Alaska communications is a business VoIP, managed IT services, and broadband provider located in Alaska. They manage a statewide data and voice network and have an undersea fiber optic system connecting to the lower 48. The company services all business verticals and provides cost-effective solutions for small and large businesses.
Size of business served
Alaska Communications has solutions for small business owners and mid-market companies as well as enterprise-sized organizations. Both hosted VoIP and business Ethernet solutions are available.
Alaska Communications appears to offer term contracts with monthly pricing that varies based on the number of lines and current discounts. Plans are presented in bundles that are scaled and grouped by the number of workstations and included minutes.
Users can opt for softphone use or add a leased desktop phone as part of the package. Scalability ranges from 1-20 phones for small businesses up to 100+ phones for enterprise companies. Enterprise companies also can select their desired tier of voice network access and data access, if desired. Data customers must subscribe to voice service.
Both small business and enterprise sized bundles are readily scalable on demand. With supplied phones, there is little or no CAPEX and features are all inclusive. SIP trunking services provides a bridge between on-premise PBX and the cloud, and private PBX solutions are also available. Customizable, hosted Centrex based services can eliminate the need for costly on-premise equipment and in-house support staffing.
Alaska Communications can be run solely with softphones or extant-enabled phones for extra savings, or desktop phones can be added. Free options include a 4-line entry-level or basic 6-line business grade phone; or, if desired, upgraded phones for a few dollars a month can be added to the per-user price.
Available models include those with color/touch screens, up to 16 lines, and full-featured corded and cordless phones suitable for all size companies. Business conference phones and expansion models are also available. Alaska Communications supports, maintains, upgrades and manages all phones provided as part of the service. User-side phones must be managed by the customer.
All equipment remains the property of Alaska Communications and may not be taken to another provider unless special arrangements are made to purchase equipment upon contract termination.
Alaska Communications provides phones support (available M-F from 8 am to 6 pm, and Sat/Sun from 8 am to 5:30 pm). Chat is available M-F from 8 am to 5 pm. The company website offers more support options, including a 60 item FAQ page.
The Alaska Communications website links to a brochure detailing a service level agreement for network performance of up to 99.995% uptime, a less than 5 ms jitter range, and packet loss of less than .05%
Alaska Communications business VoIP includes these “Customer Favorite” features:
- the Alaska Call App – enables office phone features on a tablet, mobile or PC
- find-me-follow-me for easy call forwarding to any device
- music on hold
- unavailable call forwarding – sends all incoming calls to a designated number in case of connection failure
Other features include
- call screening
- call forward
- call jump
- call pickup
- call transfer
- simultaneous ring
- integrated contacts
- speed dialing
- visual voicemail
- web portal administrator
No IT staff is required.
Alaska Communications provides a fully hosted PBX system, eliminating the need for on-premise setups and costly CAPEX. The cloud-hosted VoIP solution can tie many locations together under one network, permits customers to be serviced remotely in case of a local weather related event or disaster, and makes it easy for work-at-home users to feel fully connected.
All physical handsets have e911 capability; the location of each handset must be registered, or location specific information may not be available to emergency services and verbal directions will be needed
Quality and reliability
Alaska Communications is the first company in Alaska, the second in the U.S., and the third in the world to receive certification from the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF), signifying that it meets CE2.0 standards according to a global industry alliance that defines Carrier—class Ethernet networks and services
With enabled equipment, high-quality voice (including HD voice) and video (including full-color HD video) are available as well as web conferencing. Calls are clear, even on state to lower 48 or state to international destination calls.
Alaska Communications does not appear to support any CRM integration at this time. Internal tools are also on the slim side, with no analytic tools and only rudimentary call log reporting.
Pricing for enterprise bundles starts at $28 per user per month for softphone access or $35 per user per month for basic desktop phones. Upgrades can include more complex phone models, and/or data service. No setup charges apply. Inside wiring not included; taxes and surcharges not included.
Pricing for small business bundles starts at $115 per month for one phone, up to $1070 per month for 20 phones. There is no setup charge for up to 8 phones; otherwise set up charges apply. Inside wiring not included; taxes and surcharges not included.