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 Altoona, PA: 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.
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 Altoona, PA. 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 Altoona, PA. 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.
Choosing the Right VoIP Service for Your Altoona, PA Company
When you start your search for the best phone provider, you'll see that there are many VoIP service suppliers battling to do business with you. While you may be overwhelmed at first, you can actually use this to your advantage.
Consider what you need before you choose a company. You will want to know how many lines you will need, whether you will utilize the special features enough to be worth buying them and if your business has the potential to grow down the road. How much the companies charge for service will also be a factor. If you are a smaller company, you won't want a company that overcharges.
Compare all of the features between the companies to see who offers the most for the best rate. Look into the actual reputation of the company, as well. Finding a cheap VoIP service isn't beneficial if the company has poor customer service and a bad reputation. Remember that your company needs to have a reliable phone service to make and receive calls, so choosing a cheap company can actually lose you money if they do not offer reliable 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 Altoona, PA, 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 With An Analog Phone System
Most Altoona, PA 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 Altoona, PA 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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