Choosing the Right Rhode Island Business Phone Service Provider
The ability of your customers to reach out and purchase your product or service in Rhode Island depends upon your choosing a reliable telephone service provider. Using the telephone remains the number one way most customers still use to get in touch with your business. Choosing the right kind of phone service for your business means contracting with a service that is affordable, dependable, and offers your business the specific features that make doing business with you as easy and convenient as possible. It's important to take the time to carefully evaluate a variety of business phone service types and providers available in the Rhode Island area before making a commitment. You can choose between traditional analog telephone service, or VoIP service, explained in the comparisons of business phone service providers that follow.
VoIP Phone Service: How Does it Work?
VoIP stands for voice over Internet protocol. This type of phone service has been in use for more than a decade but has only become mainstream in the past few years. Many businesses have decided to try something new and get rid of their PSTN service. New companies, particularly start-ups, are also more likely to try VoIP phone service for their communication needs with their companies. Calls are simply carried through the company Internet provider and are exactly the same as when you use a traditional line. However, since your Internet will be used to conduct business calls, you will want to make sure your connection is strong and secure. If you would like, use our Wirefly Internet Speed Test to make sure you have dependable VoIP call quality.
The biggest difference when it comes to VoIP and PSTN service is the way the calls are carried through each one. A PSTN service still uses an analog signal to deliver calls. With a VoIP service, all calls are digitized and are sent through an Internet service provider instead. Using the Internet to carry calls is much more affordable than using a traditional analog service, so making and receiving phone calls costs less. This is especially helpful for any business that has to make a lot of long distance or international phone calls for their company. Many VoIP providers offer flat rate packages that are specifically for making long distance calls so their customers do not have to worry about huge rate increases on their bills every month.
With a VoIP service in Rhode Island, you can also request every type of feature that you would get with a PSTN phone service. You are probably used to features such as Caller ID and call forwarding, and these are basic features that most companies offer. You can also put in multiple extensions, have remote access to your voicemail and enjoy fax to voicemail when you choose a VoIP service provider. Just ask your provider when you set up your lines about all the extra features they supply.
Picking Out a VoIP Carrier for Your Rhode Island Business
Now that VoIP has become a favorite with business owners, a lot of carriers are ready to fight for your attention. On first glance this may make it seem hard to pick out a specific provider, but you can in fact benefit from this.
The first step is to take into account your needs in relation to a professional phone system. Think about things like how many extensions you'll require, what functions you'll have to use day by day, whether you expect to expand your company in the coming months, and what your budget is for business telephone service.
After that, you can search for plans from the numerous commercial VoIP companies in Rhode Island. Scope out the plans they have, how much they cost, and the company's industry standing in general. Keep in mind that functional telephone service is vital to your company's profitability, so try to select a vendor that has established itself positively in terms of dependability and customer support.
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 Rhode Island 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 Analog Phone System
Many businesses in Rhode Island use PBX, which means private branch exchange. This system routes the calls that go into the office and is responsible for the multitude of features that the analog system offers. These include features such as voicemail, multiple extensions and call forwarding.
The location of the PBX may be found at the user's site or it may be hosted from a remote location. But no matter where it is found, an analog PBX may be costly. A PBX analog system will require multiple types of hardware in order to be set up correctly, causing your initial cost to be more than $1,000. Since you will be paying later to maintain or fix this equipment, your expenses can quickly add up. Calling in a professional to fix an issue can often cost your company a $100 dollars an hour or more.
You'll also want to bear in mind that a traditional PBX for your company phone may need to be updated or expanded on later, causing your business additional expenses. This will be especially expensive if your company grows and needs to add on more lines. Always take this into consideration before choosing a traditional phone service.
One of the major reasons many people avoid a PBX system is because it is still subject to breakdowns and issues, like any other electronic system may be. Your repair and hardware bills may go through the roof when you have to fix your system, but when you have a business, you must fix your telephone lines right away. Additionally, if the system becomes obsolete, you will have to replace it, which will cost your company more and more money every time.
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