What is Hosted VoIP - more details
Last Updated: 22/07/2015
Hosted VoIP is an alternative to a traditional telephony system using an internet connection to initiate calls. As it is hosted, the system is feature rich and cost effective.
Upstream hosted VoIP (Voice over IP) runs on existing computer networks and eliminates the requirement for on-site switchboards. Therefore no PBX hardware is owned, maintained or operated by the end user.
Instead of on-site hardware, Upstream hosted VoIP works using servers in multiple UK data centres – a virtual switchboard in the cloud – meaning your telephone system no longer has geographic constraints. As a result, personnel can easily work across locations, calls can be transferred between locations, be picked up from any location and all phones within the system work as if they were “in the same location”
This functionality means that because the system thinks it is in the same building all calls within the system are free, so calling between offices or to remote workers becomes free.
The main reason is to cut costs, often dramatically. It is not uncommon to half rental costs by moving from ISDN to VoIP and call costs can be reduced by up to 90%
Hosted VoIP eliminates the need for expensive hardware and maintenance contracts. The only initial investment is for compatible phones which start at around £40 (unless you use your PC/Mobile phone as an extension).
Every company using our service, large or small, has access to the same extensive corporate switchboard facilities. The ability to link your offices, use your mobile phone or PC as an internal extension, as well as TAPI integration with Outlook ,CRM and other PC software gives further increased functionality.
Often organisations initially look at VoIP when capacity is being reached in an existing telephone system. VoIP is entirely scalable and additional lines can be added within 48 hours. Rather than adding more ISDN lines and committing to new long term contracts we offer a simple, quick and easy way to increase capacity. In the same way that capacity can be added, it can also be reduced as you are only committed to the current month.
The online management tool allows you to be in complete control. You can set up call forwarding, call groups, hunt numbers and individual answer phones by department or DDI. You also have access in real time to reports such as itemised call records and usage reports.
A “Superfast” connection will support 100+ concurrent calls; to ensure good voice performance you will need to be able to configure your router to prioritise VoIP traffic.
If you can only get ADSL this is sufficient for most small businesses and will handle upwards of 5 concurrent call connections depending on line speed. We recommend you consider installing a separate ADSL line dedicated to voice.
SIP trunks are used to connect VoIP to the outside world but your Upstream VoIP subscription will include the use of our SIP trunk.
Upstream VoIP can also be used with Satellite broadband.
A wide range of telephones with extensive capabilities is available from £40 to £200; we will make sure you have the right phone for your requirements.
The phones come preconfigured from Upstream and all that is required is to plug them into the network. If network sockets are at a premium the phone and PC can be daisy-chained.
Web Portal configuration is totally controlled by you, so there is no more waiting for an engineer to make minor changes to your set up.
If you are keeping your existing numbers, we need to apply to your current provider for them to be ported, and the timing depends on when they release the number. However, you don’t need to wait for this, you can set up your new telephone network and it will present your company number to your customers and suppliers.
Larger companies mitigate the chance of internet failure by combining broadband connections from different providers, thereafter failover between networks can be achieved automatically.
In the event of total network failure calls can easily be redirected to mobiles or landlines through the online management system.
If the worst happens and the office is destroyed, we can get preconfigured phones shipped the same day that can be plugged in anywhere and work exactly as they did in the office – with the same numbers.
A key benefit of Upstream hosted VoIP is that the system is supported remotely so no more costly engineer site visits. Patches and upgrades to the system happen remotely and automatically, without downtime. Additionally the system is monitored in real time so faults are dealt with proactively before they impact on you. This is different to traditional telephony which relies on faults being reported by customers.
At Upstream we stand by our service and so we will not tie you in to a long contract. You are only committed to the month you are in and this gives you the flexibility to increase and decrease lines as your workforce changes. Additionally, the phones are not tied to your local exchange so moving office is a breeze. (NB: Legally, the location of the phones needs to be logged accurately for 999 calls).
Upstream VoIP is a managed service and, in order for us to manage the service, we would prefer that you buy the phones through us. We can then pre-configure them for you and know that they will be 100% compatible with the service. You can rest assured that our range of phones is competitively priced.
If you have an existing investment in VoIP phones then it is likely that they can be configured to use with Upstream, just ask.
The “line rental” is actually a subscription and starts at £7.95 per line / number per month. Quantity discounts are then applied from 10 lines onwards.
Call recording, auto attendant and call queuing are all also available at a small extra monthly cost.
Call costs are charged by the second subject to a minimum charge of 1.5p.
Example costs are:
UK: 0.38p per minute (0.0063p per second)
Mobile: 2.2p per minute
France: 0.9p per minute
Germany: 2.94p per minute
USA: 9.0p per minute
Indonesia: 8.0p per minute
If you would like to trial the service, you can with no strings attached. We will send you a phone and logon to use as much as you like for 2 weeks. That way, you can be sure of its functionality, programmability, and flexibility.