How to Choose Your Business Phone Provider in Columbia, SC
Owning a business in Columbia, SC means having to install a telephone service provider at one point or another. Calls from customers and vendors are still the number one way that the public will get in touch with you. The most reliable type of phone service is important to have for your business. You'll want to choose a company that offers dependable service for an affordable price. Customer service is also something you should factor into your consideration. So before you make the decision of what phone company to choose from, evaluate the various providers and everything they have to offer. You'll have the choice of either a VoIP phone service or the more traditional analog telephone service. You should understand exactly what the differences are between the two before you make your choice by comparing and taking into account the different rates and features. Decide which features and price range will work well for your business.
* Most providers offering unlimited calling and or other promotions have restrictions based on term contracts or promo periods. Rates shown do not include E-911 charges and taxes. Read providers terms and conditions before you purchase.
What is Business VoIP Phone Service in Columbia, SC?
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 Columbia, SC 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 Columbia, SC 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.
Picking Out a VoIP Carrier for Your Columbia, SC 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 Columbia, SC. 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 in Columbia, SC: 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 Columbia, SC 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 and the Analog Phone System in Columbia, SC
Most Columbia, SC businesses typically use a PBX, or a private branch exchange, that routes the calls that come into their office. The PBX is the system that allows the different calling features found in the analog system, such as call forwarding, voicemail, multiple extensions and conference calls.
With most traditional PSTN phone systems, the location of the PBX can be hosted from a remote location or found right at the user's premises. However, no matter where it is, an analog PBX can be very expensive. When you set up a complete phone system that needs a PBX, you will need different types of hardware that could cause your initial investment to cost at least $1,000. Remember, installation, configuration and future maintenance will not be part of your purchase price. If you have an in-house technical staff that can fix things later on, that would be beneficial to your finances. However, most business owners need to hire a professional, which usually costs at least a $100 an hour or more.
If you do decide to use a traditional PBX for your business phone needs in Columbia, SC, remember that if you need to upgrade or expand later on, it can get expensive. Some PBX systems will only be able to support a small amount of lines. So if your business grows and expands, adding additional lines will mean paying for more hardware.
Unfortunately, a PBX system will also be subject to breakdowns and problems, just like any other electronic system. You may end up paying high repair and hardware bills if something happens to your system. Plus, if it becomes obsolete, you may need to replace it every couple of years, costing your company even more money.
Business Phone Service Providers in Columbia, SC ZIP Codes
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