Telephone Systems

What is a Telephone System?

The phone system itself consists of multiple telephones connected in a way that allows you to transfer calls, conference calls, do private calls, and so on. Your telephone system can be a phone system in your home or in your office, but mostly you'll find them in an office or business environment — the number of phones doesn’t matter. The phones will be connected over the PTSN or over the internet through VoIP.

A telephone system transmits data between two different points. Electronic signals are transmitted so that you’re able to hear someone else speaking on the other line.

The Types of Phone Systems Available

There are actually only two types of phone systems available today: on-premise and hosted phone systems. If you’re running a business, you’ll want to learn about how either phone system can help you with your business.

On-premise phone systems

On-premise phone systems have been around for a while now, but many people still wonder what they are and how they can work for business. First off, on-premise is exactly what the name suggests: all of the hardware that you need to run the system is physically located on your premises. This means that the hardware is right there in your office on a rack made for computer hardware or in a comms room.

An on-premise phone system can be a VoIP system, so you’ll hear a dial tone that will directly connect you into the phone system.

This is the perfect phone system for people who prefer to have the physical box in their office. There’s a lot of peace of mind to this option, since you’re directly in control of where the box is, the maintenance, and the upkeep involved in the system itself. Of course, you also are responsible for the upkeep of the system itself, so you may need to rely on an IT company to help if you experience any problems.

If you’re familiar with this type of system though, it’s easy to continue to use it rather than switching to a new type. It’s also not exceptionally expensive. On-premise systems require more of an upfront cost, since you need to buy everything, but instead of paying a monthly fee for a cloud service, you only need to pay a monthly fee for the phone lines.

Hosted Phone Systems

On the other hand, you have the option of using a hosted phone system, which is a virtual system that stays in a cloud-based phone system. You won’t have nearly any hardware on site except for the physical phones and a network PoE switch—since everything will be run out of a data centre and connected via the internet.

Read our guide on the the best VoIP providers in the UK, click here

People often think that the hosted phone system option is the best option—if only to get rid of all the extra cords and materials taking up space in your business. It also involves a lower upfront cost, since you do not have to buy the actual hardware that you would need with the on-premise options. The only price comes from the actual phones, the PoE switch, and any ongoing monthly expenses to keep the system operational.

A hosted phone system can work well for every type of business, since you don’t need to struggle much with physical hardware. Everything is hosted remotely while information is passed over the internet securely. For all your incoming calls then, the phone will connect to the IP network, through a remote host, and then to the individual that you want to call.

Gamma Horizon is a perfect example of a Hosted Phone system, read our guide here

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Why should your business have a phone system?

You might be wondering why you even need to choose a type of phone system at all, considering that everything can be done online nowadays. There are mobile phones too, so what’s the point of setting up a whole physical phone system?

Cost Effectiveness

Surprisingly, having a physical phone system is actually quite cost effective. It uses a similar operating system as your mobile phone, but it actually has more options to it. You can use VoIP to have multiple channels of communication open at once. This data is cheaper, making all of your phone calls less expensive overall.

Sharing Lines

Part of the reason why phone systems are cost effective is because you can share phone lines or SIP Trunks for VoIP systems. You don’t need to have a separate number for every employee, which means that you don’t need to struggle with phone lines and costs. You only need to have a separate extension for each employee.


When you’re using your mobile phone, it’s sometimes easy to forget that you need to be professional. Having a business phone that’s dedicated solely to business will help you remember to stay on track instead of accidentally being too casual by mistake. In the end, this will add credibility to your business too.

The same is true when it comes to your outgoing caller ID, which will always be the same. This will help you appear more professional.

Ease of Use

Having a call system means that your employees can easily call each other with a push of a few buttons, rather than storing tons of numbers on their phone. They can also more easily transfer calls, and never be heard yelling for someone else to pick up the phone.

Secure Communications

For the sake of security, and even call recording, phone systems are the best. They can more easily provide you with control over the call environment so that you can avoid problems with hackers and disrupted communications. You can also add services that allow encryption of data over your phone system too.

Which telephone system is best?

Gamma Horizon Phone System

Gamma Horizon is a hosted telephone service that works using cloud technology to provide you with both fixed and mobile telephone capabilities. Using this system, you can use a web portal to manage the whole system and customise the system to your requirements.

Use Horizon on businesses of any size, since it’s a system that’s known for being easy to manage, and is easily adaptable to businesses which have more or less employees. This is a scalable system that’s built off of a secure IP network, and that’s easy to transfer to if you’re coming from a different phone system.

Mitel Phone System

Mitel offers you both options, so if you prefer an on-premise system or a hosted system, you can choose the one you want with Mitel. This means that it’s easy for you to use Mitel whether you’re dealing with a small business or a business with thousands of employees across many locations. If your business is growing too, this company can easily scale along with you.

You can use mobile VoIP with Mitel, or work with a centralised call centre depending on your needs. Mitel specialises in making your system modern and affordable, with cloud services and on-site services that can help you run your business.

Circle Loop Hosted PBX

Circle Loop can work for anyone, from smaller businesses to larger ones. This company has a great amount of flexibility to it, which can help you use your business that much more efficiently. Circle Loop works over the cloud, and includes multiple features like conference calling, voice recording, call management, and voicemails.

This system is easy to use, and can be used by multiple people at once across multiple business locations. You only really have to think about setting up the system, since it’s easy to use after that. You can even set up the pricing based on the number of your employees so that you don’t need to pay extra.

How much does an office phone system cost?

It really depends on your needs and on what type of phone system you get. There are options like Circle Loop that charge you based on subscription, at only £5 a month per subscription. On the other hand, hosted systems can be as low as £10 a month, while something like Mitel may rank at £100K.

The cost itself really depends on how many employees you have and the size of your business, along with how many phone lines you’re currently dealing with.

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