All posts by Michaela Madgwick

Why PSTN/ISDN customers are switching to VoIP and why they’re not

Earlier technology, PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) is the standard telephony set up for small businesses, with ISDN (Intergrated Services Digital Network) delivering digital lines for larger businesses. Thanks to bigger and better data capabilities, businesses are now embracing VoIP, aka the “Voice Over Internet Protocol” – the flexible phone system that allows you to make calls over your internet connection.

Why are businesses moving to VoIP?

VoIP has the ability to cut monthly costs associated with multiple PSTN/ISDN lines, as a VoIP system requires just one line with an internet connection. Only a single network is needed to carry both your voice and data, whilst storage space and equipment costs associated with traditional systems are diminished. Scaling up or down is easy, you can add a line as soon as you add a new employee, and when an employee leaves, you can easily reassign or remove the line. Ensuring you always have the right number of phone lines for your needs. In contrast, ISDN can hinder growth plans and/or adjustments to staff turnover as it cannot be easily expanded to accommodate for new users and carries the costs of installation and downtime if you choose to move offices.

With VoIP, you can take advantage of inexpensive international calls and long distance calls and gain the ability to make and receive calls anywhere with an internet (or 3G/4G) connection. This dramatically increases your flexibility and addresses the issue of ‘service interruptions’ better than any traditional PSTN or ISDN solution could.

Why would a business stick to PSTN/ISDN?

Having voice and data on one connection can also be problematic if the implementation has not been scoped properly. If there’s not enough bandwidth available, for example, then your call quality could be very poor, making calls extremely difficult to understand and, of course, having a negative impact on your brand.  However, Voice can be prioritised over data traffic and concerns over poor call quality are therefore due to poor implementation rather than the technology itself and can be solved by using an experienced telecoms provider with VoIP expertise. Secondly, when VoIP first arrived, it was a time of dial-up connections and VoIP was associated with poor audio quality and dropped calls. In light of the increased availability of broadband Ethernet services, however, this is no longer a problem and VoIP is often the most popular option, despite the misconception still held by some businesses.

The future of telephony

In line with current progressions in VoIP technology, the British Multinational Telecommunications giant, BT, will switch off ISDN lines in 2025, with purchases discontinued as of 2020. In light of the upcoming switch off, we are offering a free VoIP system for customers who choose CMM to progress to VoIP*. You can find more information here!  At CMM, our UK based team provide free set up and support before, during and after the sale, starting with your free audit and quote.

Terms and conditions
*Minimum 3 year contract 
*Broadband connection must be through CMM

Huawei launches P Smart

Design

The Huawei P Smart is crafted from a glossy ceramic-like texture, with striking colours and super clarity, the 6.21″ FullView display provides a notable viewing experience, embodied by a 3D curved body. Available colours include Midnight Black, Aurora Black and Sapphire Blue.

Key features

Similarly to Samsung devices, the P Smart allows you to split the screen so you can run two apps side by side for optimum multi-tasking. The budget phone includes further quirks such as gesture-shot technology that enables you to take selfies with simple gestures, such as a wave of your hand. A sacrifice for this budget model, however, is a slower performance of 3D, for example, gaming apps on the P Smart won’t meet the same frame rates or quality levels as Android flagship devices. Considering the low price tag, however, the P Smart is fully fitted with fingerprint sensor technology for easy unlocking and added security, alongside the option to ‘Face Unlock’. You can also take advantage of EMUI 9.0 that allows you to scan a product directly or simply long-press an object in an image to get shopping links to leading eCommerce platforms.

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At the rear is the same dual-lens arrangement as the Honor 10 Lite with 13MP and 2MP sensors behind them. The latter is a secondary camera used for depth sensing, while further features include Ultra Snapshot which takes a photo when you quickly press the volume down button twice, even if the phone is asleep. Better yet, the AI CAMERA lettering on the rear means scene recognition is used – just like it is on the P20 Pro and Mate 20 Pro – to optimise settings and processing for various types of scenes. In lower light levels, you may notice a drop in quality due to the small-aperture lenses on budget devices, however, the P Smart provides what you pay for. Finally, the P Smart can be praised for providing the latest version of Android – Pie. Benefits include full-screen gesture navigation, better notifications, digital well-being (called Digital Balance in EMUI) and other improvements, you can find more details here.

Specs

  • Weight: 160g
  • Dimensions: 155.2 x 73.4 x 7.95mm
  • OS: Android 9.0 + EMUI 9.0
  • Screen size: 6.21-inch
  • Chipset: Hisilicon Kirin 710
  • RAM: 3GB
  • Storage: 64GB
  • Battery: 3,400mAh
  • Rear camera: 13MP + 2MP
  • Front camera: 8MP

Price and availability

Pricing for the P Smart starts from £199 SIM free, for more information please do not hesitate to get in touch with your account manager via email sales@cmmtelecoms.co.uk or phone 01252 854352.  We are always more than happy to help!

In the box

  • Headset x 1
  • Charger x 1
  • USB cable x 1
  • Quick Start Guide x 1
  • Eject tool x 1

Business comms in 2019: Is your business prepared?

The rapid adoption of key technologies over the last 40 years, including mobile phones, email, and business software, has meant the contribution of information and communications technology (ICT) to office worker productivity per hour is nearly five times (480%) more than what it was in the 1970s – (Centre for Economic and Business Research, conducted on behalf of telecoms operator O2). Typewriters have given way to computers, computers have shrunk to tablets, party lines have evolved to private phone systems (PABX/PBX) and private lines have progressed into VoIP systems. Today’s technology provides businesses with limitless opportunities to improve their telephone communication processes. Never before has it been this easy to connect with your customers, prospects, colleagues and suppliers and never before has your business needed to adapt to ever-changing innovations at such a fast pace. Is your business prepared for the changes this year will bring?

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Head in the clouds?

Over four in ten businesses (43%) and two in ten
charities (19%) experienced a cyber security breach or attack in 2018 yet under three in ten businesses (27%), and two in ten charities (21%) have a formal cyber security policy or policies in place.
– UK Gov: Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2018: Statistical Release.

Virtually all UK businesses rely on some form of digital communication or online services, such as email addresses, websites, online banking or online purchases. The rise of digital simultaneously rises with risk with over four in ten businesses (43%) and two in ten charities (19%) experiencing a cyber security breach or attack in 2018. Combined with the popularity of mobile devices, today there is the largest technology footprint for hackers to steal corporate and personal data. Do you have a strategy in place if disaster strikes? The new year is the perfect time to strengthen your telecommunications strategy, you may enforce an Enterprise Mobile Security solution or begin with a free 14 day trial of Mobile Device Management that allows you to secure your business devices, control data usage, separate business and personal content and automate and save costs.

BT to hit the switch on ISDN lines

Telecoms giant, BT, is due to discontinue ISDN lines next year, with the final switch off in 2025. Initially introduced nationwide in 1986, connectivity has advanced greatly since the days of ISDN. In fact, the contribution of modern technology to each worker’s productivity is nearly five times greater today than it was 40 years ago.

BT has acknowledged that IP (Internet over Protocol) is the future for communication and consequently sees little value in investing more time and money into ISDN, the question is – is your business prepared for the switch off? Thanks to bigger and better data capabilities, you can take advantage of a great alternative – VoIP aka the “Voice Over Internet Protocol” – the flexible phone system that allows you to make calls over your internet connection. With VoIP, you can cut costs, scale up and down easily, work from anywhere and take advantage of a feature rich system.

Reason to celebrate – a Happy New Year with more data, higher speeds and greater coverage

At the end of last year,  Samsung announced it successfully tested a 5G smartphone, offering users 4x faster speeds. Once 5G is up and running, it will be able to carry more data, at higher speeds, and will be able to move around obstacles, giving you greater coverage. 5G is expected to be capable of delivering extremely fast data with estimates between 10 – 50 Gbit/s compared with today’s average 4G download speed of 15 Mbit/s. In fact, back in 2013 Samsung tested 5G at 1Gbps and journalists reported that a HD movie could be downloaded in less than 30 seconds. Fast track to 2014 and Samsung set a mobile speed record of 7.5Gb/s in another 5G trail, while estimates predict the speed will reach 10Gb/s, with transfer rates as high as 800Gb/s further down the line, taking your download time of a full length film to around a second! Better yet, manufacturers Huawei and OnePlus have been racing to launch the first 5G smartphone in the first half of this year, bringing you one step closer to accessing this super-fast network.

One step closer to 5G! Samsung’s latest announcement

Once 5G is up and running, it will be able to carry more data, at higher speeds, and will be able to move around obstacles, giving you greater coverage. 5G is expected to be capable of delivering extremely fast data with estimates between 10 – 50 Gbit/s compared with today’s average 4G download speed of 15 Mbit/s. In fact, back in 2013 Samsung tested 5G at 1Gbps and journalists reported that a HD movie could be downloaded in less than 30 seconds. Fast track to 2014 and Samsung set a mobile speed record of 7.5Gb/s in another 5G trail, while estimates predict the speed will reach 10Gb/s, with transfer rates as high as 800Gb/s further down the line, taking your download time of a full length film to around a second! Roll on to 2018 and Samsung has announced it successfully tested a 5G smartphone, offering users 4x faster speeds.

Image result for Samsung 5G New Radio (NR)

The manufacturer connected the handset to 400MHz bandwidth in the 28GHz millimetre wave (mmWave) spectrum band and achieved speeds of over 1.7Gbps. Collaborating with Verizon and Qualcomm, Samsung’s Business Senior Vice President, WooJune Kim announced,

“Successful interoperation of multiple network technologies takes us another step closer to the commercialisation of 5G mobility services…We are proud to join with Verizon and Qualcomm Technologies to spotlight the next steps driving network evolution.”

The tests were conducted in San Diego in the Qualcomm Technologies lab and follow the announcement from Verizon that the carrier had transmitted 5G to an smartphone using a commercial 5G network. That transmission was made using a Samsung 5G New Radio (NR) technology and the same Snapdragon X50 5G modem and Qualcomm QtM052 antennas.

Top 5 smartphones available this Christmas

5. Nokia 8

The Nokia 8 is one of the best value Android devices on the market. Sporting an aluminium body, the 8 is available in blue matte and silver. Featuring a large 5.3″ Quad HD display with 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass 5 – as seen on a limited number of handsets including the HTC 10, Samsung S8 and Huawei P10 Plus, the Nokia 8 is reasonably durable with the ability to survive a drop from 1.6 metres. A further benefit is the 13MP dual camera with various effects, however, the Nokia 8 has been criticised for its abnormally small fingerprint scanner and lack of the classic, Snake app.  For more information on the Nokia 8 click here.

4. iPhone X

Following the on-going trend, the iPhone X or ‘Ten’ also features a dual camera, offering 12MP. Despite the larger price tag perhaps being a deterrent, the iPhone X is one of the fastest, most powerful devices money can buy. The dual camera in combination with an all-screen front is designed for  employing augmented reality technology, which imposes virtual animations over the real world. A notable change is the removal of Touch ID for facial identification software.

3. Google Pixel 3 & Pixel XL

Google has announced two new flagships, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. Both the new models sport impressive specs with the latest version of Android, a super-fast processor and a dual front camera set up with a 12.2MP dual-pixel rear camera. The key difference between the two devices is the larger screen for the XL model at 6.3″ compared to 5.5 inch for the Pixel 3. On the rear the devices have a fingerprint sensor but unlike the latest Apple flagships, the models from Google are yet to feature a facial recognition element.

2. iPhone 8 and 8 Plus

The iPhone 8 was released alongside the new premium model, the iPhone X. The iPhone 8 features wireless charging and a significantly enhanced processor that takes the title of one of the fastest ever installed on a smartphone. The 8 Plus variant offers a larger display at 5.5″ compared to 4.7″ for the standard variant. The 8 keeps the original fingerprint scanner, unlike the X, and carries key benefits over the 7 including speed, a glass design and a significantly improved camera.

1. Samsung Galaxy S8

The edge-to-edge display stretches to 5.8″, yet the metal body remains thin and light at 155 grams. The S8 is IP68 water and dust resistant, meaning it can withstand 30 minutes in depths of 1.5 metres. Not only has the display size been taken up a notch but so has the storage space with 64GB of on board storage, compared to the S7’s 32GB. Further improvements include a promise of up to 27% higher performance and up to 40% higher efficiency. The S8 comes in at number 1 with five hours of battery from a five-minute charge, new Bixby virtual assistant, competent enough to rival Google’s Assistant and finally a headphone jack, unlike Apple’s flagships. A notable design change is the move of the fingerprint scanner to the rear, by the right of the camera.

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Get in touch

For information on current pricing and tariffs for the above models, please do not hesitate to get in touch with your account manager via email sales@cmmtelecoms.co.uk or phone 01252 854352.  We are always more than happy to help!

The race to deliver the first 5G smartphone has begun

Huawei and OnePlus are in a race to launch the first 5G smartphone. Huawei, ahead of Apple for global smartphone shipments in the past two quarters and the first manufacturer to introduce in-screen fingerprint sensors and reverse wireless charging, has announced that it’s launch will take place at the Mobile World Congress next year. OnePlus claims it’s 5G handset will be the first in Europe, released in the first half of 2019. Currently, the two Chinese manufacturers are the only vendors to provide a timescale.

“We plan to launch our 5G commercial product at MWC in 2019. This year, we launched our own 5G chipset; next year, we will go further with a phone. We are currently testing it ahead of that.” – Huawei Western Europe president, Walter Ji.

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In the run-up to 5G, EE has made the bold claim that it will be the first operator in the UK to launch the technology, announcing plans for a 16-city 5G rollout across the UK in 2019, including London, Edinburgh and Belfast. At the Eco-Connect event, Huawei also announced that its Huawei Assistant and Huawei Pay services will arrive in Europe in the new year. Huawei Assistant, a virtual AI assistant, is already live for over 300 million users in China and aims to give users a more intelligent service. The Huawei Pay deal follows an extension of the Visa agreement between both parties, with Huawei looking to replace the physical credit card with a simplified digital ID.