Small business VoIP (or Voice over Internet Protocol) uses the latest in communications technology that allows you to make calls over the Internet—as opposed to using a traditional and more expensive phone network. VoIP systems have gained popularity among small to medium sized business (SMBs) who are interested in new phone systems because: (1) it lowers their telecom costs significantly, and (2) it makes their voice and data systems easier to manage.
With so many VoIP vendors available in the market today, it’s difficult to decide which one works best for your small business or enterprise. Many VoIP providers claim to offer the best service at the cheapest prices, but these companies are very competitive, and the differences are very significant.
For the most part, VoIP services are less expensive than most traditional telephone systems, but choosing the right Voice over Internet Protocol service for your specific needs is time consuming.
Since its inception in 2001, Aptela has hosted VoIP services for over a thousand SMB customers. The company sells its services directly, but also offers wholesale services through a reseller network as well. Aptela is available in all 50 states, and customers are typically businesses in the 5- to 20-employee range.
Sprint Nextel is available in 250 markets, and its VoIP service is used by small businesses of five or more. Sprint Nextel also plans to extend its functionality and services to mobile phones as well.
Small business owners can choose from a number of “calling bundles” for domestic, long distance, and international phone calls.
Verizon’s VoIP service runs from a private branch exchange (PBX) platform, and is available in more than 190 markets across the country. Verizon sells its services to businesses of five employees and up. Verizon also offers an IP trunking service for customers already using Cisco’s Call Manager phones.
Based in Houston, Texas, Voilà has recently extended its coverage area to include 70 U.S. cities. The company also sells its services to businesses with five to 200 employees. Voilà features also include file sharing, instant messaging, shared contacts/calendars, and audio/video conferencing.
Although it always pays to do some research when it comes to finding the best VoIP vendor, the three companies above offer some of the best services at the cheapest rates. In today’s economic environment, more companies are switching to VoIP to take advantage of high-quality phone services and save money at the same time.