Business Phone Service in Columbia, VA
Making a phone call is still the most preferred method of initiating contact with a business, so it's crucial for any business to consider the affordability as well as features and reliability of their business phone service. There are some different technologies available to businesses in Columbia, VA, who are comparing possible service providers - and we here at MyRatePlan will help you come to an informed, educated and good decision! The three main types of technology we're going to discuss are VoIP (which stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, meaning that the phone calls are routed through and over the internet itself to your computer or a traditional phone), PBX (which stands for Private Branch Exchange, and is a system whereby an enterprise-level customer can have any number of local-to-itself lines that all share the same or same few external lines) and - what the industry likes to call it - POTS, or 'Plain Old Telephone Service,' which is the standard that we've all grown up with.
Understanding Business VoIP Telephone Service
Voice over Internet protocol, commonly called VoIP, is the latest phone service option for Columbia, VA business customers who want an alternative to the analog phone lines. Although VoIP has been around for more than 10 years, it has become more prominent in recent years for more businesses.
Existing businesses are moving from traditional public switched telephone network (PSTN) service to VoIP. Newer companies, including startups, are using VoIP for business communications without experiencing traditional service options. In terms of service, the call quality is the same between a phone line and over the Internet. However, a strong business Internet connection ensures that the call quality remains reliable. One way to be sure is to use MyRatePlan's Internet Speed Test to check the current connection for VoIP support.
While the connection quality between PSTN and VoIP is very similar, there is one major difference in the way calls are carried. With PSTN service, an analog signal is the primary way calls are carried. With VoIP, business calls are digitized and transmitted through the Internet.
The latter is a money-saver since it is cheaper to send data through the Internet than it is with a traditional phone network. If long distance or international phone calls are a frequent part of your business, you will spend a lot less with VoIP service providers in Columbia, VA.
Additionally, many providers offer flat rate packages. This offers additional savings with unlimited calls to specific destinations without per minute charges that come with traditional phone service. Another advantage to using VoIP service in your Columbia, VA business is the many calling features that are suitable for business communications. You can access hundreds of advanced features.
Most business VoIP providers in Columbia, VA offer plans designed to accommodate businesses of all sizes. You could have a small company with only five lines, or a large corporation that uses thousands of extensions for multiple departments. There is a VoIP service that meets your business needs.
How to Choose The Best Business VoIP Service Provider in Columbia, VA
Shopping for VoIP service in Columbia, VA may seem daunting with so many service providers competing for your business; however, this can be advantageous to you if you follow a few basic guidelines when searching for a plan. Establish what you require for your telephone system such as the number of lines you need and what features you want before even looking at providers. Set your budget and also consider how your business may grow in the coming years.
Once you have established what you need, begin your research on Columbia, VA business VoIP providers. Read real user reviews and make sure that the company has a positive history with other customers in your area. Since your telephone service is vital to the success of your business, make sure that the provider you choose has been proven to be reliable.
Many providers will offer attractive pricing for new customers. You should examine these promotions but remember that some plans may begin with an introductory price that will increase after a few months. Never settle on a phone provider based on price alone. Research the company's reputation before initiating service or entering a contract. With the amount of information available to you on phone providers, there is no reason to jeopardize the image of your business with a poor quality phone system.
What About Traditional Business Phone Service?
Although VoIP has become very popular in Columbia, VA, many businesses still use a traditional PSTN phone service. When this type of service is used, calls are transferred through a public switched telephone network, and the PSTN is accessible nationwide. The network for a traditional phone service is comprised of telephone lines, mobile networks, satellites and cables. The PSTN was actually the first phone network created, and it has been in use for almost 100 years.
The cost of making calls with a PSTN service is more expensive than VoIP because the infrastructure for the network requires expensive maintenance. Since the PSTN is analog, it's not very good at sending data over long distances.
Any time a call is made with a PSTN service, the data must stop at several points along the network, and the data must flow through equipment that is owned by several different companies, which can make calls made with the service significantly more expensive. Although many parts of the system have been converted to digital components, the last part of the PSTN network is analog.
Analog Phone Systems with a PBX
Most businesses in Columbia, VA will need to use a PBX, which is a private branch exchange. The PBX is important because it routes calls to where they need to go. When used with a business phone service, the PBX is what provides a wide range of different call features, and it's responsible for delivering voicemail, call forwarding, multiple extensions and conference call features.
The PBX for a business can be located onsite, or it can be installed in a remote location. The biggest drawback of using a PBX with an analog phone system is the cost. The average cost to set up a complete business phone system is high, and it requires many expensive pieces of hardware. The initial cost of the PBX doesn't include the ongoing costs of proper configuration and maintenance. Overall, the cost of using a PBX with an analog phone system can be quite expensive.
There are several other potential problems to consider. Since the PBX consists of many hardware components, it's vulnerable to breakdowns and technical problems. The cost to repair these issues can be high, and the PBX will always be vulnerable to becoming obsolete.