What is hosted telephony?
Hosted telephony is where your phone system is housed in the cloud, rather than in your office. It is ideal for small and large businesses, call centres and customer support departments.
- No upfront equipment purchase costs
- Flexible communications management
- Ultimate control from Internet enabled devices
Hosted telephony uses cloud technology which removes the need for costly physical hardware on-site and analogue or ISDN telephone lines from phone providers; instead, a business phone system is hosted remotely and connected to via the Internet. Essentially, the phone system becomes a piece of software rather than hardware.
The remote location is known as a Hosted PBX (Private Branch Exchange) and can be accessed through leased lines (lines dedicated to your business with no other, external traffic). It provides a flexible, reliable and efficient way to manage your communications and once it is installed, can be easily managed and additional features can easily be added to suit your needs.
With this set-up, the provider (Southern Communications) will house the Hosted PBX and handle the technology and maintenance of the system.
In comparison, a traditional phone system involves the system being based on your premises and connecting directly to an ISDN line from a provider. For all incoming calls, each member of staff typically requires a deskphone. With hosted telephony, the call can be received on a deskphone, softphone or mobile application.
It is important to be aware that BT have stated all ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) services related to PBX systems will be switched off in 2025. Hosted telephony is a natural alternative as it uses Data Connections to deliver calls.
How does hosted telephony work?
Hosted telephony uses the same LAN network as office Internet and automatically connects to the IP network.
Using the same methods to pass information as the Internet, hosted telephony utilises a router to communicate actions with your associated IP network. This connection is made securely over the Internet or through a dedicated connection specifically for your business.
For incoming calls, the phone will connect to the IP network, then through to the remote host. Here, the dialed number will get connected and sent through to the right department or individual.
To work as expected, hosted telephony requires a private connection and an appropriate bandwidth. In telecoms and computing, bandwidth is the rate or speed at which data can be sent across a network. When installing hosted telephony, or any Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) solution, bandwidth can be measured and upgraded to obtain the best performance for the system.
Such systems are best accessed through dedicated handsets connected to the Internet that offers a range of enhanced features. These IP handsets or virtual phones are recommended and chosen before installation, at which point complete training can be arranged.
Once operational, a business can manage international communications across multiple sites through a simple interface.