an analog system, data being sent over a long distance can have trouble getting there.
Long distance calls made over the PSTN phone system requires the data to make a number of stops at various locations along the way through transmission. This data flows through equipment owned by a few different companies, making calls more expensive. Most parts of the infrastructure that calls are carried on have been fully digitalized, but the connection found between the local centre office and the consumer is still analog. This is known as the “last mile' and causes this type of system to cost more for consumers.
Using a PBX and an Analog Phone System
Coupling an analog service with a Private Branch Exchange (PBX) is very common among Columbia, NC businesses. A PBX is what allows an Analog Phone System to use different calling features like multiple extensions, voicemail and conference calls, since its main function is to reroute the calls received throughout the office.
If you are using a PSTN service, then the can be located within the office or hosted in a different location. Despite this, there is a big defect of an analog PBX: it is an expensive piece of hardware. From the beginning, it supposes a big investment as simply buying the hardware needed to set up a network can cost upwards of $1,000 without considering the installation and maintenance costs of the network. To keep everything running smoothly, the hardware needs to be maintained which means that you will either need to get an in-house technician or hire a professional service that can charge $100 an hour or more.
Another big drawback in using a PBX for your Columbia, NC business is that expanding the service can be both difficult and expensive. Most PBX systems in the market support a limited amount of lines, this means that if you begin to branch out or otherwise expand your service you will have to pay for extra hardware to accommodate your needs.
As with all pieces of hardware, the PBX may become obsolete, meaning that it would have to be replaced every few years. This would be a continuous expenditure for your business. As well as becoming obsolete, the PBX can break down or develop faults that would have to be repaired and even replaced, meaning that in the long-run the PBX can become an expensive problem.
Business Phone Service Providers in Columbia, NC ZIP Codes
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