What Are Analog Trunk Lines?

Understanding every aspect of a phone system will help you make the best decision when you are ready to purchase and install. This knowledge will help you ask the proper questions, be able to recognize exactly what your business needs in a phone system, and facilitate a smooth relationship with the phone installer you hire. Let’s start with trunking and analog trunk lines.

A simple analog trunk line is a telephone circuit made of copper wire that runs from your local phone company’s central office building to your business location. The phone company’s central office building houses switching equipment that connects you to the public telephone network. This is sometimes referred to as the local loop. Once installed, someone can call the phone number that you have subscribed to, and the phone company can connect the call to you through the analog trunk line. A good point to remember with analog trunk lines is that one phone number is associated with one line. If you need more phone numbers, then your phone company will have to connect more analog trunk lines to your business.

Trunking refers to the concept that many users can access the telephone network through sharing a set of lines instead of each receiving one individually. Think of a tree trunk: all of the branches share one trunk and through this connection are all granted access to the nutrients in the soil. Similarly, every phone extension in your office has access to the public telephone network through a smaller set of analog trunk lines.

If you have a small office, each telephone can be connected to the local loop and then receive its’ own phone line. However, if your office is growing and you need to connect many phone extensions to the public telephone network, it just doesn’t make financial sense to pay for separate lines to each phone. In most circumstances every employee does not need to be on the phone at one time. Instead, by using the trunking concept you can reduce the amount of telephone lines you pay for while servicing every phone in your business. In fact typical business phone systems are configured in ratios of 3-4 telephone lines for every 8 phone extensions.

If you are a small or medium size business looking to use up to 10-15 incoming telephone lines to connect your phone system, then choosing analog trunk lines would be a great place to start.

One Main Number and Multiple Incoming Lines

“We would like to have one main phone number and multiple phone lines for calling.” Can a request like this to your phone company, be simpler than that?

You would be surprised to know how many different ways a phone company can set up your lines. And each solution has its own set of pros and cons.

Over-lines,hunt-groups, roll-over lines,pilot number, real number are the common terms here to be aware of.

Over-lines – There is one main number or pilot number which is the first line, and then there are over-lines or additional lines. Each line physically connected to your phone system to be able to provide you with multiple lines to dial out.

For example, if you need three lines coming into your office, then the request would be for one main number or pilot line and 2 over-lines or you can call it a one plus two over-line system.

If you need 4 lines coming in, then the request would be for 1 main or pilot line and 3 over-lines, i.e one plus three over-line system.

Each of the over-lines are separate phone lines, with the same phone number attached to them i.e your main or pilot phone number of your business.

The over-line system ensures that when your first line is busy, the next incoming call will ring on the next over-line, till all your lines are busy.

AND, more importantly, it will ensure that each of them will display your MAIN phone number as caller ID when you call out.

This is not the case with the hunt-group or multi-line system.

Are You Paying Too Much for Your Business Telephone Lines?

Customer service is important. And, having the right communications set-up is vital if you want to provide a good service to your customers. Nobody wants to be kept waiting on hold for lengthy periods of time because you don’t have enough phone lines to support the number of calls that your company is receiving. However, setting up and maintaining an infrastructure that is adequate can be costly. But, there are ways of keeping the cost down if you’re savvy. If you think that you may be paying too much for your business telephone lines, then read on to find out how you could dramatically cut your bills and save your company a fortune.

Considered switching to VoIP?

For businesses that make a lot of calls, VoIP can be a huge money saver. If you want to drastically reduce your phone bills, then this is definitely an option worth exploring. With VoIP telephone systems, SIP trunks are used instead of traditional business telephone lines. This allows calls to be made over your internet connection, which substantially lowers the cost of calls. It also allows you to make savings on the cost of the line rental. By using the internet to make calls, distance becomes insignificant and this means that even international calls can be made cheaply – at no additional cost, in fact. If you want to switch to VoIP and make huge savings on your business phone bills, you have two options: option one is to buy a VoIP phone system and have it installed in your premises. This option is generally better suited to larger companies with a high number of users. Option two is a hosted VoIP phone system. This means that that the phone system is not on your premises, but instead you connect to the service provided by a third party. You pay monthly, per user for the service, which is managed by the provider. This option is great for SMEs because there is no initial capital investment and the cost is relatively low as smaller businesses have fewer employees. It’s also low maintenance and includes support, so further cost savings can be made here too.

If you’re not convinced that VoIP is right for you, consider switching to a cheaper provider…

If you want to stick with your conventional business telephone lines and system, but are fed up the rising cost of your phone bills, then you should be looking to switch to a cheaper company. It’s common for people to stick with the same provider for years, despite being able to save money by switching, because they think that switching will be a hassle. It won’t. Switching telecoms providers is easier these days than ever before. Because of this, the market is extremely competitive and this is good news for you because it means that you can get great deals. It’s definitely worth taking a few moments to compare costs between different providers. You may find that you could save hundreds of pounds per month by switching! But, what if you’re currently locked into a contract with your existing provider? The good news is that this doesn’t have to prevent you from saving money on your phone bills. You can benefit from a service called CPS (Carrier Pre Selection), or least cost routing. CPS allows your calls to be routed to a cheaper provider, whilst still keeping your existing lines and not having to exit your current contract. It’s not like the call routing technologies of the past; CPS is a reliable and effective service that is simply designed to save you money.