Voipfone, a pioneering telephony company that uses the internet to send and receive telephone calls, has won a prestigious Queen's Award for Enterprise - the UK's highest accolade for business success.
The award, in the Innovation category, is the latest in a long line of recognition for the ground- breaking company that was created by its joint owners, Lee Rose from Ashford, Kent and Colin Duffy from Brighton, Sussex.
The firm's innovative internet telephone system allows customers to set up an account in minutes and use their own number anywhere - home and abroad - from as little as £3 a month.
The founders saw a niche in the market to take on the huge multi-national companies and create a cloud based system that helps small businesses.
Voipfone's service gives even the smallest businesses the features and functions previously solely available to very large companies, but for a tiny fraction of the price: telephone extensions for £1 per month, call queues for £2 per month, 'Press 1 for sales' for £2 per month.
There are many free features, such as music on hold, voicemail, call transfer and free calling between all Voipfone customers and extensions - wherever they are in the world.
'I'm extremely proud that Voipfone has won this award,' says Colin Duffy, the firm's CEO whose company has spent nine years developing the technology that makes it unique in its field.
'It seemed very unlikely at first that we could qualify - after all it's the most prestigious award in UK business - but as we completed the very detailed application, it became increasing apparent that the innovations in technology, finance, organisation, operations and customer service that we'd worked so hard on over the years, are special,' says Mr Duffy, who lives in Brighton, East Sussex.
Damian Green, Minister of State, Home Office & Ministry of Justice said "Many congratulations to Voipfone on this tremendous award. It is always good to see Ashford companies at the forefront of technology, taking on all-comers and matching them. I am sure the company will go from strength to strength and make the most of the opportunities available."
Voipfone is an internet telephone service provided by iNet Telecoms Ltd, a London-based company which was formed to develop the latest voice over internet technologies for small businesses. It aims to challenge the traditional telecoms industry by offering web based, self-service and low cost, high quality services that have more advanced features than the old public switched telephone network (PSTN).
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is a way of making telephone calls over the internet without needing to use the traditional telephone networks. Calls to other users of this technology are free, no matter where the caller and called party are in the world.
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