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Cloud Phone System
VOIP, SIP, DDI, POE … confused? Who can blame you?  
The pace of change in the telecoms sector grow is growing apace. Great news for businesses, for organisations and for schools across the UK. In a shrinking world, efficient, affordable communication is ever more critical. But there’s a downside. With every technical innovation, every new development, there’s a price to pay - jargon. How frustrating to be bombarded by an ever-increasing avalanche of acronyms and ‘industry’ phrases! As ever, Talking Business is here to help and, in this blog, we’ll blow apart telecoms jargon and explain what it all means. 
Investing in a cloud phone system for your business
VOIP - Voice Over Internet Protocol 
Phone calls sent over a data network or via the internet. Examples of VOIP are Cloud phones or a Hybrid system. 
Cloud Phones/Hosted Telephony 
A telephone system that’s controlled remotely from a call server - based in a data centre and not in the user’s physical location. 
Hybrid Phone Solution 
A combination of a traditional phone system with VOIP. The call server is on the user’s site, but instead of traditional phone lines they use … 
… SIP - Session Initiation Protocol 
These are virtual phone lines, that are replacing traditional copper-wire ISDN. SIP lines are sent via the internet to an onsite hybrid VOIP solution. The system uses one SIP channel per phone call. 
ISDN - Integrated Services Designated Network 
Traditional digital phone lines. These come in two formats - 
ISDN2, with 2 channels (they can handle 2 concurrent phone calls 
ISDN30, with between 8 and 30 phone channels 
PSTN - Public Switched Telephone Network 
Analogue copper phone lines. Used to supply FTTC and ADSL2+ (see below) broadbands, alarm lines, faxes, and other services. 
Call Hold 
A feature that enables the user to keep one call, while accepting or making another call, using the same handset or phone device. The held call is tied to the handset that placed the call on hold, so can only be taken off hold from the same handset. 
Call Park 
A feature that allows the user to place a call on hold on one handset and then retrieve the call from another within the same network. The call is effectively placed in a ‘parking bay’, with an allocated parking bay number. To retrieve the call, the user simply types in the bay number on a second handset in the network. 
Call Transfer 
A feature that allows the user to place a call on hold whilst, transferring the call to another destination. The destination can be either an internal or external telephone. 
Auto Attendant 
An automated system which guides a caller through voice menu options. The Auto Attendant will be set to answer and route incoming calls. 
PBX - Private Branch Exchange 
This is a private telephone network used by a company or organization. Its users can communicate internally and externally, using different communication channels such as VOIP, ISDN or analog. 
Hunt group 
This is the method of distributing phone calls from a single telephone number to a group of several phone lines. 
DDI - Direct Dial Inbound 
This technology allows users to rent individual phone numbers without the need to rent separate lines. DDIs are mapped onto specific ISDN lines. The PBX is then programmed to direct the incoming DDI call to the specific extension or ‘hunt group’ as required. Users can rent a large volume of DDIs, while renting an optimum number of lines. 
IP Phones 
Handsets that connect to either Cloud or Hybrid solution over a network. 
POE - Power Over Ethernet 
This is the power provided to network devices such as IP phones over their network connection. 

 Broadband types 

FTTC - Fibre to the Cabinet 
A type of fibre internet connection. This uses fibre between the exchange to the cabinet (those dark green boxes at the side of the street). From the cabinet to the user’s site, copper is used. Business broadband is shared with neighbour businesses meaning speeds vary. 
ADSL2+ - Asymmetric Digital Signal Line 
This is broadband routed through copper wiring. It’s slower, less reliable than FTTC and is more likely to be slowed down by shared use by neighbouring businesses. 
Leased line 
This is a dedicated fibre internet connection. Fibre is run from the exchange direct to the user’s site. It isn’t shared with any other businesses. Speeds are guaranteed and synchronous, meaning both download and upload speeds are the same. 
We do hope these definitions have helped to clarify a few jargon words and phrases. We’re IT communications specialists. We’ll guide you through the IT comms maze. We’ll give you all the advice you need and take care of all the implementation, leaving you to focus on what you do best. 
Call now on 0371 321 01 01. 
We’d love to help. 
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