Portal Voice and Data is well positioned to advise your organisation how you can get maximum functionality and best value from your data communication architecture. 

We will take the time to fully understand your data requirements in the immediate and longer terms. By looking at factors such as scalability, security, manageability (by you or by us) price and many other criteria, we can help you choose the system that is right for you now and also in the foreseeable future.

Many technology providers are contractually obliged to push certain products to their customers.  We are not constrained in this way and are technology and brand ‘agnostic’. This means we can offer unbiased advice so you can be certain you will be getting the best product or service for your needs.

Whilst it’s best to start with your requirements and work backwards to the specific technologies available, you may be interested to learn we offer a very wide range of data communications strategies. In many circumstances these will be independent of your existing hardware, but in some instances may be dependent on local availability.

 

SIP – Session Initiation Protocol

Session Initiation Protocol is a networking protocol, not unlike HTTP or SMTP, that has been designed to manage interactive, multimedia elements such as video, voice, chat, gaming data, and VR (Virtual Reality). SIP was originally designed for multiple users (unlike a simple phone call), and for this reason it can bring many added benefits to organisations that work in a distributed and collaborative manner.

Often used for software phones, hard phones, web phones, messaging client software, PSTN gateways, desktop sharing, collaborative whiteboards and media servers, SIP trunking offers a highly scalable protocol to manage Voice over IP (VOIP) phone calls and video calls. 

SIP trunks deliver a superb combination of cost savings, flexibility, convergence and scalability.  Not only can you get a more affordable connection than with existing ISDN lines, but when organizations have multiple sites, you can facilitate free inter-site calls and numbers that are not tied to a geographic location.  SIP trunks use the same connection as standard data services.  

When managed correctly, SIP trunking can be a fantastic connection.  Traditional ISDN has a solid SLA and reliable service.  DSL Connections are not positioned to have the correct fix times and underlying contractual service levels for business critical services.  Portal recommend SIP trunking on robust DIA/EFM circuits which have a dedicated asynchronous up and downstream with a high level SLA.

Portal is well placed to analyse and recommend the appropriate proprietary SIP.  Portal work with and are interconnected to multiple SIP suppliers.

 

 

Fibre DIA (Direct Inwards Access) Leased Line 

Dedicated fibre connectivity is delivered from the exchange directly into your business premises providing a superfast business-grade internet connection, giving you the speeds your operations require when you need it.

Your data travels at the speed of light on a dedicated fibre optic circuit, so there is no opportunity to lose speed through distance from the exchange.  As fibre is a dedicated, private line of fibre optic cable, your internet connection isn’t affected by other providers making changes.

 

 

EFM - Ethernet over First Mile

EFM is relatively new to the market, mixing new technology with traditional ‘old world’ copper connectivity for the ‘first mile’. EFM technology brings Ethernet high bandwidth circuits to the masses. 

Traditionally the reserve of large towns and cities for Enterprise class businesses, EFM allows access to Ethernet circuits across the UK at very competitive prices, making it affordable to all small to medium enterprise businesses whether in town or rurally located. 

EFM is delivered over twisted copper pairs and will require between 1 and 8 copper pairs, or a set number of pairs (as dictated by the carrier), to deliver the desired bandwidth depending on the distance from the exchange. 

Portal Network Service can provide EFM from over 1000 points of presence (PoPs) across the UK using multiple carrier networks.

EFM is treated as part of the Ethernet family because the service is still delivered using the Ethernet physical layer and therefore presents the same interfaces as the most common fibre based solutions within the same family.

 

 

MPLS 

MPLS technology offers the potential to provide your business with a highly secure and reliable networking solution.  MPLS voice connectivity enables you to prioritise bandwidth for different types of traffic so that low priority traffic won’t get in the way of important live voice calls.  We can connect different sites with different bandwidth requirements, from different carriers in one network.  

MPLS can include all IP connectivity circuits including Leased Line, EFM, Fibre to Cabinet and Broadband.  MPLS can be for voice only data or a mix of voice and network data.

MPLS provides a secure and resilient private VPN for inter-site connectivity. The technology removes the need to purchase and manage multiple firewalls as an organisation's traffic is routed within its secure virtual private network. Rather than installing a firewall at each location and infra-structure heavy private networking, all that is needed is a suitable router, which Portal can source, configure correctly and install.

While traditional IP networks have no means of labelling or monitoring the packets in transit, MPLS providing that labelling function. And because MPLS is an overlay protocol it can operate on top of the IP protocol in the same network without interference.  MPLS is not designed to replace IP, it is designed to add a set of rules to IP so that traffic can be classified, marked and policed to ensure VoIP traffic will be routed through the most reliable, highest performing sections of the network while less critical traffic, such as email, is sent across the slower sections. A good example of this in practice is where you wouldn’t necessarily notice if an email arrives 30 seconds late, but if voice quality is interrupted it is immediately apparent and potentially catastrophic.  

 

Key Benefits
  • MPLS is a fully managed solution and offers some outstanding options and management facilities:
  • Sites can access a Portal MPLS network using Fibre Ethernet, Copper Ethernet, SDSL, VDSL or ADSL2+. 
  • Offers the ability for homeworkers to VPN into the MPLS network using existing Internet circuits. 
  • Ideal for VoIP and SIP Trunks – lower cost external calls and free calls between sites. 
  • Network wide SLAs. 
  • Can lower total costs. 
  • Secure, resilient and flexible multi-site solution.
  • Scalable & Flexible.
 

 

VPN – Virtual Private Networks

A VPN offers a secure, encrypted data link which when setup and managed correctly becomes an organisations first line of defence against any kind of data intrusion.  Anyone concerned with data security should consider using a VPN to transmit data between sites, or when accessing the internet or office server from a remote computer.

Once setup, your VPN acts like a secure tunnel for all your incoming and outgoing data, passing through the myriad of servers and routers of the internet directly to your VPN provider. Your data is encrypted, and for those especially concerned, a VPN also hides your geographic location as well as the specific IP address of your computer (or ISPs) on the internet; in other words, the VPN makes you anonymous. In some instances VPN’s are more appropriate than MPLS.

 

 

FTTC - Fibre to Cabinet

If your organisation is lucky enough to be connected to a telephone exchange that has been upgraded to fibre-channel, as opposed to copper wires, you may be able to upgrade your ADSL line to fibre. Portal Voice and Data are able to offer this service (where available), via a number of physical hardware providers, and our purchasing power and lower overheads means we can offer it at a very competitive price point.

 

 

Broadband Products

A cost effective route for data with no to low service levels. Broadband in general terms is unlikely to be suitable for critical business applications other than for a relatively small number of users, or as back-up for more robust connections.  Where appropriate, Portal will facilitate broadband supply.

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Why choose Portal for Data Connectivity? 

  • Our network engineers are Cisco accredited and experienced with hosted voice, VOIP and database applications across networks of all sizes.
  • Portal invest heavily in front end training of operations staff to ensure that the most difficult part of any solution, the inter supplier and client communication, is of top quality.
  • We invest in Carrier grade test equipment for up to 1GB DIA and EFM.
  • Various criteria apply in the selection of supplier, not least of which are the applications running across the links.
  • We have experience of testing supplier credibility and troubleshooting when the solution is not meeting SLA’s.
  • We receive real-time statistics on your network allowing us enhanced trouble shooting, service and account management capability.