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Even in today’s modern world, the telephone remains one of the most popular means of communication between businesses and their customers. So, one of the most important decisions a business makes is choosing the most suitable telephone service provider. With a wide range of options, including a variety of different services and providers, it is vital to explore all the potential options before making a final decision. They key is to find a service that is both reliable and affordable, with all of the features needed to maximize performance. Two of the primary types of telephone services are traditional analog telephone business service or business VoIP service. Businesses should carefully evaluate each option in order to determine the best service for their needs. Check out the table below to compare business phone service plans.
Compare Business Phone Service
Despite being in existence for over a decade, business VoIP or “voice over Internet protocol,” is still one of the most up-to-date telephone service options for businesses. In recent years, VoIP has become increasingly popular as more and more businesses, especially start-ups, have opted to switch over to the service from traditional PSTN service.
A key difference between business VoIP telephone service and a traditional phone line is the means by which the calls are carried. VoIP services digitize calls and transmit them via the Internet, while traditional PSTN services carry calls through an analog signal. Despite the difference in call methods, both services provide comparable call quality, one thing to consider when taking the time to compare business phone service.
By carrying calls via the Internet, business VoIP telephone services are able to offer service for considerably less than traditional PSTN services. Sending data via the Internet is considerably cheaper than analog lines, making VoIP service the more cost effective method. This is particularly important for businesses that frequently make long-distance and international calls, which can yield hefty telephone service bills when made through traditional means. Features may include flat rate packages allowing for unlimited calls without needing to worry about paying per minute used, which could prove to be extremely beneficial for cost conscious businesses. Cost is certainly one of the main things to consider for your business.
Business VoIP telephone service can offer a variety of useful features, including multiple extensions, ring groups, caller ID, voicemail, remote access, fax and voicemail to e-mail, and call forwarding, amongst many others. Businesses can pick and choose which features they would like to take advantage of. Because VoIP service plans tend to be very flexible, plans can be customized to meet the needs of businesses both small and large.
The PSTN or public switched telephone network was the original telephone network to be used, nearly one hundred years ago, and continues to be used today. Unlike business VoIP telephone service that utilizes the Internet, traditional business phone service places calls using the PSTN. The PSTN system expands across the United States and is made up of numerous cables, satellites, mobile networks, and telephone lines. Because the PSTN infrastructure is so expansive and high maintenance, it is considerably more expensive than VoIP telephone service.
Also worth noting, is that the PSTN is analog, which is generally less effective at sending data long distances. Because the data is transmitted through numerous mediums owned by various companies, calls are significantly more expensive. While improvements have been made to the PSTN infrastructure, with more of it now being digital, it still has yet to be fully modernized.
Business VoIP PBX vs. Traditional Analog PBX
After taking the time to compare business phone service, should a business decide to use a VoIP service, they will receive a hosted PBX. The hosted PBX enables callers to use business VoIP services in place of traditional analog services, but much more cost-effectively. Because the hosted PBX is fully operated by the service provider, there is no need to deal with the hassle of purchasing, installing, and maintaining various pieces of hardware, as one would have to do with a traditional PSTN telephone service. Otherwise, a traditional PBX setup could cost over $2,000, which is a considerable expense for any business.
A PBX service hosted by a business VoIP provider makes phone usage considerably more convenient, allowing users to manage their service through an online platform. Should a business want to add, remove, or adjust any features, they can do so, simply by visiting the provider’s website.
As mentioned, business VoIP telephone services can be adjusted to meet the needs of any sized business. This means that VoIP services can also be adjusted, as business needs continue to change. Should a business expand and need a larger plan, they can adjust their telephone service accordingly simply by contacting their VoIP provider.
Alternatively, PBX with an analog phone system offers similar features as it does with a VoIP system, but requires users to invest in the installation, configuration, and maintenance of hardware. Businesses can expect hardware costs to be a minimum of $1,000. This does not include any expenses associated with hiring someone to setup the system, which can exceed $100 per hour. Long-term costs to consider include repair and maintenance costs, should the PBX system cease to work or become outdated.
Should a business need to expand or upgrade its analog telephone system, the process will be considerably more expensive and complex compared to a VoIP system. Often times, PBX systems can only support a set number of lines, which requires additional hardware to be purchased and installed should a business want to expand its telephone system. This is a hassle that businesses avoid when using VoIP telephone services, as the provider’s handle everything associated with hardware.
Choosing a Service Provider
With business VoIP telephone service experiencing significant growth in popularity in recent years, there are a number of providers available to meet business needs. It is important for businesses to fully assess their needs and the services offered by each provider, in order to select the best telephone service available.
When determining telephone service needs, businesses should consider how many lines they will need, what features would come in handy, business growth plans, long-distance call frequency, as well as the budget for said services.
VoIP providers often have various discounts and promotions for businesses looking for telephone service, so it is important to look into all available options. With telephone service being such a vital part of any business, it is extremely important to select a provider with a positive reputation, including reliable service and good customer service.
One of the keys to running a successful business is choosing an affordable and reliable telephone system. Based on this, it is very important that all business owners sit down to compare business phone service providers. Once various factors, including number of lines needed, typical usage, and budget costs have been considered, a business can then choose whether VoIP or traditional business telephone services are best suited for their business needs.