All businesses need telephones and if yours stops working for any reason, you’ll lose money.
If a business depends on telephony and it’s not working for any length of time it can even destroy it – according to a rather dubious American statistic, 44% of small businesses permanently close after a major fire.
There’s obviously a large variance in the degree a business needs and uses telephony and there’s an equally large variance in what can go wrong with it – from a flat mobile battery to a gas explosion in your call centre - so there can be no general solution to the problem of keeping your telephones going after the disaster.more
The Voipfone Network
Although anyone can use our service, we run a network particularly for small business users and you have told us that reliability of service is your number one requirement - we are aware how much you rely on us; as we do ourselves.
You are also concerned about call quality because for business use, call quality must be excellent at all times.
Consequently we have built a very robust network. Our up time since 2007, as measured independently by Monitor Us, has been 99.99%. The Voipfone network is housed in our secure data centres, and has resilient infrastructure, including multiple levels of 24-7 security
And, because we are UK based, fully digital and use client server technology which allows us to fully manage the quality of our service, call quality far exceeds a normal landline or mobile telephone call.
We’ve built a high quality, secure and reliable VoIP platform from the ground up starting with a robust IP network covering three locations: two within London for great connectivity, and one outside; for resiliency. Additionally, the platform’s nodes are spread in multiple locations, giving multiple redundancy. The entire network is built without single points of failure - stacked switches, clustered firewalls, partial or full mesh topologies, multiple connectivity providers and multi-vendor policy. It is designed with sub-second failure-detection and fast re-convergence, using protocols such as BFD and RSVP-TE Fast-Reroute. The data centres themselves have resilient infrastructure, including multiple levels of 24/7 security, stable, high-capacity power supplies backed by UPS, stand-by diesel generators and SLA, fire protection, in-house support and environmental controls.
Connectivity & Network
We use multiple sourced connectivity from blue chip providers using managed services backed by SLA. Our network checks your connection to us and uses the best route to connect you. It has multiple levels of failover and redundancy - if we lose one network provider another kicks in, usually without loss of connection.
We peer directly - over two independent networks - with most large UK ISPs eg BT, Virgin (NTL, Telewest), Level3, Pipex, Telia, Tiscali, MFN, Easynet etc ie we do not use the public internet to carry your calls.
We connect to two Tier 1 Call Termination Providers by physical cable with peered internet back-up. This means that you get the best call quality possible and double redundancy enabling us to switch automatically between providers and type of connection should either have a problem.
Calls to exotic foreign destinations can occasionally fail because of distant end routing and congestion problems - not all countries have high quality networks and it's fairly common for some countries to give a network engaged answer on the first attempt.
With our network, a call that fails to connect first time will be switched automatically over several other routes and operators until a working connection is found. You will not be aware that any of this is happening and it will be a very rare event indeed if your call fails to connect entirely.
Intelligent systems that have been fully designed and developed in-house, continuously monitor all end-user connections and automatically signal staff whenever a connection is found to be operating under less-than-optimal parameters.
This allows us to be proactive about identifying problems that customers experience. Read the Overview of the Voipfone Broadband Network for more details.
Hardware and Hardware Redundancy
We use only Enterprise class equipment; Juniper routers and firewalls, Cisco switching and HP voice servers. Each hardware component in our network is duplicated or has a redundant and mirrored, hot back-up.
This means that a failure of an individual server should not cause any loss of service; the back-up will automatically take up the load on failover.
Voice Server Failover. Our voice and registration servers are load balanced and operate in failover mode. This means that if one fails the others just carry on regardless and also means that as we grow we can just add more without interrupting your existing service.
Customer Failover Diverts
In the real world, service interruption is more likely to occur at your end of the network than ours. So we have introduced PSTN Failover Divert.
You can now enter a PSTN or mobile telephone number for your calls to be diverted to if your telephones stop registering with us for any reason. You can find them here.
Operations, Notifications & Processes
As our network grows and our technology develops, we will still need to do continuous upgrades and routine maintenance. Because our network has been designed from the outset to scale linearly with growth our servers can be removed and worked on without service downtime and as much as we can, any service affecting work will be done out of office hours.
We will always warn you of this via our status page.
The status page is hosted in a separate building on a separate network from voipfone.co.uk so will be available in the unlikely event that we are not.
Monitoring and Alarms
We use Nagios monitoring (with a variety of plug-ins) across our entire network which provides real time alarms, notification and reporting across everything we do, from individual servers and processes to ports and routers and to peering and connectivity.
We also monitor and log individual user's connections on request for fault finding. This means that if any of our services has a problem, we know about it and fix it before you notice.
You can also subscribe to announcements which will alert you to anything we post about problems, new services or planned maintenance.
We believe that all this will give us a fully stable, reliable and scalable platform that we can build confidently on and provide you with the best possible service.
Unfortunately, it does not mean that we will never have problems. VoIP is a new technology, we are pushing development hard and do take some risks to get new services out to you - glitches are therefore still inevitable, particularly in new software but, barring Acts of God and terrorists, those problems that do occur should be rare and quickly resolve.
Speak to a Customer Services Representative
Voipfone can seem very confusing at first, but don’t worry, this is quite normal and we are here to help! One of the great strengths of VoIP is that it can do so much more than an ordinary telephone network whilst costing an awful lot less. In practise Voipfone’s services can be as simple as making a telephone call or as complicated as using a large business switchboard in several countries but anything new takes a bit of getting used to so if you have any questions please feel free to give us a call on 020 7043 5555