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10 Best VoIP Providers in the UK

A hosted VoIP solution can save your business up to 70% on call costs, and will provide you with all the features of a premise based telephone system but one you can manage via a PC application or a control panel on a web browser. This guide will explore the key benefits of a VoIP service and compare the top-rated UK providers. Business VoIP Phone System
Contents
What is a VoIP Phone System?
Why Choose VoIP for your Business?
Top 10 VoIP Providers
What is Hosted VoIP?
Top 10 VoIP Desk Phones
VoIP Phone Accessories
Benefits of VoIP for Small Businesses

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Best VoIP Providers UK Comparison

When combined with the ability to rapidly recoup any initial investment (which could easily be zero) and a low cost of operation for the duration of the lifetime of the system, VoIP offers business decision makers a compelling case for deployment.

Technology is continually developing and now provides integration capabilities with multiple cloud-based business platforms such as SalesForce and Microsoft apps, with most business sectors viewing it as offering the most innovative future for organisational telephony due to its high levels of flexibility, functionality, quality and resilience.

With this mind it is vitally important that you choose the right VoIP provider for your business needs, and below we compare the top-rated suppliers across the UK. The following table details benefits of the top 5 UK VoIP providers. A full comparison of the best 10 VoIP phone suppliers for businesses can be found below.

VoIP Phone ProviderBenefits
PioneerComputer Telephony Integration for Seamless Call Handling
TeliqoDirect (Non-Reseller) Proprietary Platform with Low Monthly Costs
Lily Comms24/7 Customer Service and Excellent All Round Offering
ShoreTelPowerful Cloud Services for Any Sized Business
8x8Feature Rich Systems with Reliable UK Support

What is a VoIP Phone System?

VoIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol and refers to the technology which allows businesses to make their telephone calls using the internet.

VoIP phones systems convert the sound signal of users' voices into digital data streams, which can then be sent in "packets" over the Internet.

The signal is passed through an Ethernet cable to the VoIP server or gateway, before connecting with the Internet. Investing in a VoIP Phone system means a business has the freedom to use a variety of different devices to make and receive calls, including physical IP phones, desktop computers or laptops, and smart mobile devices

voip phones - how do they work?

Once a business has set up a VoIP phone system, it is then able to benefit from reduced telephone call costs compared to calls made on traditional systems. VoIP desk phones can either be set up as a new system of they may be integrated into an existing telephone system.

If you are looking to integrate the phones, then you should contact your current system supplier for advice.

Here we've highlighted some of the best VoIP phone models in the corded and DECT (cordless) phone categories. Each of them will integrate fully with a VoIP phone system, with the DECT cordless models providing the added benefit of increased mobility and flexibility of your workplace communications.


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Why Choose VoIP for Your Business?

There are a number of benefits to switching your business to a VoIP phone system and the features available depend largely on the VoIP provider you choose for your solutions.

This article will focus specifically on the type of VoIP phone systems available, comparing desk phones and helping you choose which handset most closely meets your business needs.

 


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Top 10 Best UK VoIP Provider Reviews

The following suppliers offer the best VoIP Phones available in the UK, as reviewed July 25th 2017. Read on for more information about the VoIP services and features of each supplier, and which businesses they are best suited to.

Best 10 VoIP Phone Providers: 2017
PioneerTeliqo
Lily CommsFocus Group
Vonage8x8
RingCentralShoreTel
BTMitel

Pioneer Business Systems

Pioneer Business Systems are part of the larger group 4Com. They were a finalist in the National Business Awards for the Customer Focus and Service category.
A successful, growing company, they have installed over 9,000 business telecoms systems across the UK so far. They provide hosted VoIP with UK based support.

Supplier Rating: Read Review
Pioneer Business Systems
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Pioneer Business Systems have a planned installation process to minimise disruption on implementation. You can choose to purchase desk phones, or just adopt the service.

Their VoIP product is feature-rich and reliable. Any maintenance issues that do arise can be dealt with by their Bournemouth call centre, or agents and engineers. One element that makes Pioneer’s VoIP Phones stand out is their Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) system, which integrates phone and computer information (such as customer records) seamlessly, for better call handling.

As leading VoIP provider there are a number of benefits to choosing Pioneer for your business services and below are just a few of the advantages.

Features and Benefits of Pioneer Business Systems VoIP:

  • Comprehensive call reporting
  • Computer Telephony Integration enabling instant caller information
  • On-hold marketing messages
  • Call recording
  • Voicemail to email functionality
  • Easy installation and setup
  • Excellent UK service and support
  • Flexible for any size business, ensuring future compatibility
  • No upfront costs


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Lily Comms

A relative newcomer to the world of hosted business phone solutions, Lily Comms has gone from strength to strength within the UK telecoms industry over the last 8 years.
Lily Comms offer a range of services, with competitively priced basic plans, making them suitable for businesses of all sizes.

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Lily Comms
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Lily Comms have firmly established themselves as leading provider of VoIP business solutions within the UK, currently supplying over 2500 businesses. Their fully hosted phone systems are feature packed, meaning you can ensure your business’ communications needs are fully met, whilst also remaining ahead of the competition.

Horizon Unified Communications is their primary hosted VoIP product, with fixed and mobile telephony facilities via a cloud-based portal.

Features and Benefits of Lily Comms VoIP Solutions:

    • Reliable service with full 24/7 support, training and number porting
    • An end-to-end single solution
    • Powerful call handling features
    • Virtual conference room
  • Fixed and mobile telephony solutions
  • Solutions for mobile and home workers
  • Multi-language auto attendant
  • Personal call routing
  • Future proof and feature rich

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Vonage

Vonage are a leading global provider of cloud-based communications. They have nearly 2 million customers globally. They offer complete flexibility, making them suitable for any size business, with no installation charges, line rental, excessive contractual terms, or upfront costs.
They offer fully featured and scalable solutions designed for today’s flexible working environment.

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Vonage
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Vonage have a UK head office based in London. Their core packages are offered at three levels: for home & small businesses, for offices of 2-30 employees, and for medium and larger businesses.

There are over 40 call features available with Vonage, only some of which are listed below; it really is a comprehensive, full featured VoIP telephone service. Vonage provide business quality communication, with flexible working environments in mind.

Features and Benefits of Vonage VoIP Phones:

    • Full call handling features
    • Call recording with unlimited storage
    • Hunt groups for incoming calls
    • Multi-device extensions
    • Conference and group calling
  • Choice of UK area code & number, or port existing numbers
  • Smart working in and out of the office with Vonage’s flexible solutions
  • App for smartphones, tablets, and desktops/ laptops

RingCentral

RingCentral is a world leader in VoIP systems, with over 350,000 businesses globally relying on their systems. In 2014, they formed a partnership with BT.
They now offer a range of products for the UK market to suit almost any budget. Prices start at just £7.99 per user, per month, with a free 30-day trial available.

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RingCentral
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US-based RingCentral quickly expanded worldwide, and are an established UK provider with an excellent reputation. Their constantly improving cloud-based VoIP solutions suit businesses of all sizes, from small local enterprises to multinational organisations.

RingCentral bring highly integrated, innovative, cloud-based VoIP with every feature you would require. Of course, some of the features are only available on the more expensive plans.

Features and Benefits of RingCentral VoIP:
  • Choose free-phone, local, non-geographic, or international telephone numbers
  • Auto-receptionist, music on hold, and user templates
  • RingMe online link integration
  • Voicemail to email or visual voicemail
  • Conference calling
  • Internet fax facilities
  • Fully integrated mobile apps
  • Salesforce CRM integration
  • Show business phone caller ID on any phone with RingOut

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BT

As the world’s oldest telecommunication company, few are unaware of the BT brand. They serve companies in the UK, and worldwide, with a range of telephony and TV services.
As a leading communications provider to the public, and to businesses in the UK, BT cover everyone from the smallest to largest of companies. They have a range of solutions from fixed lines to VoIP and managed networked IT.

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BT
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BT’s cloud-based VoIP phone systems are scalable, with powerful call management features. They offer three core packages. BT Cloud Phone is “plug and play” for up to 9 users. BT Cloud Voice is more sophisticated for 5 users or more. BT One Phone Office is an integrated mobile and premises operated system for over 15+ or call centres.

Each of BT’s hosted lines comes with an inclusive geographic number, with the option of adding more for an additional charge, ideal for communicating with customers and potential clients in certain regions.

If you are already utilising BT fixed lines you may find the BT VoIP a cost-effective product to consider.

Features and Benefits of BT VoIP:

  • Choice of regional phone numbers, or virtual geographic numbers
  • Full mobile integration, and diversion for remote working
  • Call forwarding, routing, voicemail and three-way calling
  • Call monitoring and recording
  • CRM integration
  • Cloud-based, with online management portal
  • Instant messenger for employees
  • Audio and video conferencing

Teliqo

The Teliqo cloud-based telephony solution originates from unique technology, developed by Teliqo themselves. This enables them to offer a highly customisable direct hosted communications service. Customers can deal directly with the technical specialists who created the system, without the need for third party platform providers.

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Teliqo
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With the benefits and flexibility you would expect directly from the system manufacturer, Teliqo offer a personal service and hundreds of features as standard. They supply thousands of SME’s across the UK.

Key Features of Teliqo VoIP:

  • Set-up, configuration, and system changes performed by in-house engineers
  • Completely customisable and adaptable
  • Unified communications including softphone, messaging and conferencing
  • Peer-to-peer video
  • Mobile softphone application
  • Call recording, conferencing and voicemail
  • No up-front cost and low monthly fee per user
  • Scalable from as little as 15 to over 1,000 extensions
  • Calls charged at near wholesale cost

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Focus Group

Focus Group have grown quickly in the UK from a start-up to a multi-million revenue generating organisation with over 300 staff. They have a portfolio of products across IT, data, and telephony, and offer combined IP PBX telephone and fully cloud-based VoIP solutions.

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Focus Group
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Focus Groups’ main VoIP product is Horizon Unified Communications (from Lily Comms), with fixed and mobile telephony provided by a simple to use web portal. It is targeted at any size of business, and can be particularly suited to multi-site operations, and those who have off-site employees.

Horizon is often utilised by those who need a business continuity solution, as they describe it, with comprehensive support to continue operating in the event of a major issue. Services can be instantly moved to a backup or diversion plan, without losing functionality or using call forwarding.

Features and Benefits of Focus Group VoIP:

  • Combined IP and PBX option
  • Free calls between branch offices and mobiles
  • Shared dial plans and directories
  • On hold, marketing messages, and call forwarding
  • Only pay for what you use
  • Cost effective call recording from any location
  • "One number anywhere" for desk or mobile
  • Choice of telephone numbers

8x8

Multi-award winning global telecoms provider 8x8 boast big brand clients worldwide, including McDonalds. Their solutions focus on sectors including government, healthcare and education.
They have over 48,000 satisfied business customers and their UK presence is established with a full UK HQ.

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8x8
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8x8’s main product focus is on two provisions, Virtual Office and Virtual Contact Centre for call centre operations.

Virtual Office is richly featured and mobile, with extensive analytics for improving productivity. It’s easy to use and implement, and offers a continuous communications services no matter where your locations are, or how many you have.

Features and Benefits of 8x8 VoIP:

  • Extension dialling, auto attendant and ring groups
  • Call recording
  • Internet faxing
  • Web conferencing and video meetings
  • Desktop and mobile applications, or feature rich IP phones
  • Extensive CRM integration

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ShoreTel

Having delivered VoIP solutions for over 20 years, Shoretel are established global providers. They have a passion for simplicity and base their solutions around this ethos.
ShoreTel products include business phone systems, unified communications and VoIP services. HQ is in California with offices in the UK and worldwide.

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ShoreTel
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VoIP phone systems from ShoreTel “just work” for any business size, industry or requirement. They offer a fully cloud-based VoIP phone service or a hybrid IP-PBX combination.

ShoreTel systems are fully scalable, unified, and collaborative via a single cost-effective tool to increase productivity. ShoreTel engineers manage the whole process, from phone and cloud architecture through to the application. Their VoIP product is ShoreTel Connect Cloud.

Benefits:
  • Conferencing with online meetings, messaging, web sharing and video
  • ShoreTel Connect Global Numbers for worldwide and local presence
  • Phone, chat and email customer service
  • Advanced application with full CRM integration
  • Smart features such as join, event wizard and agenda timer
  • Automatic upgrades
  • “Jump start” and “Expert Start” to support implementation
  • VoIP phones with a built-in help button

Mitel

Mitel are the fastest growing global cloud communications provider serving over 100 countries worldwide. They have over 1800 patents and applications with an excellent reputation for innovation.
Their solutions stretch across business communications, contact centre specialisms and cloud services. They have regionally offices globally so pride themselves on “global reach, local touch”.

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Mitel
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Mitel categorise their solutions across industry and company size. They offer public and private cloud-based solutions, and combined hybrid cloud solutions for those who need it.

MiCloud is their cloud-based VoIP product, safely based in multiple data locations to prevent downtime. Users have the same functionality in an office, in the field or working remotely. There are three industry leading packages MiCloud Office, MiCloud Business and MiCloud Enterprise to suit any size business.

Features and Benefits of Mitel VoIP:

  • Complete mobile integration
  • The same features on mobile and desktop
  • Easily deployed and scalable
  • Focus on the millenial generation and the tech-savvy
  • Full CRM integration
  • Call recording, playback, evaluation and storage
  • Easily managed voice, IM and email from one screen
  • Powerful business analytics
  • Contact centre options and integrations


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What is Hosted VoIP?

A hosted VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is an advanced telecommunications system that has its infrastructure based ‘in the cloud’ rather than on your premises. A service provider owns, manages and maintains the infrastructure in a secure data centre. You pay a monthly fee to use the service.

VoIP technology, using digital networks to transfer voice data, has now evolved to such an extent that it represents a far superior alternative to traditional analogue and ISDN (integrated services digital network) phone services.

UK VoIP providers offer a comprehensive range of services to their customers; included below we expand on some of the most popular benefits available which range from no upfront costs to call diversion and disaster recovery applications.

Key Benefits

VoIP Benefits

Flexibility– Hosted PBX can be applied to any size of business from a single office or virtual space to a multi-site location or private home.

This functional, flexible and cost effective option will enable the customer to access solutions such as call queuing, which delivers the ability for the business to accommodate more incoming calls than they have extension capability to receive.

This flexibility also stretches to cost savings as well with installation of bulky traditional on premise phone systems no longer required. This frees up office space and budget that can be used elsewhere throughout the business.

Custom Features– Instead of hearing the engaged tone, callers will be held in a queue listening to a message or soothing music. This small feature presents a professional front to your business and can also improve customer satisfaction if told how long they can be expected to wait.

IVR is another useful application, which offers the customer the opportunity to be guided through the system by a personalised voice which can be customised to suit the specific requirements of your company.

Full Real Time Control – Allow customer service reps to be proactive in order to meet the demands of busy periods of high caller traffic.

Disaster recovery is also another benefit as the system will ensure that voice calls are seamlessly rerouted, free of charge, to another preselected set of telephone numbers, thereby providing continuity and security for the business and its employees.

Overall these are just a handful of core benefits that VoIP has been proven to provide businesses of all sizes no matter their type or industry. VoIP phone systems can also benefit both local and international business with studies having shown that compared to a traditional phone line, businesses can save up to 40% on local calls, and up to 90% on international calls.


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Top 10 VoIP Desk Phones

VoIP desk phones work with a cloud-based VoIP, or hybrid IP-PBX solution. They provide physical desk solutions, which are headset compatible. They can be used alongside other components from your VoIP phone system provider, such as smartphone applications and desktop computers.

The selection of phones below includes basic models that function a lot like conventional desk phones, through to the advanced models that have colour video displays and multiple features. The best model will depend on your needs and budget.

Many businesses choose to invest in several different VoIP phone models for different job roles or departments. For example, VoIP desk phone models with basic functionality may be suitable for use by most employees, but sales leaders may need more advanced VoIP phone models with video conferencing capability.


The below list features 5 wired options, then 5 DECT (cordless) VoIP phone options


Yealink SIP-T21P Entry Level IP Phone

Yealink SIP-T21P

Yealink SIP-T21P

This advanced but entry-level IP phone updates the Yealink SIP-T20P. It has a slightly lower price point than the Grandstream GXP2200, but still offers a number of core benefits. Features include: two VoIP accounts, call forwarding, call transfer, local three-way conferencing, voicemail, message waiting indication, direct IP call without SIP proxy, and phonebook (1000 entries). There is also an extra-large graphical LCD display, providing more visual information at a glance.

Price: £50
Overall Rating:

The Yealink SIP-T21P is the ideal entry-level phone. Cost effective when compared to other IP phones as well as being easy to install the handset has a clear display as well secure privacy settings. High-definition audio makes this phone a reliable choice for business users regardless of the size of your office, working seamlessly with IP or IP PBX.

Features
  • HD voice, handset and speaker
  • Group listening, SMS, emergency calling
  • Phone book and black list
  • Language selection and caller ID

Grandstream GXP2200 Android Desktop Phone

Grandstream GXP2200

Grandstream GXP2200

An inexpensive corded multimedia Android VoIP phone. It features a responsive touchscreen LCD, in addition to hard keys for functions such as mute, voicemail, hold and so on. As this phone uses an Android operating system, it enables access to popular applications, such Skype, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Google Voice.

Price: £80
Overall Rating:

The Grandstream GXP2200 is a modern feature-rich desk phone ideal for forward thinking businesses. This VoIP phone will suit all types of organizations. Apps can be downloaded via Google Play Store, and custom apps can be created and utilised. It has a 4.3-inch touchscreen LCD.

Features

  • Directory with 1000 contacts
  • Call history holds 500 records
  • Call transfer, forwarding and waiting
  • HD wideband audio

Yealink T23GN Dual Gigabit Ethernet IP Phone

Yealink T23GN

Yealink T23GN

A well-priced phone with an easy to use interface and HD audio. Standard features include call hold, mute, one touch speed dial, call forwarding, waiting, and answering. It also has local three-way conferencing, ring tone selection and import, and a local phone book with 1000 entries.

Price: £75
Overall Rating:

The Yealink T23GN is a full featured IP-PBX phone which accepts three lines, has caller display and anonymous call rejection. It’s a good all-round VoIP desk phone for any office, but especially small to medium sized businesses.

Features
  • Large directory
  • Extensive features
  • Dual gigabit ethernet ports
  • 132 x 64 white backlit display

Polycom VVX 600

Polycom VVX 600

Polycom VVX 600

A more high-end and expensive VoIP desk phone option. The Polycom VVX 600 offers exceptional call quality and a large, very responsive touchscreen, ideal for corporate use. This corded phone enables up to 16-line appearances, video conferencing and playback through the use of external USB cameras. It also features HD voice technology.

Price: £215
Overall Rating:

The Polycom VVX600 is one of the most popular VoIP phones available, the bright display enables users to manage their calendars, as well as receiving meeting and catch up reminders, all on their phone handset. This capability saves time, and aids productivity, while improving the communications process.

Features
  • 4.3" LCD touchscreen
  • Bluetooth integration
  • HD voice quality
  • Dual USB ports

ShoreTel IP485G

ShoreTel IP485G

ShoreTel IP485G

A general office VoIP desktop phone, the IP485G has a backlit colour display with a searchable, expanded directory. It has built in visual voicemail alongside standard transfer, conference call and on hold features.

Price: £75
Overall Rating:

The ShoreTel IP485G phone is ideal for an office based professional, with full duplex speakerphone, visual voice and conferencing capability, and a 10/100/1000 ethernet switch for Gigabit speed.

Features
  • 8 lines
  • Expanded Call History
  • LED indicators
  • 480 x 272 backlit colour display

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Best DECT VoIP Office Phones

VoIP DECT phones are the cordless, more mobile variation of office based VoIP physical telephones.

The most innovative phones have a wide range of features including large colour LED displays, SMS facilities, or integrated phone books. VoIP DECT phones are manufactured by many of the big telecoms companies including BT, SNOM, Siemans, Panasonic, Cisco and Gigaset.

The best VoIP DECT phone for your business will depend on what features you need and what your budget and specifications are. Five of the best available today are below.

Snom M9 VoIP DECT IP Phone

Snom M9

Snom M9

The Snom M9 includes a 170-entry address book, call transfer and hold, intercom, music on hold, and a hands-free mode. These features make this cordless phone a great choice for small businesses or single users who are looking for a flexible option to have in their office.

Price: £90
Overall Rating:

The Snom M9 is a leading wireless VoIP phone and a perfect addition for small offices or business users who enjoy communicating on the move. The M9 comes with a charger as well as a base unit that can support up to 9 phones. The colour display makes it easy to use and enables on-site collaboration with a range of around 50 meters.

Features

  • Up to 9 phones for each base station
  • 4 calls at any one time per base station
  • Long battery life
  • Secure voice encryption

Panasonic KX-TGP600 DECT Phone

Panasonic KX-TGP600

Panasonic KX-TGP600

The Panasonic KX-TGP600 suits small to medium sized businesses which need a more mobile desk phone. It’s a wireless VoIP DECT phone which can fit eight handsets to each base and will handle eight simultaneous calls.

Price:£95
Overall Rating:

This phone has a vivid colour LCD with a long battery life. For extra phone security SRTP (Secure Real-Time Transport Protocol) is available. The phone has an excellent and extendable range.

Features

  • Range of 100-200 feet
  • Noise reduction technology
  • 200 hours standby battery life/ 11 hours talk time
  • Repeaters available to extend connection range

Gigaset SL785 DECT Phone

Gigaset SL785 DECT Phone

Gigaset SL785

Ideal for home as well as office-use. The Gigaset SL785 has positive reviews for its touchscreen interface with integrated answering machine (45-minute recording capacity), ECO DECT technology for reduced battery and power usage, call-waiting, caller-ID, and an address book enabling 500 entries.

Price:£195
Overall Rating:

The first Gigaset wireless handset in this comparison, the slick design makes this model perfect for modern businesses and the clear display offers a number of functionality benefits. Other advantages include directory transfer options and the ability to store multiple numbers under one directory entry.

Features

  • Bluetooth enabled
  • Base handset locator
  • Call recording
  • 15 hour talk time

Yealink W52P

Yealink W52P

Yealink W52P

A SIP cordless phone system designed for small business users. The Yealink W52P is a reasonably price VoIP DECT wireless phone. The system can be scalable with multiple handsets and the maximum benefits of wireless technology.

Price: £90
Overall Rating:

With a 1.8” colour display and intuitive user interface. The Yealink W52P offers all the standard features you would expect including intercom, transfer, call forwarding and three-way conferencing.

Features

  • Exceptional HD sound
  • Up to 4 simultaneous calls
  • Up to 5 VoIP accounts

Grandstream DP720 DECT IP Phone

Grandstream DECT IP 720 phone

Grandstream DP720

Ideal as an inexpensive VoIP solution for the home that gets the job done. Up to five phones can be attached to a single DECT hub. With a long range of use and up to 10 SIP accounts per handset. It is a full HD audio phone on both speakerphone and handset.

Price:£50
Overall Rating:

The Grandstream DP720 is a high quality DECT wireless IP phone designed for home and small business. They have three-way local conferencing, phonebook, and DECT authentication and encryption technology. Well designed, with a modern style, the phones include features well above their price range.

Features

  • 10 hour talk time
  • 80 hour standby mode
  • 300 meter outdoor range, 50 meter indoor range
  • 5 phones per DECT base

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VoIP Phone Accessories

Some businesses choose to invest in VoIP headsets, which have a number of benefits including increased employee comfort when making long calls, freeing your hands for other tasks such as using a computer while you are on the phone and freedom of movement.

The latest models have significantly improved sound quality compared to earlier handsets. There are a number of different VoIP headphones available with prices starting from around £20 per set.

Other accessories available include conference call sound stations, and cases to protect cordless phones. There are a wide range of suppliers of VoIP telephone hardware and shopping around can often result in significant savings for your business.


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The Benefits Of VoIP For Small Business

VoIP Benefits for small business

VoIP brings many benefits for offices of any size, but small businesses can easily overlook certain aspects of VoIP features and functionality that can work for them just as well as for much larger enterprises.

1. Reduce Costs

The adoption of a VoIP (voice over internet protocol) telephone system for any small business owner can deliver significant reductions to both their Capex (capital expenditure) and Opex (operational expenditure).

In addition to providing a good investment potential for the future of their company, they will also enjoy the benefits of a day-to-day saving in their local and long distance business calls.

The growth in VoIP adoption by SMEs (small and mid-sized enterprises) within the last decade has been primarily allowed due to the use of shared media with TCP/IP (transmission control protocol/internet protocol) which has delivered the optimal use of transmission media to all companies, large and small, and provides a major reduction in call charges for every user.

Providers such as One2Call offer the benefit of free inter-site communication which can provide valuable savings for the small business which is extending its services to a multi-location operation, while Voiptalk UK deliver users VoIP calls to UK landlines from 1p per minute for peak/off peak and weekend calls.

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2. Make Your Business Communications Flexible & Mobile

The second major benefit from a VoIP solution is that of simplified portability. The system will be operational through internet connectivity from any location or via a VPN (virtual private network), offering a great advantage for the smaller business with mobile or homeworking staff.

Telephone numbers can be retained and will remain directly associated with the main business office allowing employees to utilise the service and stay connected from any remote location without incurring any major expense other than internet or VPN charges; another boon for the small business entrepreneur.

One good example of what UK VoIP providers can offer the small business owner comes from Voipfone who deliver up to 800 different extensions (per account).

These can be placed in any physical location, in the same office or internationally, and calls will be free of charge.

3. Allow For Growth

For any small business owner looking to invest Capex wisely and create investment opportunities for the future, scalability and flexibility of service should be a primary consideration.

VoIP deployment offers the potential to scale up operations as the business continues to grow or scale down should times get hard.

Additional ports can be easily configured and brought online to provide for an extended service, or withdrawn and taken down when the capability is no longer needed.

This can all be achieved seamlessly without causing any disruption in delivery or down time to the service, ensuring that communication between employees and customers will not suffer and the professional image of the business is maintained at all times.

For the small business with international connections, the V-Plan Business VoIP package from Vonage (from £9.99 per month) provides the user with 3,000 inclusive minutes to any UK landline in addition to mobiles and landlines in Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Canada and the US. Additional lines can be added at any time to meet the demands of the growing business.

4. Access A Tailored Suite Of Advanced Features

Any business which deploys a VoIP phone system will find that they have access to a comprehensive raft of advanced technical features and many additional functions not available through a traditional legacy system.

VoIP supports both hard (physical) and soft (software based) applications which provide mobile connectivity via computer based services to the main business office.

This can be particularly beneficial to the small business who may have home workers or employees on the road.

Other features delivered through VoIP include call forwarding, fax-to-email and conferencing facilities. All of these, and many more solutions, are offered by Sure VoIP for costs from £4 per month.

5. Connect To The Future

The fifth, and perhaps most compelling reason for a small business owner to adopt VoIP services, is the ability to be part of the future of IP telephony.

Studies have shown that 41% of UK businesses were already using VoIP phone systems in 2012 and that 7 out of 10 would be adopting the service in the near future.

With call charges of up to 50 per cent lower than BT and other providers, it is no wonder that the technology is considered by many professionals to offer the best option for any size of business looking to remain competitive and productive in the ongoing challenging economic conditions.

VoIP: The Verdict

A hosted VoIP service offers many important benefits that will help you run a more efficient, flexible business. To find out more about the costs and services available from service providers, fill in the short form at the top of this page and we'll gather the most competitive prices for you - for free!