By Tom Senkus
If you’re looking for a run-down of VoIP providers, think again: there are innumerable VoIP providers appearing (and disappearing) on the market today. This means that your business needs to know what services a VoIP provider can offer. In this article, we’ll take a look at some factors to consider when determining the quality of service and various other aspects that should influence your decision-making. At the end, we’ll include a list of VoIP providers to aid your search.
Determining the Quality of VoIP Service
As you may have guessed, not all VoIP service is created equal. Some VoIP providers include enterprise-level add-ons and complicated functionalities for large organizations, whereas others cater to startups and small business with limited funds. With thousands of VOIP service providers with local and toll free numbers on the market, take note that some of these service providers may come with lower-quality service for cheaper rates or overpriced packages geared towards companies with gigantic budgets.
Does the Service Provider Offer “Outbound Calling”?
One common example of this lower-tier service is service providers that do not offer a feature called “outbound calling” for their VoIP service. Even if you don’t know what “outbound calling” is, you’ve probably experienced the following:
You receive a phone call from an unknown number that, on your caller ID, looks something like “V09071748300058”—an endless string of unrecognizable digits.
If a VoIP provider doesn’t offer outbound calling, this is what you get—a phone number that no one is likely to answer. Perhaps outbound calling is optional for lower-tier customers that are banking on contacting a large number of people in hopes that no one’s paying attention, but more than likely, recipients will think the call is a spam caller (and they will most likely be right).
Does the Service Provider Use Proprietary Software/Devices?
Besides outbound calling, another way to discover the quality of a service provider is to see whether they require users to use proprietary software and devices to handle calls. In today’s day and age, where calls can be handled on nearly device that has audio capabilities, this is a major red flag when it comes to lower-tier service provider and those who price gouge for the sake of profit. This lack of versatility is a needless expense and suggests that service provider may be upselling in other areas of its service.
Other Aspects to Consider
Some others aspects to weigh your choice in VoIP service providers are:
- The availability of VoIP codecs
- Availability of intuitive add-ons, including:
- call recording
- virtual SMS numbers
- simultaneous ringing
- domestic toll free and ITFS numbers (“International Toll Free Service” numbers)
- local access numbers
- vanity numbers (ex. 1-800-MATTRES)
- Resistance by firewalls and VPN applications.
- Reliability based on internet connection speeds and bandwidth of the VoIP service provider.
- The quality of call-routing to destination phone numbers.
- Pricing structures and availability of add-ons.
- The company’s long-term business clients.
- The size of the company
- The number of years the VoIP service provider has provided VoIP service.
- Where the VoIP service provider is headquartered
- Global footprint of their network.
- Easy to operate control-panel/dashboards.
- Trial-based introductory service for testing VoIP service.
List of VoIP Providers
- United World Telecom
- Global Call Forwarding
- AI Telephone
- Koala Calling
- Aastra Technologies
- Access Communications
- AVM GmbH
- C2Call GmbH
- Epik Networks
- Fastweb S.p.A.
- Google Hangouts
- Google Voice
- Internode (ISP)
- Mind CTI
- NuWave Communications
- REVE Systems
- TELES AG
Now that you’ve had taken a look at what essentials your business needs, you may want to know that the VoIP service provider United World Telecom has provided over two decades of telecommunications services to small businesses and larger enterprises. With phone numbers available in more than 140 countries and a wide-ranging network, United World Telecom can provide your organization with competitive pricing tiers and an extensive number of features.
Author BIO: Tom Senkus is a freelance writer that specializes in providing startups with telecommunications solutions to aid their global expansion efforts. His work has been published in more than fifty publications and he is the author of ten books, including The Guide to Busking.