We are pleased to announce the launch of our bulk migration process for Vodafone and O2 voice and data and data-only SIMs.

 

Our process enables us to easily migrate large bases of Vodafone and O2 SIMs, subject to network approval. End-users remaining on a chosen network and moving to our services can retain their existing SIM cards. Those moving to a new mobile network will need new SIMs.

 

Bulk migration includes capturing information such as : PAC code(s), serial numbers / ICCID numbers, requested port dates (etc).

 

Our packages are available on 30-day terms, giving end-users more flexibility. SIMs are managed and monitored in Mobile Manager to review data usage.

 

For more information email ask@telephoneskent.com

 

IoT security has a poor cyber security reputation. Frequently manufacturers and IoT service providers often do not implement appropriate safeguards. Businesses and consumers typically do not change the default passwords nor update the pre-installed software. IoT security is too easy to ignore because by default its not given enough priority.

The following guidelines should be part of best practice :-

Default passwords

Many IoT devices are being sold with universal default usernames and passwords. The customer is expected to change the password before use. Until all IoT device passwords shall be unique and not resettable to any universal factory default value users should change passwords as a matter of cyber security policy

Software updates

Software resident in internet-connected devices should be securely updateable. Updates should be actioned in a timely manner.

Store credentials and sensitive data securely

Any credentials should be securely stored within IoT services and devices. Hard-coded credentials are not acceptable in device software.

Secure communications

Use of open, peer-reviewed internet security standards is highly recommended.

Limit exposed attack surfaces

Security-sensitive data should be encrypted when communicating, including any remote management and control. All keys should be securely managed.

Software integrity

IoT device software should be verified using secure boot mechanisms. When an unauthorized change is detected, the device should alert operators to the issue. The issue notification should not connect to wider networks than necessary to deliver the alert.

Data ownership and deletion

Who owns the collected data? IoT devices may change ownership and may be recycled or disposed of. Mechanisms should be provided that allow the users if they covered by GDPR and businesses to remain in control and remove data from services, devices and applications.

EE has launched their 5G services first in the UK but we quickly learned that unless you live in a particular part of the right city there is zero use for the services.

Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London and Manchester are the lucky cities to be turned onto 5G from the get-go, however the lowest-priced deal is an eye watering £54 a month (plus the cost of a 5G handset).

Looking at the EE 5G coverage map over London it looks patchy at best.

Vodafone are also on the cusp of launching their services (due in a few weeks). A bit of competition can do wonders to a market, and the prices offered.

Also, the speeds delivered aren’t quite what we thought 5G would be delivering. EE has suggested that 150-200Mbps is a realistic speed to expect with 1Gbps reached at quiet times.

5G will really set to turn the dial for IoT and the connected home. The rise of the smart home, and the smart office, will provide an endless supply of opportunity in connecting ‘things’ and then providing analytics back to users to enable them to live and work more efficiently

 

ISDN phone lines are being completely phased out within the next few years. There has never been a better time to consider switching your communications system to more sophisticated and agile technology.

 

SIP Trunking Solutions explained

 

Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Trunking is a way of delivering voice services over the Internet. SIP can be supported on the IP (Internet Protocol) based phone systems or we can use a Gateway to connect to legacy ISDN2e or ISDN30 telephone lines

 

SIP trunks are the modern alternative to ISDN.

 

How we can help

 

There are still around two million ISDN trunks in everyday use across the UK. If you’re still using them in your business it’s probably because;

  • Your existing PBX can’t support SIP Trunks
    • It’s too costly to add to your existing PBX
    • Your existing PBX does everything you need and you want to maximise your investment for as long as possible

 

ISIP is a range of ISDN to SIP converters which allows you to keep your current PBX, whilst providing instant access to all the benefits of SIP.

ISIP is simple to deploy – just un-plug the ISDN cables from the BT service, plug them into ISIP, connect your new SIP service and away you go. ISIP is cost-effective and available in seven different Basic Rate/ISDN 2 & Primary Rate/ ISDN 30 variants – just choose the one that matches your current ISDN trunk capacity.

 

 

Hardware security has a poor cyber security reputation. Frequently customers and service providers often do not implement appropriate safeguards. Businesses and consumers typically do not change the default passwords nor update the pre-installed software. Hardware security is too easy to ignore.

Best Practice Guidelines

The following guidelines should be verified by the customer when hardware devices are purchased and/or services are subscribed to by the customer.

Default passwords

Most hardware devices ( routers, switches , firewalls , modems , telephone system units , IP end points of all kinds etc ) are being sold with universal default usernames and passwords. The customer should ensure the installer changes the password before use.

Software updates

Software resident in internet-connected devices should be securely updateable. Updates should not impact on the functioning of the device and be delivered in a timely manner.

Store credentials and sensitive data securely

Any credentials should be securely stored within hardware services and devices. Hard-coded credentials are not recommended in hardware device software.

Limit exposure to cyber attack

Security-sensitive data should be encrypted when communicating, including any remote management and control. All keys should be securely managed.

Software integrity

Hardware device software changes should be verified. When a change is detected, the device should alert operators to the issue.

Deliver resilient operation

Hardware services should continue operating functional when there is a loss of network connectivity. They should recover cleanly when power is restored. Hardware devices should return to a network operation in an acceptable , usable state and in an orderly fashion.

Telemetry data

Usage and measurement data should be monitored for security anomalies.

Data ownership and deletion

Who owns the collected data? Hardware devices may change ownership and may be recycled or disposed of. Mechanisms should be in place so that businesses remain in control and remove data from services, devices, and applications.

Easy device installation and maintenance

Hardware device installation and maintenance should require few steps and follow security best practices.

A  survey of 1,000+ decision makers across eight European countries by a major VoIP provider reveals business attitudes to public, private and hybrid adoption of cloud communications

 

  • 81% of European companies are adopting cloud communications to gain innovative capabilities
  • 84% of European respondents say the cost of cloud migration is the key factor in calculating ROI
  • 62% of European businesses prefer to rely on a cloud and unified communications specialist

 

The survey comes against the backdrop of rapid growth in the cloud communications sector, whether public, private or hybrid. The latest forecasts estimate the compound annual growth rate of the cloud-based unified communications sector to be 14% up to 2023 in Western Europe.

 

Innovation at the heart of cloud migration

In an increasingly connected world, companies need to transform and adopt the latest communications and collaboration technology innovations to remain attractive and competitive. Reflecting this, 81% of European companies rated access to innovative features not available with traditional telephony solutions as their main motivation for migrating to a cloud model.

As cloud technology delivers faster and easier access to key productivity tools, companies now view certain functionality as indispensable in effective cloud communications solutions. Unified communication features, including presence, secure instant messaging, and voice and video calls, are top of their “must-have” list with nearly nine in 10 (89%) European companies surveyed considering them essential. Advanced collaboration functions, such as audio and video conferencing and seamless content sharing follow with 41% of companies citing them as essential.

Here at Phoenix Link we focus on bespoking the cloud telephony solution features to suit each of our business clients individually and thereby providing the most business benefit

Migration costs are critical for measuring Return on Investment

The costs of migrating existing telephony architecture to the cloud are deemed to be the most important for businesses, compared with other costs such as change management expenses, and equipment and maintenance. Around 84% of European companies reported migration costs as the primary factor to consider when it comes to Return on Investment. The performance improvements businesses can expect from the cloud are deemed heavily dependent on the quality of underlying IT systems , for example internet access speed and quality.

 

At Phoenix link we aim to minimise the migration costs , where possible spreading them over a period of time. We take great care when looking at the internet access available and if it isn’t sufficient we wont recommend cloud telephony to the client.

 

Businesses are looking for cloud expertise

According to the research, 62% of European businesses report a need for experienced advisors to help them migrate to the cloud in a manner that makes the most sense for their organization. Cloud deployments are considered a critical part of business’ long-term communications strategies, and companies are investing in expertise to guarantee future success.

 

Phoenix Link has the experience and knowledge to offer structured , bespoke advice to prospective and existing clients when considering the move to cloud telephony

 

Methodology

The survey was conducted in eight European countries: Germany, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Sweden, and Switzerland.

A total of 1,003 company executives, representing all business verticals, gave their opinion about their perception of cloud communications and their motivation to migrate from an on-site traditional model to a model integrating the cloud.

 

Here we are in 2019 , and the reality and opportunity of VoIP , internet based telephony is just dawning on some businesses – but why only now ?

Most people in their thirties , “twenty something’s” , teenagers and younger don’t know how to use a rotary phone or in some cases that phones without push buttons on touch pads ever existed

 

More than 40% of international telephone calls are made via Skype

 

WhatsApp dominates the international mobile-to-mobile calling market and is the App of choice for sending high resolution photographs and “selfies”

 

“Facetiming” someone is now as natural for a lot of people as make a telephone call

 

Nearly all NEW business telecommunications equipment and software sales depend on an IP-based infrastructure. EG VoIP , hosted , cloud … call it whatever you like … it all uses the internet

 

The answer is that a lot of business has for far too long been hung up on the concept that internet based telephony is a low quality , low priced , “ consumer” service …. Not true …

 

The fact that BT Openreach are ending the staple business telephone lines ( ISDN2e ) in 2025 supports the argument that legacy telecoms is now more

 

Don’t let your business be left behind

 

If you use the Horizon or CallSwitch mobile apps on your Apple smartphone and are on the EE mobile network you may experience problems with connecting calls whilst using a mobile data  ( as opposed to a wireless Wi-Fi ) connection.

 

The reason for this is that EE have changed their mobile data to work with IPv6 by default (as opposed to IPv4) and some changes within IOS 12 ( in particular ) are stopping the Horizon and CallSwitch mobile apps working correctly

 

The work around potentially is to set the mobile network APN to IPv4 by default but we have yet to find a way to do this on an Apple device.

 

The network providers are working on a solution

 

 

Phoenix Link Announces Partnership with PromptVoice

Phoenix Link is proud to announce that it is working alongside PromptVoice, the leading telephony voice prompt company. Phoenix Link has provided professional cloud based telecom solutions to businesses in the South East since 2002. Their portfolio includes outstanding VoIP hosted cloud telephone systems, fast internet access and networking, audio and web conferencing and inbound numbers.

PromptVoice specialises in providing telephony companies with professional, high-quality voice prompts and on-hold messaging and is trusted by some of the biggest telephony brands in the UK — including O2, Vodafone, and British Telecom (BT).

 

First Impression

PromptVoice believes that high-calibre voice prompts are a crucial component of telephony systems that seek to reflect positively on a company’s brand. As Anthony Buxton, CEO of PromptVoice, puts it: “A telephony service provider selling their solution without professional prompt recordings is like a car manufacturer selling their cars without paint…technically brilliant, but a disappointing first impression.”

“Our partnership with Phoenix Link is evidence of the need for telephony service providers to offer a full range of voice prompts in an increasingly demanding market.”

The build-up to the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) was huge, with business inboxes from Land’s End to John O’Groats flooded with re-consent forms. Conferences and information sessions were attended, but even today businesses are unsure of their responsibilities.

Despite it being early days, there are clearly some elements of the GDPR which have been over-hyped …….

Gaining re-consent

In the months leading up to May 2018, inboxes were inundated with emails asking customers and clients to provide their consent for ongoing marketing communications. It turns out that none of this was strictly necessary.

Toni Vitale, the head of regulation, data and information at the law firm Winckworth Sherwood, comments that many of those requests were “needless paperwork”.

Businesses are not required to automatically ‘repaper’ or refresh all existing 1998 Act consents in preparation for the GDPR,” Vitale said. “The first question to ask is: which of the six legal grounds under the GDPR should you rely on to process personal data? Consent is only one ground. The others are contract, legal obligation, vital interests, public interest and legitimate interests.

“Even if you are relying on consent, that still does not mean you have to ask for consent again. Recital 171 of the GDPR makes clear you can continue to rely on any existing consent that was given in line with the GDPR requirements, and there’s no need to seek fresh consent. Just make sure that your consent met the GDPR standard and that consents are properly documented.”

So for the telecommunication service provider industry contract , vital interests , legal obligation and legitimate interests all come into play when dealing with existing and prospective clients.

Being cynical, the only thing sending out re-consent forms achieved was to give an opportunity for clients who had previously been happy to receive marketing information the opportunity to decline consent.

The fear of external hackers causing data breaches

Although according to data from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), four out of five data breaches are caused by internal negligence or a lack of adequate safeguarding policies and procedures ; the instances of external hacks ( e.g. British Airways September 2018 or the 2017 Malware attack on the NHS ) are he ones that grab headlines . Take the case of Morrison’s Supermarket, which last year was ordered to pay compensation to thousands of employees after the payroll details of 100,000 employees were leaked online. The cause of the leak? A disgruntled employee.

The statistics given by the ICO confirm that businesses need to focus their attention on securing internal systems, as well as ensuring GDPR compliance and directing their IT teams accordingly.

So what ?

GDPR absolutely SHOULD be taken seriously. However, as long as you completed your IT mapping so you know where all the personal data you hold is kept, have updated third-party data processing contracts, and send marketing materials ONLY to those who have a ‘legitimate interest’ in what you are providing, your organisation can carry on as normal.