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Hosted Telephony

Sharp's hosted telephony is a telephone service that uses the Internet rather than landlines, also known as VOIP telephony (Voice Over Internet Protocol) or cloud telephony.

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What is hosted telephony? 

Also known as ‘VOIP telephony’ (Voice Over Internet Protocol) or ‘cloud telephony’, in simple terms, hosted VOIP solutions refer to a telephone service that uses the Internet rather than a landline.  

Traditional telephone systems use hardwired phone lines to connect a caller to a receiver. This can often lead to an array of problems, like high maintenance and installation costs and call quality drop-offs. Hosted telephony solutions work in much the same way, except call traffic is hosted in the cloud – hence the term ‘hosted’ telephony - and transmitted using SIP trunks (essentially digital phone lines) to connect callers and receivers securely via the internet. 

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What are the benefits of a hosted telephony service? 

The benefits of hosted VOIP solutions include: 

Compatibility - From smartphones and mobiles to IP handsets and desktop apps, hosted VOIP telephony offers a myriad of handset compatibility options.  

Flexible and scalable - Configuration, installation and setup is as simple as can be – all you need is an Internet connection. Unlike traditional phonelines that keep you tethered to a single spot, cloud telephony offers more flexibility by allowing users to move around, whether they are at home or in the office - simply plug in a handset and you’re ready to go. Licenses can be easily added or removed in line with the changing needs of your business. 

Fixed cost - There’s no expensive hardware installation or maintenance costs to worry about. Fees are charged on a per-month, per-user basis and can be added or removed as required. 

Easier remote fix - Gone are the days of telephony engineers visiting your workplace to fix phone lines. Cloud telephony support is provided by a remote helpdesk, with almost all maintenance issues being fixed over the phone. 

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Sharp’s Complete Telephony Service 

There are many hosted telephony providers to choose from, but not all offer the same simple, cost-effective service. Complete Telephony from Sharp provides the below features as standard: 

Unified communications – make and receive calls from a desk phone, a PC, a Mac or via a mobile app. 

Conferencing – utilise a simple drag-and-drop interface for teleconferencing and video conferencing, both internally and externally. 

Smart – if you’re on the phone, Microsoft Teams will change your status to to ‘In a Call’. 

Licensing – a single monthly bill for all call costs and user activity. 

Hot-desking – if your teams use remote working solutions to work from different locations, or hot desk within the same location, they can make and receive calls from wherever they are located.

Microsoft Teams – full integration with Microsoft Teams. 

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Why choose Complete Telephony? 

With ISDN (digital) lines being phased out by 2025, it’s not a case of IF you should make the change, but WHEN. 

By partnering with Sharp for our hosted VOIP solutions, you’ll have the backing of a large organisation and access to a nationwide network of highly trained telephony experts. A local team of technicians will be on hand to help you with the support and advice you need, whenever you need it.  

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Hosted Telephony and ISDN Lines

Is hosted telephony the same as digital voice?

While the concepts of both are similar in terms of being within the realm the telecommunications, hosted telephony and digital voice are not the same.

Hosted telephony refers to the delivery of telephony services over the Internet using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology to connect voice calls as data packets over an IP network. The service is hosted in the cloud (the internet), allowing businesses to make and receive calls using VoIP-enabled phones or softphones – all that is required is internet access.

Digital voice also known as digital telephony or digital voice service refers to a type of telephone service that uses digital signals to transmit voice data. Digital voice services can be delivered over various technologies, including traditional copper lines, fibre optic cables, or internet connections. Digital voice services can be provided by both traditional telecommunications providers and hosted telephony service providers.

Hosted telephony is a specific implementation of telephony services using VoIP technology whereas digital voice refers to the broader concept of delivering voice communication in a digital format.

What does the end of ISDN lines in 2025 mean?

In 2025 ISDN (Integrated Service Digital Network) lines aka traditional phone lines officially become obsolete, which many people are calling the BT ISDN Switch Off. This means that the traditional copper network lines that we traditionally used to make calls from desk phones will be a thing of the past, as we shift to IP (Internet Protocol) phone systems. The decision to end ISDN services was driven by several factors including:

  • ISDN technology has been around for several decades and is considered outdated compared to modern digital communication methods. It has limitations in terms of data transfer rates and the ability to support advanced features and applications.
  • The industry has been moving towards IP-based communication, where voice and data are transmitted over internet connections.
  • ISDN infrastructure requires significant investment and maintenance. Phasing out ISDN allows telecom providers to focus on more efficient and cost-effective technologies.

Check out our blog for more information: ISDN Lines Are Ending in 2025 - What This Means for You

How have phone lines evolved over the years?

Phone lines evolved from analogue POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) to Digital ISDN, DSL (Digital Subscriber Line), fibre optics, and finally to VoIP and hosted telephony using the internet. Learn more about each below:

  1. Analogue POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service): Analogue POTS lines were the standard telephone lines used in the early days of telephony. These copper-based lines transmitted voice signals in analogue form and provided basic voice communication services.
  2. Digital ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network): ISDN lines emerged as an upgrade to analogue lines in the 1980s. ISDN enabled the transmission of voice, data, and video signals over digital lines. It offered faster data transfer rates and the ability to handle multiple channels simultaneously.
  3.  DSL (Digital Subscriber Line): DSL technology, introduced in the late 1990s, allowed the simultaneous use of voice and data services over traditional copper lines. DSL provided faster internet connectivity by utilizing higher frequencies not used for voice transmission.
  4. Fibre Optic Lines: Fibre optic lines use thin strands of glass or plastic to transmit data as pulses of light. They offer significantly higher bandwidth and faster data transfer rates compared to copper-based lines. Fibre optic technology has become increasingly prevalent for both voice and data communication.
  5. VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol): VoIP technology revolutionized communication by transmitting voice calls over the Internet instead of traditional phone lines. VoIP converted voice signals into data packets and transmitted them over IP networks. It provided cost savings, flexibility, and rich features, leading to the popularity of services like Skype and other internet-based calling applications.
  6. Hosted Telephony and Cloud Communication: Hosted telephony, also known as cloud telephony or hosted VoIP, emerged as a popular alternative to traditional phone systems. It involves outsourcing telephony services to a provider, such as Sharp, who host the necessary infrastructure and software in the cloud. Hosted telephony leverages the power of the internet to deliver advanced communication features, scalability, and cost savings.

These advancements in telephony have gradually shifted communication from traditional analogue lines to digital and internet-based technologies. Today, many organisations and individuals rely on VoIP, hosted telephony, and other IP-based solutions for their voice communication needs, taking advantage of the flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and advanced features they offer.

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