The biggest change in the history of the UK telephone network

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Replacing Your Office Phone System to Increase Business Resilience
February 27, 2019

Before you laugh at me, this is actually my first memory of using an office phone system at the age of six! Back in the early 1960’s, my father was a clerk for Metropolitan Water Board (Thames Water) at their depot in Willesden (London). One of his job functions was routing inbound and outbound calls around the site with a switchboard similar to the above.


When extensions rang him, the “dolls eyes” at the top rolled down with a line or extension number on them. He used handle at the side made internal phones ring by alternating the ring current before connect the calls with the switches.


Whilst I know you are not using a phone system as old as this, the current generation of Analogue and ISDN phone systems will ALL soon be redundant. Because this is such a significant event in the history of the UK telephone network, wholesale telephone suppliers including 123Telecom have already pre-warned about what is just around the corner. Openreach plan to declare a 5 year ”end of life” notice for ALL traditional phone lines in 2021.


Forewarned is forearmed; there is no point in investing in traditional telephony in 2019 when it will be redundant in an instant!


We’re living in a world that doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. It’s important to stay up to date and not get left behind. This is a big factor for startups and SMEs who have to compete with the industry giants.


Lots of businesses are now global and find themselves dealing with international suppliers or clients. For example, ONS found that the total costs of UK export services rose from £162.1 billion to £142.7 billion in 2017. Therefore, staying connected with good technology is really important.


Now, whilst the Internet is great for quick, reliable or global communication – you can’t beat a good old-fashioned phone call for instant two way communication. Phone calls really allow you to have an in-depth, real time conversation that you just don’t get via an email, text or Social media. Whilst video phone calls will eventually become the norm, the majority of business people still prefer to communicate “speech only” for the moment.


You cannot afford to ignore the revolution that is going on in the UK telecoms industry! Whenever there are fast areas of change, there are always those people keen to exploit those less technical owners and managers who simply need to be running a business.


Set Up Costs


A high quality business phone solution doesn’t have to be costly anymore. If your company currently uses a traditional system then there’s a chance you’re going to be left behind. You could also be wasting time and money better spent on building your business.


Maintenance contracts? What maintenance contracts? The latest systems don’t need them.


Support Contracts? What support contracts? The latest systems all include no-charge support.


Installation Costs? What installation costs? The latest systems use your current office network wiring. You simply plug in the phones and your system is live.


I could go on and on, but you get the picture. The new tech of Cloud Telephony no longer needs geeky engineers to install and setup. Everything is pre-configured prior to delivery and tweaked remotely. Your desk phones simply download their configuration over the Internet.


Nobody wants to go through the hassle of setting up a phone system. Out of the box solutions are so much easier. Time is crucial when you are a startup or a small business, not to mention all the initial costs that comes with traditional “on the wall” or “on premises” phone system. With Cloud Telephony there is no “on the wall” box to buy. It’s already out there waiting for you. It’s all in The Cloud! It’s already serving hundreds of other businesses just like yours. All you need is new modern handsets to enable you to take advantage of it.


I am always hearing about businesses who were sold systems on a 7 year lease – “to make it affordable” they were told. “To save you money” they were told. These are myths to lock you into a long term contract with the supplier! You typically pay more than double of the true value of the kit with this type of plan! I have seen business several lease plans that total over £10,000 for solutions we would have done for £750 with Cloud Telephony! It is inexpensive and you own the equipment from day 1, so there is no need for a rip-off finance agreement.


You will need an Internet connection and the handsets themselves, but that’s it! Furthermore,  you probably have the Internet already!


The total employment in SMEs was 16.3 million in the UK last year alone. That’s a lot of people that need to be migrated to the new technologies over the next 5 years.


Don’t leave the migration to the last minute; get ahead of your competitors.


Ongoing Costs


As mentioned earlier, the new Cloud Telephony services have no ongoing maintenance or support costs.


With your Internet connection already being paid form, there are only two ongoing monthly costs with Cloud Telephony.


  1. Service charges – ie you are paying to use the service. These are fixed per month.
  2. Call Charges. These will vary, however you can fix most of these charges with an inclusive calls bundle.


It’s easy to see how the cost of calls in the UK has been decreasing since I started 123Telecom 20 years ago.

Calls to UK mobiles has predominantly been the largest part of total call costs for most businesses for years, but with the underlying trend shown in the graph above, 123Telecom now offer most of their clients free calls to all UK Landlines, 03 and UK mobiles as part of the service charge. That way – you have no worries. You only pay a extra if you call premium numbers or International numbers.


So far so good.


So what exactly is a Cloud Telephony Service Charge?


To deliver these services, there are very expensive telephone exchanges located in resilient data centres, all interconnected to the worldwide telephone network. Everything is duplicated in multiple locations for resilience and services are monitored and managed 24/7/365. The system provides all the functionality for a professional business system. So the service charge is a “per user” or “per extension” charge to use this multi million pound tech. It’s that simple.


So, the old “line rental” costs are no longer required. Maintenance and support costs are no longer required, and most UK call costs are free. These are all savings.


On the reverse side of the coin is the Cloud Telephony service charge. But here is the good news. In the old way of the world, every simultaneous call your business had needed phone line and channel. Now – you only need ONE broadband to make any number of simultaneous calls. A single typical UK Fibre Broadband connection can handle up to 200 simultaneous calls, more than enough for most businesses!


The other bit of good news is the Service charge. This is typically HALF that of an old Analogue line rental. For example, a small business can make 6 simultaneous calls for the same cost that they used to pay to have 3 simultaneous calls.


Accessibility Issues


You’re not accessible all of the time. There are times when you will be away from your desk, out of the office or on a business trip. What does this mean? Well, it means you can’t take any office calls and may miss out on vital information. Your reach is severely limited by having an outdated telephone system that cannot be connected to a home office phone, for example.


What about if you find yourself expanding as a business? If you’re moving or setting up more offices, alas, you have to go through the whole ordeal of installing the phone system all over again.


Complications such as changing numbers and linking offices could mean missed calls. Missed calls equal a missed opportunity and time and money wasted!



What to do next


Hopefully, I have included a lot of thought provoking information in this article.


There really are more possibilities with Cloud Telephony.


You may be worried that your broadband may not be reliable enough to host these phones? We also offer an extremely efficient internet service with first class technical support.


You may wonder how Cloud Telephony seamlessly joins multiple locations?

It just works wherever there is reasonable Internet!


You may wonder how we can offer numbers from 70 countries?

We just can!


You may wonder why our call quality is better than traditional phone systems?

It just is!


You may wonder how we deliver resilience with multiple connections?

We just do!


You may wonder how calls automatically ring on your mobile if there is a problem with your Internet connection?

They just do!


If you have any questions about how 123Telecom can help to update your phone systems to save you lots of time and money, please feel free to contact me.


All quotes are to help you see the benefits and costs. We are not a pushy sales organisation. We are here to help you through the maze.


Thanks for reading.



Eric Toll

Founder and Managing Director

123Telecom Limited


  1.   0303 0300 123
  2.  [email protected]
  3. www.123telecom.co.uk


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