In my opinion, with so many phone services to choose from, it is important for small business to strongly consider the need and use of the service they choose. For instance, some pre-paid service offers are comparable to contract service, in some cases. Be mindful that some prepaid services have coverage restrictions and you may experience outages during peak hours of the day or week, dropped/lost calls and data transfer restrictions. But if you are a start-up and need optimum service on a limited budget I, personally, recommend either Virgin Mobile or Boost Mobile, Small Businesses with increased cell phone budgets, have the luxury of buying service and perks. Therefore, I recommend AT&T or Verizon namely because you can broker a very good deal with either AT&T or Verizon for a group plan - predicated on the number of phones and the planned amount of usage. In addition, Microsoft is introducing a phone service that could be a combination of optimum service, coverage and bargain prices...just a though.
If you are looking at landlines, I would go with Vonage...no doubt. They have the best prices, and the best service. For wireless I agree with Willard, personally I have Verizon and I am very happy with them.
I was with Vonage until we ended up doing more video production work, uploading and downloading videos interfered with the phone-voice quality. We switched to a cable provider (Comcast) for landline. It was worth it.
For Mobile, Verizon is solid but pricey. I stay away from AT&T like the plague ... and for now I'm with T-Mobile because it has a good plan, and a relatively good coverage.
Verizon, because of their videoconferencing and world data plans.
Do you do business in the US only or other countries? Are you looking at land lines or cell phones. I have some things I would like to discuss if you are looking for cell phones and where you will be doing it from.
The one that is least likely to drop a call in your location.
The actual service providers in your area that is capable of delivering the services you need is probably limited, and can be determined easily by a consultant like myself at no charge. But I agree with Willard, that the most important consideration is what you want it to do for your business. Today the best values are usually found in bundled services that include voice, data (Internet access) and many other features that may be very useful to your business operation. Yes you can broker your own deal, but without the knowledge of what you can ask for, it's best to utilize a consultant. By allowing a seasoned consultant like myself, at no charge to you, to analyze your business operation and then researching the options available in your area, only then can you be sure that you get the best deal. I know, because I worked for several different carriers over the years and I specialized in connectivity for many start-up companies in Silicon Valley. Not only what you need today, but what will scale quickly should your start-up find success.
I have been using Ring Central for many years now. It offers so so many features you will find perfect for your business. and it is very professional. You never have to miss a call. Very reasonable in price also. Good luck and if you want me to tell you more feel free to email me or call me.