Finding a business phone service provider in Tennessee can be confusing at times. But it is a very important first step when you are a business owner, whether you are just starting up or have been in business for years. The telephone is still the first form of communication most customers and vendors go for when they want to get in touch with a business, especially if that business happens to be further away. You need a phone service that is both affordable and reliable, so before you make the decision of what company to go with, do your research. There are two main phone service providers that you can choose from, either a traditional analog service or the newer VoIP phone service. You should understand just what the difference is between the two before you make your final decision. You can compare below the difference between these two types of providers.
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Understanding Business VoIP Phone Service in Tennessee
VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is one of the most recent types of phone service that can be used as an alternative to traditional analog lines in Tennessee. Many business owners do not realize that VoIP service has been in existence for more than a decade and is becoming more and more popular with business owners. Many companies are letting go of their analog PSTN service in favor of making the switch to a product that will help them save time and money, as well as a large initial investment. Many newer, start-up companies, especially smaller ones who are looking to save money but get the most out of their phone service, are looking at VoIP phone services for their businesses.
The call quality of VoIP is just as good as the traditional analog system. The big difference is that the calls are made through your existing Internet system instead of the traditional phone and cable lines. Because of this, you must make sure that your Internet signal is strong so that you don't have problems making and receiving calls. The Wirefly Internet Speed Test can help determine if your current Internet connection will support VoIP.
The biggest difference between the traditional PSTN and VoIP is the way that calls are carried. An analog signal is used to carry PSTN service, while the Internet carries VoIP calls. All calls made through VoIP are digitized. When you use your Internet connection to make and receive telephone calls, you will pay a lot less for your service, as sending data this way is much cheaper. This is great for companies that need to make many long distance or international calls and don't want to pay high fees. VoIP service providers usually offer long distance packages that will allow you to pay a flat rate for unlimited long distance and international calls. This is one less worry for you when you are operating a busy company.
You can also request a number of different features with VoIP services, as they offer the same ones that PSTN service does. This will include Caller ID, call forwarding, call waiting, voicemail, remote access to voicemail, ring groups and much more. If you need to install multiple extensions within your company, VoIP service has you covered.
Nowadays, VoIP service providers in Tennessee offer their customers many different plans that will suit the needs of various businesses, regardless of their size. For example, you may only need three lines within your small office space, or your large corporation could use thousands of extensions. No matter what, there is a VoIP phone service that can provide you with whatever you need.
Choosing the Right VoIP Service for Your Tennessee 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.
Traditional Business Phone Service in Tennessee
Traditional phone service carries your calls over the PSTN, the public switched telephone network. This system is available nationwide, comprised of telephone lines, mobile networks, satellites and cables. The PSTN network, the first type of phone network used for business purposes, has existed for almost a century.
Using a PSTN telephone service in Tennessee costs more than VoIP. The PSTN infrastructure, being very old as well as large, tends to requires regular maintenance. It also has a more difficult time sending data over long distances.
When making calls traveling long distances over the PSTN, data stops at numerous locations along the way during the course of its transmission. Since the data flows through equipment owned by various companies, costs for PSTN calls can accrue expensive charges. Although most of the infrastructure being used to carry, switch and route calls is digital, the connection between the local central office and the customer continues to be analog.
Using a PBX and an Analog Phone System in Tennessee
Coupling an analog service with a Private Branch Exchange (PBX) is very common among Tennessee 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 Tennessee 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.
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