Best Business Phone Service Providers – 2017 Reviews, best business phone.#Best #business #phone


Business Phone Service Providers

Price Range

Industry

Platform

Vonage Business Solutions

Virtual Office by 8×8

Call us for a free FastStart Consultation: (844) 852-3639

MegaPath

Business Voice

Call us for a free FastStart Consultation: (844) 852-3639

ContactWorld by NewVoiceMedia

UNIVERGE 3C

Call us for a free FastStart Consultation: (844) 852-3639

XO Hosted PBX

OBiPLUS

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Market Research Associate

Last Updated: September 22, 2017

Business phone service has transformed dramatically over recent decades so it s critical to know your options if you re thinking about switching providers or replacing your phone system.

Recent changes in carriers offerings have mainly been driven by the evolution of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology. VoIP makes it possible to send phone calls over the Internet, as opposed to traditional phone lines.

VoIP service is technically complex, so you ll need to understand the key elements of a solution before you begin evaluating providers. Additionally, there are reasons to explore other types of phone service besides VoIP even though most businesses are now migrating to VoIP service when they need a new system.

We ve written this buyer s guide to familiarize you with the major kinds of business phone service on the market today. Here are the topics we ll explore:

Phone Service Types: POTS, VoIP, Cellular and PRI

The following graphic breaks down the basic types of voice service available in North America:

Voice Service Types

Best business phone

POTS offers one unique advantage over other kinds of voice service: POTS transmits voice information as an analog audio signal using electricity, so POTS lines supply power to both phones and voice service. This means that POTS will keep phones ringing even if the power gets knocked out.

That said, the FCC is currently overseeing the sunset of the traditional copper telephone network. If you re currently using POTS, you need to be aware that copper phone lines will be dead for good in just a few more years.

VoIP is a technology that transmits real-time voice information as data using an Internet connection.

VoIP differs from other digital voice services in that the voice information isn t just digitized, but also transmitted using Internet Protocol (IP). This means you can use broadband Internet access for both voice and data. Other kinds of digital voice service businesses need both Internet and voice service.

VoIP can be used with various types of Internet access, including:

You just need sufficient bandwidth for the calls. Just like streaming video, VoIP demands lots of bandwidth, as calls are streamed in real-time.

Cellular service only supported voice calling at one point, but it now refers to a family of services that also enable wireless data connections to the Internet.

On a smartphone, a voice call can be routed via the cellular carrier, which will rack up per-minute rates. However, the call can also be sent over a long-term evolution (LTE) data connection, so you only pay for the data used by the call no per-minute rates.

This is a variation on VoIP known as Voice over LTE, or VoLTE. (While LTE refers specifically to 4G networks, a 3G or wireless Internet connection can also be used.)

Finally, T1 connections support a whole family of digital voice services:

  1. Primary Rate Interface (PRI) service is a specialized type of digital voice service that s been available since the 1980s. With PRI, a T1 trunk line is divided into 24 channels, 23 of which can be used for voice calls. The 24th channel is utilized for signalling information like caller ID. While PRI has been in use in enterprise contact centers for decades, the technology has limitations when it comes to scalability. In particular, because only 23 channels are available for voice calls, a business will need to buy a whole new trunk line with another 23 channels for calls in order to handle 24 calls at once. This means that you re essentially paying for unused capacity. VoIP, on the other hand, is much more scalable and affordable in North America. (There are regional cases to be made for using PRI in other countries.)
  2. Channelized T1 is a T1 trunk divided into 24 channels for voice calls. With channelized T1, there s no separate channel for signalling information as there is with PRI, which means the service can t support essential capabilities, such as caller ID.
  3. Unchannelized T1 is just that: a trunk line that hasn t been divided into channels. Unchannelized T1 is used for data service, whereas PRI and channelized T1 are used for voice service. An unchannelized T1 connection can support VoIP service.

Pros and Cons of Different Service Types

The table below summarizes the advantages and disadvantages of each service type:

Best business phone

Finding the Right Service Type and Provider for Your Phone System

There are two basic elements of a communications solution: the hardware- or software-based phone system (also known as a Private Branch eXchange or PBX system), and the phone service that allows you to make and receive calls.

Contemporary phone systems can be based on hardware or software deployed at your company, on-premise, or they can be hosted in the cloud.

Some businesses don t even have desk phones just softphone applications installed on laptops that connect via the Internet to a phone system in the service provider s data center.

VoIP-based systems are particularly flexible in this respect.

The table below shows the major phone system types and the voice services they work with. Definitions of each system can be found below the table:


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