Being contacted via telephone is still the most popular way for people to get in touch with a business. Therefore, having the best telephone service provider in Saint Marys, PA is still important and beneficial to your company. You will always want a service that is not only reliable, but affordable for your needs. A business phone service provider should offer all the different features that you will need to run your business, so it is important to make your decision carefully before deciding on what phone company you are going to go with. Evaluate the different service types that each provider offers. When you are deciding, you'll be faced with two choices, these being either a traditional analog phone service or a VoIP service. They both have different features so it is important that you understand the distinctions. Compare these two Saint Marys, PA business providers below before making your final decision.
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 Saint Marys, 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 Saint Marys, 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.
How to Choose a VoIP Service Provider
The rise in popularity of VoIP services, especially among smaller businesses and startups, means that there are many providers in the market who are competing to convince you that they are the best choice. Choosing a provider may seem difficult, however, the popularity of VoIP and the number of providers in the market can work to your advantage because it means that the chances of finding the perfect one are higher.
The most important thing to establish before choosing a provider is what your communication needs are. Small businesses will not need a big package with many add-ons, while bigger corporations will benefit from these. Asking yourself how many lines you will need, or which features you will use on a regular basis will ensure that you do not pay for unnecessary items. It is key to consider the predicted growth of your business, this will help you figure out the type of contract you sign as well as assist you in evaluating how much you can spend on a phone service provider.
After you have established all of the above you can look into what the VoIP providers in Saint Marys, PA are offering. Consider which services they provide and if they are affordable. Remember that with the number of providers in the market, investigating the company's reputation can save you a lot of frustration and money. A good phone system can be crucial to your business's success so make sure that you hire a service that has a good record in terms of reliability and customer service.
What is PSTN, or Traditional Business Phone Service?
A traditional phone service carries all calls over the PSTN. This stands for public switched telephone network and is generally what most consumers think of when they think phone service providers. This system has been around for nearly 100 years and is made up of cables, telephone lines, satellites and mobile networks. This was the very first type of phone network to ever be used.
However, the PSTN actually is more expensive than VoIP, because of how old and large the PSTN infrastructure is. It requires very regular maintenance and that cost gets passed onto consumers. PSTN is analog, so it is harder sending data over longer distances.
When someone makes a long distance call to or from a Saint Marys, PA business using the PSTN, the data stops at different places along its journey. The equipment that is in use is also owned by various companies, making these types of calls more expensive. While most of the infrastructure that carries and routes these calls has become digital, the “last mile' is not. The connection between the caller and the local central office is still analog.
Using a PBX With An Analog Phone System
Most Saint Marys, 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 Saint Marys, 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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