|Lines & Numbers|
Previously business users were offered a comparatively simple choice between using digital ISDN or analogue phone lines for their business. In either case, multiple calls could (can) be catered for by ordering multiple ISDN channels, or multiple analogue lines - with all associated phone numbers arranged to cover all lines together.
ISDN lines come in two varieties, depending upon the number of channels likely to be needed by a business. For smaller business needs, ISDN 2e lines provide two channels, where each channel is equivalent to a single analogue line, allowing one incoming or outgoing call at a time. Larger numbers of calls are allowed by adding more ISDN 2e circuits, up to typically 3 or 4 lines, above which a single ISDN30 line is used, with anything from 8 to 30 channels activated. In all cases one incurs a monthly rental charge per activated channel.
ISDN lines generally offer superior call quality, and the often critical advantage of allowing multiple numbers to be used over all channels. Multiple DDI (Direct Dial Inward) numbers may be used for many different purposes, but typically for direct dial access to individual extensions or department groups, without need for prior reception and internal call transfer. They may also be used for automatic internal routing of calls to different businesses within the premises - or for internal indication to the call taker that some special number has been called, such as a promotion number, or that the call has originated in some remote area. Use of 20 to 30 numbers by even a comparatively small business in not uncommon. New numbers can usually be added in blocks of 10 at any time, at modest set-up and ongoing monthly rental costs.
Analogue lines are generally supplied with only a single number for each line, or over a group of such lines, giving less flexibility in their use within a business. Monthly rental costs for each analogue line and each ISDN channel are usually the same, with identical call costs for outgoing calls over either line type.
A totally new range of business telephone lines has recently been introduced, with connection over ADSL broadband circuits. These are mostly known as SIP Trunks, although different types are also available. They are intended as an alternative to analogue or ISDN lines, and often provide a more cost effective service than that offered by the older services. Provided that a suitable broadband service is available, new SIP trunks can often be set-up and activated far more quickly than the installation time for either new analogue or ISDN lines. They also often offer a huge range of add-on benefits, such as very simple disaster recovery changes, number flexibility, off site call recording etc.
Please call Hi-Port Telecom for further details.