Hosted Telephony Service FAQ'sSee what other businesses have asked about their hosted phone systems
Our FAQ’s tell you all you need to know about your hosted telephony service. Take a look at our answers to queries about hosted VOIP, SIP Trunking or our Softphone app. We also answer your technical and commercial questions. The answers below should give you all the answers you need when upgrading your telephone system with a hosted VOIP solution.
If your question isn’t listed here try our handy resources page where we give you all the information you could need to get your hosted telephone system up and running in no time.
Can’t find what your looking for? Call us on 0333 011 0705 or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to answer your questions about any aspect of hosted telephony!
Hosted VOIP Questions
What is an auto-attendant/IVR?
An Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system is often referred to as a digital receptionist. An IVR plays back a pre-recorded message to the caller that asks them to press various buttons on their telephone depending on which department or person they would like to speak with.
The IVR system will then route the call accordingly. VOIPE’s IVR allow any digits to be defined as destinations (for example, pressing one might route to the sales ring group). A destination of T can also be defined to route the call if the IVR times out without receiving any input. A destination of I can be defined to route the call if the IVR receives invalid input.
How can my users manage their voicemail?
There are two ways for users to manage their voicemail messages:
The VOIPE messaging center OR The VOIPE Recording Interface web site
Users can dial *97 to access their own mailbox when dialing from their own extension (Extensions mode), or from the device where their extension is logged in. They will be prompted for a password only. If the user is calling from someone else’s phone on the PBX, they can dial *98. They will be prompted for their extension and their password. Once a valid password has been entered, the user will hear voice prompts that direct which buttons to press on their touch tone telephone or softphone in order to listen to and manage their voicemail messages.
Once logged into the messaging center, the following options are valid:
- Plays the oldest unheard message (if any), or plays the oldest message that is still stored.
- Advanced options (allows the user to send a voice reply, call back the caller ID who left them a message, and hear date and time information about the voicemail)
- Play the previous message
- Repeat the current message from the beginning
- Play the next message
- Delete the current message
- Forward the message to another user on the PBX
- Save the message to another folder *: Rewind the message five seconds #: Fast forward the message five seconds
How does flexible forwarding work?
Follow Me will force VOIPE to try and track a user down when their extension is called instead of simply ringing their assigned endpoint. This is often used to call a mobile phone before dropping the caller to voicemail. With this enabled, the user never needs to give out their mobile number because the system will always try to reach them there when their main endpoint is not answered. Likewise, if the mobile number changes it simply has to be updated in one place and no calls are missed.
VOIPE has two implementations of the “follow-me” system—the default Follow Me and the VmX Locater.The default follow-me system is controlled by the VOIPE administrator, and allows for varying ring strategies, ring times, music-on-hold selections, and various other complex settings. The VmX Locater is controlled by the end user, but is a much simpler implementation that consists of prompting the caller to press 0, 1, or 2 and directing calls to different numbers based on what was selected.
Which telephone numbers can I choose for my business?
When you sign up for the VOIPE service we will allocate your at least one inbound local STD number. For example if your address is Manchester you will be offered a number of 0161 numbers to choose from. You can add individual DDI numbers if you require.
You may want to bring your current STD number. We will look to port the number from your current provider to our SIP service. this can take some time and you need to check you are not in a long term contract with your current line provider.
You may want to bring a current Non Geographic number and this is easily achieved. You will simply point the Non Geographic number from your provider to the new STD number allocated by VOIPE. You may also want to choose from our range of 08 and 03 numbers.
How does the "directory for all" feature work?
Phonebook Directory targets do not require setting up any additional configuration beyond initial user setup. The Phonebook Directory allows a caller to search for a user’s extension by dialing the first three letters of their first, last, or first and last name. As long as the user has the Voicemail & Directory option enabled, they will be listed in the directory.
The user is prompted to enter three letters on their touch tone phone to make a search in the phonebook. When the desired entry is found, the user is given the option to press 1 to dial the number.
Do I need any hardware for my hosted VOIP system?
One of major benefits of a hosted telephony service is that the client does not need to host nor invest in telephone system hardware. All of the telephony hardware and software is hosted by the hosting company’s data centre and calls are routed via an IP link to the telephones on the client’s premises.
In fact there is some new hardware required. There is often a replacement of handsets, where legacy telephones are replaced with VOIP handsets. The client may also require some cabling to support the new handsets. The handsets will require power and it is advisable to use a Power over Ethernet (PoE) switch for all new VOIP phones.
These costs must not be forgotten but at VOIPE we offer packages that can include these items into the monthly per seat price.
How many extensions can I have?
Unlike on site telephone systems, VOIPE has no limits to the number of extensions a client can use. There are no restrictions to to number of users that can be added from any location where a reliable IP connection can be found.
Restrictions for the maximum numbers of extensions tend to focus on the available bandwidth a client has to the VOIPE network. This may be an Internet connection or direct connection. Each user who picks up their desk phone top make a call requires approximately 100Kbps across the the network.
VOIPE is different from many of the Internet based VOIP hosting providers in that we offer both an Internet and Direct connection model. For those companies who prefer a dedicated line to the VOIPE network have a number of choices from Ethernet First Mile(EFM), 100Mbps Fibre and FFTC. A dedicated connection ensures that all voice calls are routed to the VOIPE network without lag or contention.
Can I get cheaper calls with SIP Trunking?
The VOIPE service includes the routing of calls using the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). Calls from the handset through VOIPE use SIP and are ultimately broken out to the traditional PSTN network to reach its end point. As the majority of the call is handled using a free or low call transit, then calls out of the VOIPE network are significantly cheaper than ISDN.
VOIPE provides a number of routing options for all its outbound SIP calls. Calls to international numbers can be minimised using one of our wholesale providers while local and national calls are free using another. Calls to mobiles can be bundled into the package and out minutes calls to mobiles are extremely competitive.
SIP Trunking Questions
Can I use SIP Trunks?
SIP Trunks provide a highly-flexible alternative to ISDN and are compatible with most leading IP PBX brands in the UK market. Even if you don’t have an IP PBX, VOIPE can supply ISDN to SIP gateways to enable you to keep your current telephony investment.
Why should I move to SIP?
Compared to ISDN, SIP Trunks are cheaper on a per-channel basis and more flexible in terms of what telephone numbers you can have and the locations in which you can have them. In addition, they are quicker to install and offer a robust business continuity service that ensures your business never loses any calls.
BT have recently announced their intention to switch off ISDN exchanges by 2025 so every business in the UK with ISDN lines needs to plan for the migration. Hear full details of the BT announcement
What happens if we have a power outage or business move?
Delivering a robust, business-grade telephony service that you can rely on to keep your business running whatever the circumstance is vital. VOIPE SIP Trunks connect customers’ sites with our nationwide network provider, so in the event of an outage or move your calls can be re-routed within seconds so you never miss a call!
Are there any restrictions on how many channels I can have?
There are no restrictions! Our service can support connections ranging from two channels for businesses with small PBXs, with no limit on the number of channels that can be supported for large enterprises and contact centres.
Softphone App Questions
What is the VOIP softphone app?
The VOIP application is a soft-phone which takes away the need for a fixed phone on your desk. This can be a VOIP software application, either on your PC/Laptop or on your Mobile phone.
It sits on your Laptop,PC or Mac and you will need a headset plugged into the device to make a good quality telephone call.
Is the softphone app secure?
Yes, the app has advanced security with signaling and media encryption via TLS and SRTP and firewall traversal and compliance with the latest standards (ICE, STUN, & TURN). So you can be assured your communications are secure.
Advanced Interoperability and Configuration
The softphone app uses open standards based Session Initiated Protocol (SIP) signaling for all interactive media sessions. IT supports multiple account integration including local or company directories (LDAP/Active Directory), Microsoft Outlook®, XMPP and high compression codec support.
The softphone app also supports zero Touch Configuration of your audio or video devices and support of plug-and-play HID complaint devices with option to personalize buttons.
What about the softphone app interface?
Focused around your address book, the VOIP application’s contact-centric interface gives you more ways to make, receive and manage your calls and IMs. Navigate contacts, favorites, call history and dial pad with just a click of your mouse and hide the dial pad when you don’t need it.
Scale the VOIP application to different sizes to maximize space on your desktop.
How can I manage my business' contacts?
Manage, sort and filter up to 3,000 contacts with support for contact avatars. Synchronize your contacts with Microsoft Outlook® personal address book (Windows 32 bit Outlook ® only) or Mac Address Book (Mac only). You can also create groups for contacts with the ability to place one contact in several groups, set a default contact method for each contact and add a contact during a call.
Can the VOIP app let my contacts know how to reach me?
Yes, you can set your presence status so contacts know how and when to get a hold of you best, receive or block notification alerts for contacts’ presence status updates and establish unique privacy rules for your presence status for individual contacts.
My business wants to use IM, can the softphone app support this?
Yes! With the app you can send instant messages to from your contact list when you see they are online, start a single or group chat from the Messages window, set Pop-up notification and sound alerts for incoming IMs, employ “Do Not Disturb” function for blocking incoming Instant Messages and create company chat rooms of persistent meeting rooms that users can join or be added to.
Can a softphone app really make HD calls?
It can! The softphone app makes HD voice calls and video calls and conference calls using SILK HD and Opus voice codecs (among many others). The softphone app can also allow you to view, send and receive high-definition (HD) video using H.264 and VP8 codecs. It also includes standard telephony features including speakerphone, mute and ability to transfer, forward and hold calls and the ability to see incoming call alerts. It also includes use of a detachable, full screen video window and you can also hide your ID for calls, employ “Do Not Disturb” function for audio and video calls and use the missed calls indicator.
Does VOIPE only offer an internet only VOIP solution?
No, VOIPE offers both Internet and Direct Connect. There are several type of direct connections we can offer with some also incorporating Internet traffic so you can converge the voice and data down the same line with quality of service for voice.
How much bandwidth does a VOIP call take?
We believe in delivering the best quality calls. We therefore do not compress our voice calls. For the more technical minded we use a G711 codec which approximates the call to 100Kbps. Please consider both your upload and download speeds for concurrent calls. For example for 5 x VOIP calls to be going on (in and out) you would need 500Kbps upload and download available.
What happens with my current main telephone number?
You may wish to introduce a new non-geographic number scheme or if you wish to keep your existing numbers. We can do both. We have porting agreements with all the major line providers and the costs are very minimal to take current numbers with you.
Which phone will I receive?
What support will I receive?
You will receive our exceptional help desk service included in the price. Our help desk is UK based and our engineers are all highly trained PBX engineers.
Will I need power for the IP phones?
Yes. You may have your own Power over Ethernet (PoE) switches or we can supply PoE switch ports within the installation.
Can I use the softphone app anywhere?
Yes! You can use our softphone app wherever there is a reliable data connection. While the 4G network is capable of handling voice calls within a data plan we advise that the best VOIP call is seen over a Public or Private WiFi connection.
Do you provide SIP Trunks only?
Yes we can supply SIP trunks over the Internet or Direct Connection. You need to check that your PBX can take SIP trunks and you need to look into security issue associated with VOIP calling over an Internet connection. We can advise you on the best solution for your business, please call us on 0333 011 0705.
Commercial VOIP Questions
Are there any upfront costs?
Mostly our solutions don’t carry any up-front costs but sometimes we may need to charge for line installations (passed on from BT Openreach for example). Most extra product and service (phones, switches, apps) can be incorporated into the monthly payment.
How long is the contract?
As we are supplying product and services we ask for a minimum of 12 months and for 24 and 36 months and we are able to reduce the per seat cost.
How can I pay?
You can setup a PayPal payment, Credit Card subscription or Monthly Direct Debit mandate. Our account managers can discuss these options with you in more depth.
Will I save money on call costs?
Most probably. Our local and national calls are typically free of charge and if you sign for 36 months you will receive up to 2,000 minutes per month to mobile included. Our International call rates are far more competitive than traditional PSTN rates. Call us on 0333 011 0705 for our latest call tariff.