VoIP Service Providers
Voice-over-Internet Protocol or VoIP service providers offer advanced Internet-based telephone solutions to individual and business customers alike. Often referred to as “Internet phone service providers”, these entities are responsible for providing VoIP services to subscribers in exchange for rates based on the services included in each package and the period covered by the entire subscription.
These providers vary in terms of offerings. For instance, there are companies that only cater to people who need residential or end-user services; while there are some that only offer their services and products to businesses, deliver full-on PBX or enterprise phone system capabilities. There are others that offer both; but for the purpose of this resource material alone, the concepts surrounding business-class VoIP service providers will be explored.
How are these service providers able to deliver VoIP telephony?
As is true with many Internet-powered solutions, these services are delivered via the transmission of voice and data over converged, high-speed IP networks. The service providers have developed certain technologies and have invested on computing equipment that allows them to handle communications on-demand, like a normal communications carrier would. In a nutshell, instead of having clients host their communications data in-house or on-site, the provider takes full responsibility of configuring and managing the system depending on the subscriber’s specifications.
VoIP service providers utilize packet-switching to transmit calls over the Internet. Instead of having dedicated circuit-switched lines for each voice call and using the old-school Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), these SPs (service providers) use certain procedures to transmit calls by the thousands, which is the usual way of delivering VoIP technology. This is also why VoIP communications use fewer resources than what is commonly required when routing calls through regular or traditional phone lines.
What kind of products and services do these providers offer?
Business VoIP SPs can support single or multi-location, small, medium, and large organizations. The included products and services usually vary per supplier, but in general, VoIP service providers are supposed to primarily offer calling and other related services such as voicemail and fax systems – all powered by the Internet. Most providers today would include additional services in their respective packages like toll free numbers, extensions, handsets, an SMS or texting feature, and mobility services; while some would offer them at a premium rate. Usually, these SPs also assist customers in the process of set-up and installation, user training, and after-sales support.
Which provider should you choose?
While there are no pre-defined rules or specific guidelines for choosing from the pool of VoIP service providers in the market, there are a number of questions you should ask before subscribing to one.
Is it cost effective? Most business owners who run their respective organizations on Voice-over-Internet Protocol made the switch to reduce the monthly overhead expenses they used to have when they relied on non-VoIP phones. Try to look around; there are a lot of phone companies that offer enterprise-class solutions without the outrageous costs that people usually expect from these services.
Does it offer the features you need? To make sure that you’re choosing the best among the widely used VoIP service providers, find out if the one you’re eyeing has all the advanced functionalities applicable to your business communications requirements. Considering that each business has a different set of needs, you must be able to identify which frills or perks will work for your organization and which ones won’t.
Is it easy to use? At the rate things are going in today’s business world, you need to get things done at the fastest, most accurate, and most efficient way possible. If you end up with the wrong provider, you’d still be trying to learn the ropes three months into having the phone system instead of closing deals and whatnot, which could mean losses or missed opportunities for your business.
VoIP service providers have been instrumental in delivering enterprise-grade, VoIP-based communications to hundreds of thousands of businesses all over the world without subjecting subscribers to exorbitant deployment and maintenance fees. While many providers offer standout services for businesses of all sizes and in many industries, finding the best provider still boils down to each company’s needs and preferences when it comes to communications.