How do we determine the best option when choosing a VoIP service provider who supports global customers?
This is a growing market segment. Of course, in making this decision, I am assuming that you do not want to own your own hardware or be responsible for the security, etc. So, in deciding which provider to go with, you have lots of options that you need to consider.
It is estimated that 75% of all calls that you make today are VoIP for at least some portion of the transmission. This is because the carriers send them VoIP from location to another. That is part of the reason that you are now able to buy fixed fee long-distance services. For instance, all local and long-distance calls in North America are available for one certain fee. But when you look at the provider side, there are several things that will be a bit different than just evaluating hardware.
Here are some key checkpoints.
- Are all of your numbers portable or will you have to get new ones?
- Which countries are supported by the service?
- Is there an additional per minute charge to any of these countries?
- Can you place some test calls to see what the latency is like?
- What type of equipment (phones, DSL routers, etc.) will be required?
- Are softphones supported? If so, what types and what are the hardware/software requirements for them?
- How do they handle emergency services and 911 address look-ups?
- How long have they been providing services?
- How many system upgrades have they done since they started? How many new sites have they added?
- How are service issues handled?
- What type of technical support is available globally?
- Are all of your other phone services supported – such as: caller ID, conference calling, etc?
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