Tech IP Terminology – Chapter 1 – The Cloud, VoIP & Cloud Phone Systems

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Chapter 1 The Cloud

Let’s Get Simple…

So, as we know, telecommunications terminology can sound complex and confusing, and the last thing we want to be doing is confusing our customers. We want to ensure that you have a good understanding of the terminology we use, so that you can get to grips with the subjects we frequently talk about, and to also understand our website and social media content better. The purpose of this blog is just to help you out. We will get right down to the basics and provide short, simple definitions which are easy to understand.  Let’s start with Cloud phone systems…  To understand cloud phone systems, it will be good to understand how they operate.

What is VoIP?

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol (also called IP Telephony). A simplistic way of saying this would be “telephone calls over the internet”. An example would be on an iPhone, if you have ever used Facetime Audio, you are making a call over the internet using VoIP.


More letters! Even though it looks confusing PSTN, and ISDN are super simple to explain. These letters (PSTN) stand for Public Switched Telephone Network. Although it is wordy, PSTN Lines are simply telephone lines which is how most old phone systems take and receive calls.

These letters (ISDN) stand for ‘Integrated Services Digital Network’. These lines are like PSTN however, the main difference is that ISDN lines are digital and PSTN are analogue. ISDN lines can make and take calls at faster speeds than PSTN lines.

However, in the year 2025 all these lines will be switched off (take a look at this article from BT about the big switch-off) and they must be replaced with VoIP before then.

So what is The Cloud?

The cloud refers to software and services which run on the internet. Information can be stored (online) and accessed through the cloud and not through your computer’s hard drive. Some examples of these services include google drive, apples iCloud, Netflix and email providers including Yahoo, Gmail, and Microsoft outlook.

Cloud Phone Systems

Now you understand The Cloud, PSTN and VoIP, let’s talk about cloud phone systems. Our cloud telephones work by sending and receiving calls over the internet (VoIP), rather than traditional PSTN line. This also means that the phones can be linked to computers and smart mobile phones, because they both use the internet.

If your phones are still operating on either PSTN or ISDN lines, we highly recommend that you consider switching to a Cloud VoIP Phone System. They have way more features and benefits and can even save you a decent amount of money in the long run.

We have many blogs on our website regarding the 2025 switch off. For recommendations of alternatives for systems using PSTN/ISDN including alarm systems, fax, broadband and more. Click here.  Need more information?  You can email us at, fill in our contact us form or call us on 0345 389 2310 and select option 3.


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