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Choosing a VoIP Service Provider

Updated on April 23, 2013
Choosing a VoIP Provider
Choosing a VoIP Provider | Source

Different Types of VoIP Providers

The Internet is an extremely flexible platform. Due to this, there is no end to the variety of different VoIP services available on the market. This can be confusing to a business owner trying to decide what implementation to go with when migrating from the traditional PSTN phone system. Here are a few factors you should consider.

Pricing Structure

With the regular phone network, you're used to a simplified billing mechanism. You usually pay a flat fee for all calls made within the US or Canada. International calls are of course subject to a different standard. With VoIP, depending on the provider, you can get the same deal with a fixed price every month, or you can adopt a "pay-as-you-go" plan that more accurately reflects your expenses. You may want to consider that paying a fixed price every month may be more expensive. Think about it. Telephone companies would not want to lose money on an average. So that fixed amount you dole out every month is most likely to be more than you need to pay.

With VoIP, adopting a pay-as-you-go structure can help to dramatically lower your costs. Experiment and see how it works out.

Mobile Number Portability

You have probably spent years building up a brand name for your business and thousands of dollars in marketing costs. Everyone has your existing telephone number, and you don't want that to change. Moving to VoIP shouldn't mean giving up the telephone number that you have invested so much into. In fact, from a long-term standpoint it makes even more sense. VoIP providers do not own the numbers that they give to you unlike a telecom carrier. Instead, they lease them out and have to reclaim them if you shift to another VoIP service. Keeping your existing telephone number provides you with the flexibility to move away without having to give up yet another contact number.

Customer Service

This is one of those "make or break" aspects of an SIP VoIP Provider. You will inevitably run into issues with your VoIP installation at first and later down the line you want any new problems to be dealt with quickly so that your business need not be interrupted. Prompt customer service is absolutely critical. Unfortunately, there's really no easy way to determine what kind of customer service you will get other than looking at reviews and speaking to people who have used the service in the past. All companies after all will claim that their service is exceptional.

These are just a few things you need to look at with a hosted VoIP service. Talk to your IT administrator to find out if there are any other technical issues you need to be aware of.

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