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The complete guide to your VoIP phone system, by Amvia.

The award-winning experts at Amvia have compiled the complete business guide to VoIP phone systems. This guide covers how phone systems work, how much they cost, what factors impact cost, the best business VoIP phone systems, which providers have the best ratings, functionality, and much, much, more. If you wish, you can navigate to the relevant sections using the shortcuts below.

voip phone systems
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Amvia VoIP services

We know that clear, reliable and affordable voice calls are essential to the success of your business. That’s why we offer AmviaVoice, a hosted VoIP phone system with 5000 minutes per user, from the leading VoIP platform providers. AmviaVoice allows you – for the first time – to make a UK VoIP Provider comparison of the leading business VoIP platforms, including BT VoIP, and find the best service and provider that meets all your business needs.

Traditional private branch exchange (PBX) services require significant upfront and maintenance costs that simply aren’t a part of VoIP systems. In fact, with our VoIP services, you can enjoy standard telephony features, as well as a fully unified and comprehensive communication system, for a low-cost monthly charge.


In addition to reliable connections, you’ll also have access to video conferencing, call centre services, unified messaging, and much more. With cloud-based phone systems, you can have enough flexibility to support one or several locations.

To enjoy flexible phone system benefits that will grow with your business, all you need is an internet connection, a VoIP phone line, a compatible desk phone, and a VoIP subscription.


VoIP stands for voice over internet protocol.

VoIP is a modern digital way to handle voice calls over a data link. Simply put, VoIP allows your business to make calls over the internet. Well-known examples of VoIP include FaceTime, Skype and WhatsApp.

VoIP gives your business the benefit of making lower cost calls over the internet. Using voice over IP, your business can speak with other offices, home workers, even internationally – free of charge (as part of your bundle).

For your employees, using VoIP to make a business call couldn’t be more straightforward – they can dial a number and make calls as normal. In fact, they won't be able to tell the difference between a VoIP call and a call over a traditional landline.

IP telephony is being rapidly adopted by businesses for many reasons; mainly, lower cost calls, more features usually only found on expensive PBX phone systems, and the ability to appear you are in the office wherever you are working.

VoIP in its infancy was seen as an unreliable means of communication, fraught by calls dropping and intermittent sound quality. This meant that the traditional landline was preferred as a consistent, reliable way of making business phone calls.

However, modern VoIP technology and faster internet speeds now mean that not only does VoIP call quality surpass PSTN phone calls, but the additional benefits of using VoIP in your business are significant also.

If you run a business, a BT VoIP phone will benefit you in many ways, including lower costs, more flexibility, conference calling, and many other features such as voicemail to email conversion.

what is a voip phone system?

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Traditional business phone systems use landlines (also known as ISDN or PSTN) to make calls. VoIP phone systems use your internet connection to make these calls.

Voice calls are converted into data packets, the calls are then sent over the internet to a desktop VoIP phone, a mobile phone, or a softphone application on a computer.

When you use VoIP, your calls only pass over the data network. This reduces costs as making calls over the internet are free (as part of your call bundle). Additionally, as the call is digitised into data, the call can be treated in a feature-rich way, eg, voicemails can be converted to email or routed to your mobile phone over wifi.


how a voip phone system works
how voip systems work

Lower costs, increased flexibility & functionality.

Answer calls anywhere as if you were in the office


VoIP system calls are free over the internet as part of your call bundle. Additionally, they are low bandwidth – only using around 100 Kbps of your internet to make a call.

DDI or extensions involve expensive ISDN channels; with IP telephony, DDIs are a standard feature with no additional charge.

Use voice recognition so that your employees can search and locate customer data fast.


New phone extensions can be delivered in minutes instead of weeks. You can work from home and appear to be answering your phone or mobile in the office using your office number.

You can use mobile apps or softphone PC clients when working remotely, and operate as if you were in your office.


In the event of an outage, meaning your office loses internet, your service can be re-routed to alternative offices, to mobile phones or to a temporary message service.

Remote workers are better connected to phone lists and other office-based workers.


The monthly cost of operating a business VoIP system is significantly lower than a traditional business phone system. Calls are cheaper, line rental is eliminated and management costs are far lower.

Call recording

Your business IP phone system will offer a number of call recording options out of the box. All call recordings can be immediately backed up to cloud storage.

call recording

Retain your business telephone number

Moving to VoIP doesn't mean your business has to get a new phone number. You can keep your number and still benefit from the lower costs, increased flexibility and various other features IP telephony offers.

telephone number

International calling

International calls are highly cost-effective with voice over IP. In fact, calling international offices on your network is free. You can add international call minutes for off-net locations from as little as 3p/min.

international calling

Call forwarding

Enable call forwarding with VoIP to allow your business to redirect calls to the right person first time. Ensure all calls are answered – and swiftly – by allowing your workers to forward incoming calls to their desk phone, mobile phone or PC soft client.

call forwarding

Voicemail management

Any message left for your office or employees on their DDI can be sent via email or text message to a mobile phone. This allows your employees to listen to messages anywhere and in the most efficient and convenient manner.

voicemail management

Fax to email

Fax to email over VoIP allows your employees to fax out and receive faxes over the IP network. 

fax to email

VoIP desk phones

When you upgrade your business phone system, you'll probably upgrade your office phone handsets too. Polycom IP-enabled handsets are specifically designed to optimise call quality and are available in desktop, conference and wireless options.

Alternatively, you can use a VoIP adaptor to enable you to use your existing analogue phones.

There is a multitude of VoIP phone system options we can guide you through from brands such as Polycom, Snom, Yealink, Netgear, Gigaset, Sennheiser and Cisco.

polycom voip phone system phone

Software phones (softphones)

Software phones or softphones are installed on your PC, mobile phone or tablet. The software enables your device to function as a VoIP phone and is integrated with your computing device.

The software provides your device with a call pad, phone book, chat window and numerous other advanced features including HD video conferencing, HD call recording and presence.

voip soft phone

Mobile phone VoIP client

Mobile phone VoIP clients are apps that are installed on your mobile device. Mobile clients work in a similar way to a softphone.

Mobile clients enable you to use your VoIP phone system from a mobile device just as if you were in the office using a hardware VoIP phone.

Broadsoft UC-One Connect VoIP mobile app

Fibre, ethernet or broadband internet access

In order to operate effectively, your business VoIP service will need a high-quality internet connection.

It’s important to consider business-grade services that have guarantees on latency, packet loss and jitter, especially if you have an office with 10 users or more.


voip internet link

On average, you should allocate 100 Kbps of bandwidth, per concurrent user, on your VoIP phone system.

The exact amount of bandwidth each VoIP call uses is dependant on the type of voice over IP phone system you choose to use. Nevertheless, there is a rough rule of thumb which is that each concurrent call requires 100 Kbps of upload and 100 Kbps of download per call.

If you have a requirement for 15 concurrent calls, you should allocate a minimum of 100 Kbps x 15 = 1.5Mbps of upload and download bandwidth to support this volume of calls.


Voip phone system minimum bandwidth per user

Typically, a business VoIP phone system costs around £1000–1500 of upfront investment. This is for the purchase of desktop phones and associated hardware. The monthly ongoing cost ranges from £100-£150/month for 10–15 users over a 36-month contract.

The initial investment can often be spread over the term of the contract. If you were to spread the initial investment, the per-user cost averages out at £20/user/month.

These prices include 5000 minutes per user to UK landline, UK mobile and 03 numbers.

business VoIP phone system – Amvia
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Why work with Amvia?

With cutting-edge technology and award-winning customer service, we make your business telecoms easy.

High Speed 

Our data services offer high-speed, business-grade internet access directly to your location. Enjoy a state-of-the-art network infrastructure with gigabit speeds and business bandwidths that will provide optimal performance and a flexible design that can adapt as your business evolves.

Unbeatable Reliability

Experience the peace of mind that comes with 100 per cent connectivity that is backed by a powerful and highly specialised network. Our team of Cisco-qualified engineers uses redundancy and other best practices to ensure optimal performance.

Total Flexibility

Your business is constantly evolving and your data and voice services need to be flexible enough to quickly adapt as needs arise. When you partner with Amvia, it’s easy to scale bandwidth, add and remove phone users and customise your service for maximum performance and value.

Bulletproof Security

We stay ahead of online threats and continually upgrade security features to provide exceptionally secure voice and data services. Our products include the latest encryption technology and voice and data features are constantly being updated with relevant patches for bulletproof security that protects sensitive data.


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