Hosted VoIP v’s on-premise IP-PBX

Not only do you need to be aware of VoIP – but you need to be aware of the ways that VoIP systems can be provided for your business. You can either have your own system based at your office (on-premise), or you may have just the phones at your desks with everything else out in the Cloud (hosted VoIP).

Head in the clouds, or feet on the ground – we can help you decide which is best for your business …

When comparing a hosted VoIP solution to an on-premise IP-PBX – some thought should be given to the basic differences between the two systems and the advantages of each. Adopting a VoIP business phone system – whether it be a hosted [virtual] solution, or an in-house IP-PBX – is an excellent choice regardless which type of system you go for – But – understanding their differences can be important in making the right decision and ultimately being satisfied that your new phone system is providing you with a full scope of business benefits. With software IP-PBX systems driving down costs for both hosted VoIP providers and many IP-PBX manufacturers, there are significant benefits for users, who get a modern business phone system with more features, at a lower cost, and with lower on-going operational expenses.

What is Hosted VoIP?:


An Internet Business Phone System (also known as a hosted PBX or hosted VoIP or virtual PBX) is a phone system where the service provider houses most of the call-routing equipment – and handles onward connections to PSTN & mobile – at a data centre, where they maintain most of the technology and resources that the phone system requires to operate.


The IP phones or desk-sets usually plug into a LAN/router at your office and almost all the signalling, calls and features are handled by the provider’s IP-Media server located far away from their customers. This is a ‘Cloud‘ application with Internet used to link the service provider’s routing equipment, to the phones at your office. The hosted VoIP provider usually charges a “per-seat” (i.e. per extension) monthly service rental, and may include a package of call-minutes and features, or a low per-minute calling cost in that fee.

What is an IP-PBX business phone system?:


An IP-PBX business phone system (e.g. our 3CX) is like a traditional PBX residing at an on-premise location (e.g. at your office building in the computer equipment room), but, its built from technology that uses network and TCP/IP routing. Signalling takes place between the VoIP phone & the IP-PBX server over your own LAN.


Calls may go in & out through traditional PSTN lines (via analogue or ISDN), or over the Internet (VoIP) using SIP trunking – or even a combination of both! The IP-PBX is purchased from, and usually installed by, a telecom’s equipment company who connects the system to carriers using gateway units or software. These carriers may already handle your calls (e.g. BT), or they may be relatively new ISTP’s (Internet Service Telephone Providers), with aggressive tariffs and service rentals.

Understanding the fundamental differences between hosted VoIP and an IP-PBX will help in understanding the benefits and limitations of each business phone system.

What are you buying?:

Purchasing an IP-PBX on-premise phone system usually consists of buying hardware including phones, a server incorporating VoIP software (e.g. 3CX), network switching, and perhaps interface gateways needed to connect to your chosen analogue, ISDN or GSM telephony service providers. However, it is sometimes a mistake to think that all you need are the phones for hosted VoIP. For good quality calls on both platforms, your LAN and Internet Router should be ‘VoIP aware’, and network switches should also have Quality of Service (QoS) and Power over Ethernet (PoE) to support use of phones and PC’s on the same LAN structure.

Comparing Hosted VoIP with on-premise IP-PBX:

A summary of the positives and negatives for comparing the two approaches are:

Hosted VoIP:

  • Lower initial equipment cost and lower setup cost (but don’t forget your network components!)
  • Maintenance costs are included in monthly service rentals.
  • There’s potentially, a low monthly service provider’s cost for calls and features.
  • High on-going cost per extension – especially when large hosted systems are compared to equivalent IP-PBX systems.
  • Lines & DDI numbers may be added upon request.
  • New features and upgraded software are part of the service.

On-premise IP-PBX:

  • Higher initial equipment cost and higher setup cost due to the need for a server & software.
  • Higher long term maintenance costs (w.r.t. the lifetime of the VoIP Server).
  • Much lower on-going monthly service costs after system is paid for.
  • Flexibility due to the capability to add, remove & support analogue, ISDN, GSM and SIP Trunk channels, from multiple carriers.
  • It’s easy to add SIP Trunk lines and DDI numbers.
  • Ability to SIP trunk with [different] VoIP providers to get low cost calls.
  • New features and upgraded software as part of service (with current UI in the case of 3CX).

Initial outlays can be identical for IP phones on both systems e.g. twelve Yealink T26P VoIP phones could be used either for an in-house IP-PBX system or for a hosted VoIP solution, but other equipment such as the VoIP server with PBX software and/or routers can be specific for the service. VoIP aware network switches with Power over Ethernet [PoE] are also [highly!] recommended for both system types, as phones need power, and VoIP needs priority over other data on your LAN. On-going maintenance of the server with hosted VoIP will rest with the provider (but is recovered in extension rentals). However – if purchasing an IP-PBX for an on-premises solution, there is Capex, support, and eventual replacement cost of the server to consider.

Costs of moves and changes:

Adding phones (users) to an IP-PBX can be as simple as installing another IP phone, unless additional licensing is required to expand call capacity (in the case of 3CX), but with hosted VoIP you will need to add both the cost of the hardware (IP phone) and add to your service plan, which will increase your monthly costs depending on the hosted VoIP provider’s per-seat service rental. Both can be easy to do. A 3CX IP-PBX has an administrator’s GUI interface where you can create more extensions quickly and easily at no cost – apart from the phone hardware of course.

It is notable that in the hosted VoIP model, every seat increases your service rental costs! However, the addition of an extension to an IP-PBX does not necessarily need another line! This means that on an IP-PBX platform, monthly service costs are not usually affected by the addition of an extension, because usually, the number of extensions far exceeds the number of lines needed by the business. Putting a phone in your reception area can be an expensive addition to a Hosted VoIP plan attracting an ongoing monthly fee, while it’s just a one-off cost on an IP-PBX.

It is also notable, that the hosted VoIP model will show lowest cost of ownership only when compared to an IP-PBX running gateways to ‘traditional’ analogue and ISDN lines. In this configuration, the IP-PBX needs additional hardware & configuration which further boosts the install costs for the IP-PBX system. If the IP-PBX is terminating SIP Trunks via a DSL service, then its on-going service rental costs will typically be much lower than for hosted VoIP! Keep this in mind when comparing proposals – as a hosted VoIP bid may be made to look attractive, simply because it’s being compared with a ‘hybrid’ IP-PBX running expensive legacy analogue or ISDN trunk lines. Remember that you need the same good quality DSL service for either hosted VoIP extensions, or for SIP Trunks into an IP-PBX, so if you can’t get good DSL, you probably shouldn’t consider VoIP outside your own LAN anyway!

Let’s look at other important considerations:

With any system, whether it be a hosted VoIP service or an on-premise IP-PBX the feature set is critical for your business. If it won’t do what you need it to do, then look at another system. Given that, there are other important considerations. Here are some general pros and cons:

Hosted VoIP Positives:

  • Lower initial cost and a Finance model based on a [it’s usually monthly] service rental.
  • A provider has many more resources than a customer. So new feature sets are possible. (Although, these might come only for an additional charge or rental, and only if other subscribers want them as well).
  • Implementation of new features will be handled off-site, entirely by the provider (but not without risk of service disruption!).
  • Its quick and easy to add or drop virtual DDI numbers.
  • It’s easy to move your phone system. Plug in the IP phone to a broadband connection and you’re back to internal dialling, & making and receiving external calls.
  • Deploying a new phone for a user needs minimal configuration, with the phone either being automatically provisioned by the Hosted VoIP server when it is plugged in – or sent to you pre-configured.
  • Hosted providers usually have edge border controllers or other NAT software that can better navigate through routers allowing easier implementation of remote users.
  • A loss of Internet or another catastrophic event at a business premise will have almost no effect on the business operations as calls will still either go to voice-mail or to a cell phone. This is because the PBX equipment is sitting in a collocation facility with redundancy, back-up power sources and other special safeguards.

Hosted VoIP Negatives:

  • Long-term costs of the system are high due to 3 to 5 year contract periods and per extension service rentals.
  • Either way, you’ll need a degree of local management to determine call plans and in- and out-of-hours routing. Hosted systems require instructions to be passed off site to a maintenance team who are also supporting other subscribers and therefore change implementation may be delayed.
  • Connections (signalling) and voice quality are directly related to the quality of your Internet connection (but the Internet & ISP’s have got much better in the last two years).
  • The VoIP hosting companies may present the product as just a bunch of phones plugged into your existing LAN & router – however – you’ll need a voice-aware LAN & WAN connection for either hosted VoIP or on-premise IP-PBX.
  • Loss of Internet will result in loss of phone service – including internal calls between extensions (although calls will still go to voice mail or where ever else they are routed to, e.g. a cell phone.)
  • Flexibility and/or customization and new future features may be slow or non existent for some providers. Hosted VoIP providers are unlikely to change or adapt services for single users, although there are some hosted VoIP providers that will customize feature sets for a customer (at a price!).
  • It’s difficult or impossible to integrate the phones with your IT structure (e.g. dial out of databases), to take advantage of Computer Telephony Integration (CTI).
  • The hosting company imposes their preferred carrier[s] and therefore, you get a fixed call tariff plan & no Least Cost Routing choices, apart from any offered by the hosting company.
  • Generation of additional extensions to be used in call routing, may incur additional service rental charges – for a non-existent phone!
  • Contracts can be long-term and difficult to get out of (especially rolling contracts!) …
  • Fee increases can be charged and/or cancellations fees imposed.
  • Your provider’s stability, both operational and financial effects your business continuity.

IP-PBX Positives:

  • Either way, you’ll need a degree of local management to determine call plans and in- and out-of-hours routing. However – IP-PBX systems can allow somebody with minimal training & local expertise to make these changes on the fly and optimise them with minimal delays and with a full [local] understanding of your business needs.
  • Lower on-going service costs – covering; trunk channels, DDI numbers and out-bound calls. Note that significant reductions in service rentals can provide a rapid Return on Investment! On-Premise IP-PBX systems will typically show lower annual costs and RoI in the second year of operation!
  • The number of trunk channels required is usually much lower than the number of extensions, which is another reason why on-going monthly service rental costs for IP-PBX are much lower than for hosted VoIP.
  • Having a IP-PBX gives you complete control allowing you to adjust, create, delete users, extensions, turn feature sets on/off, and set your own music/message on hold.
  • Adding more extensions either for users or just for call routing, will not impact on monthly service rental charges.
  • It’s easy to move your phone system. Plug the VoIP Server into a broadband connection and you’re back to making and receiving calls.
  • Deploying a new phone for a user, requires minimum configuration, with the phone automatically provisioned by the IP-PBX server when it is plugged in.
  • Remote users may be connected back into the IP-PBX system via Internet, for internal and external calls.
  • An IP-PBX gives you flexibility to experiment with and optimise your call routing plans – and you can test & see the results immediately.
  • Possibility of adding new feature sets with minimal license maintenance fees as they are developed and added to the system by the manufacturers.
  • No need to change your current carrier[s].
  • Ease of integrating 3rd party CRM applications and Databases to dial from (e.g. dial from Outlook or ACT! Contacts).
  • Ability to add VoIP SIP trunks [from multiple carriers] for route-based savings on calling and reduced monthly service costs.
  • Fast & easy to add new SIP Trunk channels from existing or new providers, and adding DDI numbers into those groups (often taking less than 24 hours).
  • Ability to choose multiple SIP Trunk and PSTN line providers to get the best call rates for each call type / geographic area (huge flexibility in Least Cost Routing!).
  • Ability to use Analogue, ISDN and mobile GSM gateways for incoming & outgoing fall-back in the case of DSL (SIP Trunk) failure – and to reduce cost of GSM mobile calls.
  • IP-PBX’s (e.g. 3CX) make it easy to access call data records so you can query call data as required.
  • Ownership of the VoIP server reduces costs over a period of time after the system is paid for.

IP-PBX Negatives:

  • Higher initial costs, with the Finance model based on Capex or Commercial Lease, especially if analogue or ISDN lines are used.
  • If you have an IP-PBX, then you should have someone who can manage its users – at least to a day-to-day operational level.
  • Expansions can increase complexity (but may also increase flexibility!).
  • External calls made by remote users are routed into the IP-PBX and back out again, using twice the DSL bandwidth at your ‘primary’ site, to create the call path.
  • A loss or failure of a PBX will route calls coming into a business via fall-back strategies (e.g. analogue, ISDN or mobile), until replacement/repair of the IP-PBX.

Have a look at this article – for a check-list to help you choose the right system for your business.

Contact us at Foxhall Solutions – 01787 228 402 – to discuss which platform suits your business best. We offer a free of charge consultancy to provide our expertise to assist in making your choice … Foxhall Solutions – Putting the Comm’s in Commerce …

Starting business comm’s from scratch with VoIP

As a start-up business, you might think that a feature-rich VoIP telephone system, is something to consider way down the line – after you’ve got your business up and running and staff working with you. But, quite the opposite is true … If you go with VoIP from day-one, in a planned way, you can build a telecom’s structure with a lot of benefits – that help your business, provides most of your IT structure, starts low-cost and simple, and just grows along with you.

Many businesses start with just one person working out of their own home. Typically the first step will be to get a phone line for the business, and of course, that comes with a new number that’s put on business cards and all your marketing literature. But all this unravels when you take the next step and move out to an office and get other people involved in your company – because the line & phone-number you have, can’t be transferred, calls to your employees home-offices will cost, and calls into your business can’t be answered by somebody else working at a different location (without you paying for diverts).T46G_1VoIP can start small … For less than the cost of Setting up a new phone line, you can set up a single VoIP phone on your existing broadband service – with a new phone number and with services such as call diversion, caller ID display & voice-mail. Calls to your number are delivered to your phone through broadband, and this means that no matter where you are, you can plug your phone into a broadband router, and it will receive your calls. As more people come on-board, you can put VoIP phones at their home-offices too, and have all phones ring for incoming calls, have extension & direct dial numbers for each, and make calls between your phones free of charge! A further advantage is  that when it comes time to move out of your home office, that contact number that you have worked so hard to market to your customers, moves with you (no matter where you want to move to!).

Hosted extensions working off phone systems residing in the Internet [the ‘Cloud’] may be great for starting off with … However, as your business expands, you’ll find that adding more extensions increases your monthly rental charges. You might also want to have more flexibility with some telephony features, such as assigning marketing messages while callers are on hold, and even creating auto-attendants to guide callers to specific people or departments. When you bring your staff together into your new office, you’ll get big advantages out of installing your own VoIP telephone system – which will use the same telephones you have already been using – with hosted [SIP] trunk lines from the same carrier, and with the same numbers transferred from your hosted extensions. Having your own system, allows you to expand your operation without incurring additional extension rental costs, because the SIP Trunk channels cost much less than an extension rental (and typically, you need a lot less Trunks than extensions!). While there is a set-up cost, the Return on that Investment is fast, because your line and channel costs are reduced. An ideal example of an entry-level phone system, is Draytek’s VigorBX 2000, as it provides you with an Enterprise grade DSL router, along with a decent ‘telephony’ feature-set for up to about 25 phones – all at a reasonable cost!

3CX-logoAs a further leap in sophistication, you can then upgrade a low-end VoIP platform, to incorporate advanced call handling facilities (such as you’d see in e.g. a call centre operation), integration with Customer data for both incoming and outgoing calls, and Unified Messaging. Our 3CX platform can add all the facilities you’ll ever need, by simply installing an IP-PBX server and doing some software configuration. Your phones and IT network remain the same, but what they then can do takes a quantum leap! …

In summary, it is possible to start your business at home, and take that same phone and phone number with you from your kitchen table, out to your corner office on the 21st floor of ‘MyBusiness Towers’, in a structured, planned and cost-effective way – rather than having to dump what you have at each step, build a-new, and re-educate your customer base regarding your contact details.

Contact us at Foxhall Solutions to talk about how this can work for you – & how we can help you by taking some of the difficulties out of starting and moving your business … Call us at 01787 228 402 …

Network design and VoIP call quality …

moonwalk“Where are you talking to me from – the Moon?”

VoIP telephone systems use Local Area Networks (LAN’s), consisting of routers, network switches, loads of cabling, and servers – just like your computers do. But, VoIP is easily upset by network shortfalls that might cause congestion and re-transmission!

That’s because data can be delayed, and bits & bytes can actually be lost and re-sent without effecting the web-page, e-mail, or file that appears at your computer – but when VoIP experiences these problems, you – and the person you are calling – really do hear it!

VoIP transmissions need to be real-time, with minimal data loss – otherwise your ear will easily detect a loss of ‘quality’ in a phone call.

This means that when you consider installing a VoIP telephone system, you need to ensure that it is running on a network with adequate [bandwidth] capacity, and one that will give voice ‘priority’ over other data traffic to ensure a good ‘Quality of Service’ (QoS). In the early days of VoIP, it was the lack of understanding of the importance of QoS, that gave it a bad reputation. VoIP systems were just meshed with existing networks and expected to work – with some very disappointing results!

The basics still apply, in that you do need to consider how much bandwidth you have in your Local Network and Internet connections, to ensure you can carry the phone calls you need to in the first place! Jump to our earlier article about ‘Vibe’ to see how we can get you more bandwidth from even basic broadband services …

QoS is becoming vital in modern network design due to the increase in real-time media that’s being transmitted on both company networks, and the Internet. It’s not only VoIP that’s sensitive, but video streaming and video-conferences are also becoming important. For these applications, we need to ‘tag’ the voice packets that are streaming across LAN components, with code that identifies them as having priority – and of course, we need network components that can recognise these tags and act like traffic lights at an intersection, giving the ‘green-light’ to priority traffic, while queuing everything else until it passes.

In general we ensure that 3CX VoIP PBX systems have two components that ensure good quality speech on the Local Network, and to & from the Internet:


Network ‘Smart-switches’ are installed to replace existing ‘standard’ Ethernet switches so that using a variety of mechanisms, tagged voice packets moving between; the phones, the VoIP server and the Internet router, are ‘classified’ as important, and allowed free & swift passage, while other traffic is queued to follow it. In real terms, the delay imparted to non-tagged data traffic is hardly noticeable – but without this in place, a service-pack download to a workstation for example, could make a phone call quite difficult! As an added bonus, we also install Power over Ethernet (PoE) versions of these smart-switches, so that phones can be powered through the same cat.5e data cable as is used to connect them to the network & server. This means less plug-packs at your desks, and also makes it easy to back-up mains power with a central UPS to keep the phones going if there’s a power cut.

While smart-switches do the job on the LAN, it’s also important to ensure that VoIP traffic has the ‘fast-lane’ on and off the Internet. This is where we need to be careful in our choice of Router. In small site installs, we use a dual-WAN router that allows configuration of load-balancing rules so that we can take two DSL services onto your network, and use one for voice, and the other for data. A simple set of rules ensures that one DSL broadband service is used just for VoIP – with all other traffic coming to and from your LAN via the other.

In larger installs where a single high-speed DSL service (e.g. a 10Mbps or 100Mbps leased line) may be used to carry both voice and data traffic, the router may be configured to perform a different QoS role, where it ‘recognises’ voice traffic and prioritises a pre-set amount of bandwidth in the DSL service, exclusively for the use of VoIP. This means that downloads etc. from the Internet to your LAN, will not cause Quality problems for your phone calls. Jump to this article to see how much bandwidth is needed to carry a VoIP call …

The last consideration is your choice of Internet Service Provider (ISP). If you connect to the Internet, via a different ISP than the company providing your SIP Trunk channels, then there is going to be a ‘leg’ of your call that transits public Internet, with high risk of loss of call quality. This element of the call carriage can be minimised if your DSL supplier, is the same company that provides your SIP Trunks. VoIP Telephony ISP’s should (if they are reputable) provide direct links from their Internet services to the media [SIP] servers providing onward connection to PSTN and mobile services.

Unless you are considering a completely separate and new network for your phone system (which actually has a lot of disadvantages!), you do need to plan network upgrades as part of the implementation of a VoIP phone system such as 3CX. Please contact us at Foxhall Solutions to talk about what’s needed to bring the flexibility and cost-savings of VoIP technology to your company …

3CX makes Skype a part of your business

Skype-userWhen we describe our 3CX phone system, we are often asked … “Is it like Skype?”

Yes – 3CX and Skype share some similarities (they are both VoIP), but were designed for different tasks. In general, Skype has been used for point-to-point communications between one PC & another, and uses those PC’s – along with others on the Internet – to connect the parties in the call. 3CX is a business phone system designed to allow a caller to connect with all the members of an organisation, through Internet & public telephone networks, and through calling strategies that include many call handling features, such as – ringing at multiple extensions, and the ability to transfer answered calls.

Skype has become well established, and can fill a valuable role in enabling customers and staff to make zero-cost calls back into your business from remote locations, via the Internet –  even from other countries! It can also enable the use of ‘Skype Buttons’ on websites, so that calls can be made into your business by a potential customer browsing your site & wanting your services.

Skype Connect’ includes subscriptions to Internet SIP trunk lines, which can be connected to 3CX and act like any other trunk line. They can be allocated ‘Skype numbers’ which means that you can publish a number that enables you to be called by any land-line or mobile – and they can be linked with Skype business accounts so that a customer using Skype to call that account name, calls into your business as though they dialed from a land-line or mobile. The big advantage to your customers and staff is that, when they call you this way, no matter where they are in the world, the call is free! The advantage to you is that you don’t have to have Skype loaded on every PC in your company …

An incoming Skype Connect call can be presented to one or many ‘standard’ phone extensions in your company. It can be queued at – for example, a help desk, and once answered transferred on to somebody else to help the caller further. So while your caller is sitting in front of their PC with their headphones, you can be answering the call on your desk phone like any other.

You might want to use different Skype buttons on different web pages, to call in to different people or groups of people in your company. That way your caller is connecting with the person or department who is going to be able to best assist them with the product or service that they are currently looking at on your website.

Foxhall Solutions have assisted companies to set up Skype for different applications, ranging from IT support help-desks, through to enabling Missionaries working in remote parts of Africa to call their headquarters here in the UK. If you sell or advertise your product or service on your website, and you want to make it easy for your customers to contact you – then you really need to take a look at this facility …

3CX can enhance Skype for your business, using its following features;

  • 3CX is a Skype Connect certified platform.
  • 3CX terminates Skype connect as a SIP trunk for call routing & distribution through your business.
  • 3CX can present the incoming Skype caller to particular extensions, or groups of extensions – and transfer the caller to other extensions as required.


Contact us to talk more about how 3CX can open new and innovative ways for you to keep in touch with your staff, partners and customers.

Broadband Internet … & getting camels through the eyes of needles!


We are finally beginning to see the roll-out of ‘Fibre to the Cabinet’ [FTTC] broadband Internet services, with leased-line type bandwidths, but at enterprise-grade ADSL costs. However, looking at the distribution of Fibre enabled BT exchanges around the UK, it looks like you’ll stand a much better chance of getting FTTC at home, long before it gets to your business park! … Perhaps that’s a reflection of the need for certain ISP’s to get return on their investment in on-line media and entertainment, rather than their commitment to the needs of businesses in this difficult economic climate?

So – faced with a long wait for FTTC, and the need to squeeze more capability out of the ADSL services we have in place, Foxhall have joined forces with ISP – Chicane Internet, and software developers – Voipex, to offer ViBE [Voice over IP Broadband Enhancement], to businesses who would like a low cost alternative to ISDN30 lines, but can only get ‘standard’ ADSL or ADSL2+ services to their offices.

Follow the links in this article to read Voipex’s technical descriptions, but in essence, ViBE takes advantage of the fact that VoIP is transmitted in ‘packets’ across local networks and Internet. You can get much deeper into the reasons if you want to, but much of the ‘header’ data in each VoIP RTP packet is either redundant, the same as in the previous packet – and – the same as in the next one! ViBE strips out this ‘redundant’ header data at each end of the DSL link leaving just the VoIP, transmits it, and then puts it back again at the opposite end … This means that a lot less bandwidth is required to carry the same phone calls – or – to put it another way, a lot more calls can be carried in the same bandwidth!

Of course this needs equipment in place at your office, and at the ISP. A ViBE router must be installed at your site, you must use Chicane’s VoIP SIP Trunks, and Chicane will connect your ‘ViBE Enabled’ service to their Head equipment to complete the picture. Once this is in place there are a lot of clever things that we can do to enhance your VoIP connections:

Firstly, there is a straight-forward increase in the number of calls that a ‘ViBE Enabled’ ADSL broadband service can carry. Depending on distance from the exchange, we will typically see a standard ADSL Max business-grade service giving us between 600 and 800 Kbps upstream bandwidth. Note: you’ll get more downstream, but VoIP is a two-way conversation, so the lower ‘upstream’ figure will set the limits on available bandwidth … A 3CX system licensed to support 8 simultaneous calls, would use 4 x G729 codec’s and 4 x G711 codec’s when max’d out at 8 calls in progress (see this article about codec’s & ADSL). Without ViBE, this would require around 600 Kbps of stable bandwidth to and from your 3CX.

Using this same example, a ViBE enabled connection would require only 312 Kbps to support the same 8 simultaneous calls in and out of a 3CX IP-PBX system.

In fact, it gets better the more calls you carry! A ViBE Enabled 3CX configured to support 16 simultaneous calls, would require just 536 Kbps bandwidth. In other words, we are able to double the number of SIP Trunk channels supported in an average ADSL service – giving twice the call capacity of a non-ViBE ADSL. This is where we squeeze that camel through the eye of the needle!

Another clever feature is that a ViBE router will accept and ‘bond‘ two ADSL broadband lines to be used as a single ‘pipe’ to carry voice and data services into a company. In this configuration, dynamic ‘Quality of Service’ [QoS] will actually ensure that voice calls get priority in and out of your system – and ViBE will also ensure that just the right amount of bandwidth is reserved for each phone-call in progress. In the past we have had to pre-assign and reserve a ‘worst-case’ amount of VoIP-only bandwidth at the router – but ViBE does this dynamically – ensuring high quality calls in all conditions and leaving plenty of room for data traffic when there are just a few phone calls taking place.

And of course – you could elect to use a bonded service to just carry voice, meaning that two low-cost ADSL lines can provide the equivalent voice channels as a full-blown & very expensive ISDN30!

In the bonded configuration, the ViBE router is also able to offer a ‘resilient’ [“rain”] mode, so that loss of one line and/or broadband service would not effect your ability to make or receive calls on the other. Its also possible to sit a standard ADSL alongside a high-capacity leased line / FTTC / EFM , to act as a low-cost but high-capacity fall-back in the case of a failure on the primary DSL service.

So – due to the low-cost lines and broadband, we can implement highly featured SIP Trunk solutions for companies who are big enough to consider using ISDN30 lines, but not quite into using leased-line or EFM DSL access. Rental charges for a fully equipped ISDN30 (30 channels), would be in the region of £500 per month. Two ViBE enabled ADSL Max services, with 30 SIP Trunks, would be charged at approx. £190 per month. Spot the difference! [and … 16 ch. ISDN = £250/mth V’s 16ch ViBE SIP = £95 /mth].

In summary, a ViBE Enabled 3CX system can;

  • Put more voice calls in your available DSL bandwidth.
  • Can guarantee QoS by prioritizing VoIP on a shared DSL connection.
  • Can dynamically allocate bandwidth so as not to penalize data on a shared DSL connection.
  • Can provide active or passive fall-back in case of primary DSL failure.
  • and – can dramatically reduce costs compared to ISDN!

Voipex are an established Suffolk based Company, with International presence and a proven track-record in deployment of ViBE. See their case studies here …

What’s all this cost? Surprisingly, we can ‘ViBE Enable’ a Chicane SIP Trunk group for less than £300 set-up costs, and for a small [+£2] monthly rental applied to each active SIP Trunk channel. Use our ‘Contact Us‘ page to drop us an inquiry, or call us now at +44 1787 228402 – We can explain what’s involved – and how you can enhance your business telecom’s, and remove ISDN as a major ongoing business cost!

What Superfast Broadband can do for your business

Laying down fibre

We’re hearing a great deal about superfast broadband these days, but what we’re hearing doesn’t always sound very relevant to business. Yes, your children may well enjoy the chance to download music quickly and easily, and to watch high-definition movies and TV replays on anything that happens to be connected to the internet, but neither of those is exactly a business priority!

However, it will be good for faster email, faster web searches, and better, more efficient connection with ‘cloud-based’ internet services. And that’s why BT is investing £2.5 bn in a programme to upgrade its exchanges all across the UK in the course of this year.

Even so, you’ll have to wait: it will take time to install fibre optic connections to the street cabinets on each upgraded exchange, leaving just a short length of conventional telephone line connecting your home or your business to a superfast service.

‘Fibre to the cabinet’, or FTTC, promises download speeds of 40 or 80 Megabits per second – right now you’ll be lucky to achieve 8 Megabits per second even on ADSL broadband.

To get more you currently need a leased line, giving speeds around 10 Mbit/s for an installation cost of more than £1,000, and a monthly rental over £800. But a typical 40 Mbit/s FTTC service will cost just £99 to connect, with a monthly rental of around £35!

Better yet, a single high-speed broadband line could carry up to 100 simultaneous phone calls – so if you used FTTC broadband and a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone system instead of an ISDN line you could cut costs by up to 80%.

A smaller company could use a single line for both voice and data – and effectively eliminate telecom line costs entirely!

Use this Superfast Broadband checker site to get some idea of when high-speed broadband is coming to your [UK] area.

Exchange and cabinet upgrades are already starting, so contact us at Foxhall Solutions to discuss the implications for your business…