How to Prevent Phone System Downtime During a Power Outage
During a power outage, you can prevent downtime on your phones by:
- Using an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) for your network equipment,
- Using Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) phones, and
- Using the mobile app.
Telzio hosts your business phone system for you on servers located in different parts of the world, which is where your phone menu greetings and call routing configurations are stored. This means that even when there is a power outage in your office, your Telzio phone system will continue to run. Callers will still reach your phone menu and be routed to your employees, and with the three tools outlined in this article, you can avoid downtime with your phones.
Use a Backup Battery Source
Start by investing in an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) for your network equipment. UPS will keep your internet running and your phone's lines connected.
You can find a range of UPS devices from Amazon. The APC Smart-UPS Battery Backup with a 1,000-watt power capacity, eight battery, and surge-protected outlets, and one switchable outlet group, can be an ideal solution for small to medium-sized businesses to keep network equipment operating when primary power is lost.
You might also need to invest in portable chargers for mobile devices. “Juice packs” such as Mophie can be purchased for $100 or less and many of the chargers double as protective cases for your smartphone or tablet. Alternately, battery-powered backup chargers like the Zagg can provide several full charges for your mobile devices. There are also chargers that use solar power. This can be accomplished when you are in a dry spot away from the rain, and clouds. Lastly, you can turn to car chargers. Your car’s battery will provide ongoing life, long after your phone’s battery has been depleted.
Use Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) Phones
Power over Ethernet (PoE) is a system that sends power over the Ethernet cabling to an endpoint such as a PoE-enabled phone. Driven by the demand for ease of installation and boosted by new standards that expand support to more devices, PoE is expected to see explosive growth rates in the years to come.
The benefits of using a PoE versus an AC power supply are numerous. However, germane to power outages, it’s important to note IP phones will lose power if they are plugged into a standard wall outlet.
Powering the endpoints via a PoE switch permits centralized power when it is plugged into an uninterruptible power supply (UPS).
PoE also has many applications, but one of the key areas of use is with VoIP phones. Using PoE means users have a single connection to a wall socket, which can be remotely powered down, just like we were accustomed to doing with our older analog phones. In addition, WiFi and Bluetooth apps and RFID readers are PoE-compatible, which we can use during power outages, in remote locations, away from AC outlets.
PoE Phone for Business Users
For those interested in purchasing a PoE phone for the office, the Grandstream GXP2135 is ideal for business users who handle high call volumes. The desk phone supports gigabit speeds and up to 32 virtual BLF [Busy Lamp Field] speed dialing.
The Grandstream GXP2135 is a high-quality, affordable VoIP phone with Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) capability.
With an integrated built-in PoE, this phone provides the fastest possible connection speeds. This is accomplished by its dual gigabit network ports, which including built-in Bluetooth for syncing with mobile devices and headsets.
Use the Mobile App
Telzio’s mobile app can be used with the internet, WiFi, and data connection. With data connectivity available from your cellular provider, you can continue to make and receive calls on the app. And with the UPS keeping your internet network running, you can continue to use the app on WiFi.
If your business uses only mobile devices, the portable chargers will come in especially handy.
While the options above are critical in reducing downtime, it’s also incumbent upon us to incur less drain on our cell phone batteries, to begin with. The longer we extend that battery life, the longer we have to look for additional external sources to aid us when the storm goes longer than expected.
So check your phone settings to turn off some of your phone’s more power-hungry apps. Some of them quietly run in the background even when you’re not using them, causing your battery to drain faster. WiFi and Bluetooth are two of the consequences in this regard. So, if you can live without, you might want to put both on hiatus.
Dimming your screen’s brightness will also help conserve your battery’s life.
There are also several free apps for both iOS (Apple) and Android phones, which will help extend your phone’s battery life. One such app is Carat, which observes how you use your smartphone and makes personalized suggestions about which additional power-sucking apps you might want to delete.
Ron is part of the marketing team at Telzio, covering everything from tips and tech for growing businesses to customer success stories for the Telzio blog.