Search Our Site

Our Newsletter

Our Ramblings

Hosted Telephony From Rustyice Solutions

rs_logo-with-wordsRustyice Solutions Ltd. is helping to transform the way businesses communicate. We provide each customer with a single communications platform that addresses the needs of every employee, regardless of their location or the device they use.

Our cloud-based platform delivers a range of feature-rich voice, video and unifed communications solutions to your business. We help you to improve the way you communicate with your customers, increasing collaboration and ensuring maximum productivity from every employee.



Hosted Telephony, also known as Cloud Telephony, is where organisations access business telephony as a service. In essence, the capabilities of a traditional PBX are delivered as a service from the cloud, providing comprehensive telephony functionality directly to each extension, regardless of location.

This exible solution enables organisations to scale effortlessly and add functionality on a simple pay-as-you-use basis; including Advanced Hosted Telephony, Collaboration, Mobile Integration and Contact Centre capabilities.

Hosted Telephony is transforming the way companies communicate. Regardless of your company size or the physical location of your employees, you are able to deliver feature-rich business communications to every employee, from the cloud, wherever they may be in the world.

hosted-telepyThrough Hosted Telephony, businesses are easily able to react to change while maintaining best-in-class communications capability, enjoying:


With Rustyice Hosted Telephony there is no up-front capital investment required. Simply subscribe to one of our “All Inclusive” minutes bundles or take our “Pay-As-You-Use” service where you benefit from free calls between offices or employees working at home or significantly cheaper local, national and international call charges.


Take advantage of enterprise level telephony features such as Auto Attendant, Receptionist Console, Call Centre and Call Recording. Improve the efficiency of your workforce through Presence, Click-to-Dial and Contact Database Integration. Take total control of your services using our sophisticated online management portal.


Flex your usage up and down in response to demand or any season fluctuations. Scale rapidly without committing to long contracts. Deploy satellite workers and seamlessly transition between different locations and offices. Take calls on the move, anywhere around the world.


At Rustyice Solutions we work with key technology partners to ensure that the platform adheres to the latest versions and industry standards. A constantly evolving roadmap allows our customers to benefit automatically from the latest features and developments.

Our customers are freed from the operational and financial burden of maintaining their own equipment and software.


Use your own, or take a business grade Inclarity broadband or fibre connection for an assured telephony experience which does not touch the public Internet. Set up cloud-based call divert rules in advance – or in real time – to capture all of your incoming calls in the event that your office experiences any local network problems. The Inclarity platform offers 99.999% availability, and in fact we achieved 100% availability across the 12 months of 2015.


Cloud-hosted Pay-As-You-Use video conferencing capabilities mean that there is no need for expensive dedicated meeting room equipment, complex video bridges or changes to your network. Simply connect to a meeting using your desktop, tablet or smartphone and communicate with colleagues and clients wherever they are in the world with excellent sound and picture quality.


Call Centre is an advanced telephony feature that allows a business to better manage its incoming calls, and to ensure that these calls are answered by the correct personnel.

  • Allow agents to control how they advertise their availability for receiving calls
  • Give each agent a specialised dashboard to better manage their calls
  • Queue inbound calls, and play announcements / estimated waiting times to the callers
  • Define busy, out of hours, holiday and emergency failover responses
  • Review the availability and productivity of agents using Rustyice Reporting
  • Define the skill levels of your agents for skills based routing (Premium only)CALL RECORDINGWith Inclarity Hosted Telephony there is no need for expensive on-premise call recording, this capability is embedded within our cloud and can be switched on for particular lines or particular users.
  • User-defined recording for inbound or outbound, external and internal calls
  • Recordings are retained for 6 months as standard (with the option to extend)
  • Simple storage, search, download and playback of calls
  • Fully FSA compliant


Rustyice Call Reporting enables you to obtain a full picture of your inbound and outbound call history so you can manage your business communications.

• Powerful GUI enables you to de ne and run reports

• Comprehensive range of standard reports

• Ability to tailor reports for your specific needs

• Leverage account codes to enable customer billing

• Schedule reports to be sent automatically to you by email

• Select from a wide range of chart and graph options to show your report data in a graphical format


Auto-Attendant provides the ability to automate the management of inbound calls using voice prompts to identify which services are required and directing the call appropriately.

  • Direct calls to specific extensions
  • Look up individuals in the corporate directory
  • Route calls based on department or service required

Rustyice Hosted Unified Communications (UC) delivers both improvements in the productivity of your staff and an increase in the level of collaboration across your entire organisation.

The Rustyice UC Client is a desktop application that helps you integrate your telephone activity with the rest of your business processes. UC users can access their contacts more easily, and can identify the context of incoming calls more effectively, leading to a boost in productivity and efficiency. When integrated with CRM, accounting or ticketing systems, UC users can instantly spawn or pop the relevant contact records to perform essential tasks more quickly.

UC users can also use the integral Telephone Presence dashboard to see the real-time telephone status of their colleagues, and can instantly identify when these users are not available to take calls or call transfers. User collaboration on projects is improved by knowing when everyone is available to speak.


Receive an alert on your desktop to notify you that you are making or receiving a call. If the called/calling number is on your Address Book, then you will also see your contact’s name.


Automatically access your MS Outlook Contact Cards for Call Preview, and enable click-to-dial within the MS Outlook desktop application.


Open up lists of contacts from other 3rd party applications for Call Preview, Click-to-Dial and Screen Pop. Supported applications include common CRM packages such as ACT, Salesforce, Sage and MS Dynamics.


Report your current telephone status to your fellow UC users, and access a dashboard showing the current telephone status of these users.


Push your telephone status so that it is visible to your MS Skype for Business environment. Dial fellow Skype users on their listed telephone numbers from the Inclarity platform.


Enable your preferred desktop web browser so that any telephone numbers you see can be dialled with
a single click. Copy any number from any screen or application to your clipboard, so that it can be dialled with a single click.


Automatically access customer details and presenting these along with the telephone call to enable a more professional service.


Provide a real time view to each user showing who is available and so enable them to reach the right expert rst time.


Making business telephony much easier to use and provide each user with the ability to work the way they want to work.

At Rustyice, we are proud of our track record of unrivalled customer support and service.

Based on industry leading Broadsoft cloud architecture, the Rustyice hosted telephony platform is recognised by our clients as one of the most reliable cloud services available.

99.999% service uptime

The platform offers 99.999% availability, and in fact it achieved 100% availability across the 12 months of 2015. Thanks to the resilient structure and key relationships with Broadsoft and other technology partners, our clients enjoy service continuity that is second to none.

Support calls answered within 5 seconds.

We like to practice what we preach, and as a telephony company, that means being at the end of the line when our customers call. Our Ayrshire based customer support team are available 24/7/365 to help you with any issues you have.

Most issues fixed in under 2 hours

We’ve been at the forefront of unified comms and telephony for over 12 years and our engineers and support staff have intimate knowledge and experience across our platform and the partner vendors we work with. This means issues are identified and rectified quickly and efficiently.

But it’s not just about the SLA

We constantly monitor both the availability and the quality of service of our hosted platform and ensure that not only do we resolve all issues against clearly defined SLAs, but we strongly believe that there’s more to customer support than complying with Service Level Agreements. We really care about offering the right service to our customers to suit their specific needs.

That means from the very outset, we take the time to understand each and every client’s unique business and communication needs. We then work with them and our network of technology partners to produce high-quality, hosted solutions that deliver genuine business value for the short-term and support business growth in the longer-term.


Advanced management tools

System Management Tool (SMT)

A web based, real-time management interface which enables your IT administrator to easily and rapidly manage account settings and resources on-line. Dependent upon the provided system access level, you can use SMT to add new accounts and resources, edit existing account settings, allocate resources, produce reports and perform other administrative tasks. Administration can be specific to an individual user or terminal (e.g. IP phone), and general for multiple users, sites and companies.

Phone Manager

A simple, web-based interface which allows each end user to manage his or her own telephone number and associated service features. This interface is available and works the same way, regardless of what terminal (telephone) is deployed for the user to make and receive telephone calls.




Years of experience in deploying hosted telephony for hundreds of clients, across many industry sectors, enables us to add value to the relationship by advising on best practice. We provide guidance as to what works best for businesses like yours and how you can maximise the returns on your investment in cloud-based communications.


We focus on providing end-to-end solutions; from your connection to the public telephone network right the way through to the telephones on your employees’ desks. Our experience and expertise in VoIP is unrivalled, which enables us to seamlessly transition you to Rustyice Hosted Telephony and deliver the capabilities that you need to each and every user.


Where we differ from some of the larger players in the Unified Communications space is our ability and willingness to work to our customers’ needs. Our agility enables us to adapt our contract terms, our technical implementations and our SLAs to ensure they support customers’ specific needs, rather than imposing standard terms and standard functionality on them. While we can always provide advice on best practice, we’re always open to different ways of doing things if it’s of benefit to our customers.

If you’d like to know a little more, stick some detail into the form below and we will be in touch soon.

Spread Spectrum Modulation Techniques

Wireless Local Area Networking technology today exploits a technology which was thitherto mostly hidden inside the shadowy domain of military communications and radar. This technology comprises a collection of ideas which are termed Spread Spectrum Techniques (SST). Spread Spectrum techniques have some powerful properties which make them an excellent candidate for networking applications. To better understand why, we will take a closer look at this fascinating area, and its implications for networking.

Spreading the Spectrum

The first major application of Spread Spectrum Techniques (SST) arose during the mid-sixties, when NASA employed the method to precisely measure the range to deep space probes. In the following years, the US military became a fan of SST due to its ability to withstand jamming (ie intentional interference), and its ability to resist eavesdropping.

Today this technology forms the basis for the ubiquitous Global Positioning System (GPS), the not so ubiquitous NMIDS (Nato Multifunction Information Distribution System/AWACS) datalink (used between aircraft, ships and land vehicles), and last but not least, the virtually undetectable bombing and navigation radar on the bat-winged B-2 bomber. If you ever get asked what technology your home shares with a stealth bomber (excluding astronomical cost), you can state without fear of contradiction that it uses the same class of modulation algorithm.

How is this black magic achieved? The starting point is Claude Shannon’s information theory, a topic beloved by diehard communications engineers. Shannon’s formula for channel capacity is a relationship between achievable bit rate, signal bandwidth and signal to noise ratio.

Shannons theory states that channel capacity is proportional to bandwidth and the logarithm to the base of two of one plus the signal to noise ratio, or:

Capacity = Bandwidth*log2 (1 + SNR).

What this means is that the more bandwidth and the better the signal to noise ratio, the more bits per second you can push through a channel. This is indeed common sense. However, let us consider a situation where the signal is weaker than the noise which is trashing it. Under these conditions this relationship becomes much simpler, and can be approximated by a ratio of Capacity/Bandwidth = 1.44* SNR.

What this says is that we can trade signal to noise ratio for bandwidth, or vice versa. If we can find a way of encoding our data into a large signal bandwidth, then we can get error free transmission under conditions where the noise is much more powerful than the signal we are using. This very simple idea is the secret behind spread spectrum techniques.

Consider the example of a 3 kHz voice signal which we wish to send through a channel with a noise level 100 times as powerful as the signal. Manipulating the preceding equation, we soon find that we require a bandwidth of 208 kHz, which is about 70 times greater than the voice signal we wish to carry. Readers with a knowledge of radio will note here that this idea of spreading is a central part of FM radio and the reason why it produces better sound quality compared to the simpler AM scheme.

Other than punching through large levels of background noise, why would we otherwise consider using spread spectrum techniques ? There are a number of good practical reasons why spread spectrum modulation is technically superior to the intuitively more obvious techniques such as AM and FM, and all of the hybrids which lie in between.

  • The Ability to Selectively Address. If we are clever about how we spread the signal, and use the proper encoding method, then the signal can only be decoded by a receiver which knows the transmitter’s code. Therefore by setting the transmitter’s code, we can target a specific receiver in a group, or vice versa. This is termed Code Division Multiple Access. or CDMA
  • Bandwidth Sharing. If we are clever about selecting our modulation codes, it is entirely feasible to have multiple pairs of receivers and transmitters occupying the same bandwidth. This would be equivalent to having say ten TV channels all operating at the same frequency. In a world where the radio spectrum is being busily carved up for commercial broadcast users, the ability to share bandwidth is a valuable capability.
  • Security from Eavesdropping. If an eavesdropper does not know the modulation code of a spread spectrum transmission, all the eavesdropper will see is random electrical noise rather than something to eavesdrop. If done properly, this can provide almost perfect immunity to interception.
  • Immunity to Interference. If an external radio signal interferes with a spread spectrum transmission, it will be rejected by the demodulation mechanism in a fashion similar to noise. Therefore we return to the starting point of this discussion, which is that spread spectrum methods can provide excellent error rates even with very faint signals.
  • Difficulty in Detection. Because a spread spectrum link puts out much less power per bandwidth than a conventional radio, this means that they can coexist with other more conventional signals without causing catastrophic interference to narrowband links.

These characteristics endeared spread spectrum comms to the military community, who are understandably paranoid about being eavesdropped and jammed. However, the same properties are no less useful for local area networking over radio links. Indeed these are the reasons why the current IEEE draft specification for radio LANs is written around spread spectrum modulations. To better understand the inner workings of this fascinating area, we will now more closely examine the various choices we have for spread spectrum designs. The two basic methods are indeed both used in LAN equipment.

Direct Sequence Systems 

Direct Sequence (DS) methods are the most frequently used spread spectrum technique, and also the conceptually simplest to understand. DS modulation is achieved by modulating the carrier wave with a digital code sequence which has a bit rate much higher than that of the message to be sent. This code sequence is typically a pseudorandom binary code (often termed “pseudo-noise” or PN), specifically chosen for desirable statistical properties. In effect we are transmitting a wideband noise like signal which contains embedded message data. The time period of a single bit in the PN code is termed a chip, and the bit rate of the PN code is termed the chip rate.

A wide range of pseudorandom codes exist which can be applied to this task. These codes should ideally be balanced, with an equal number of ones and zeroes over the length of the sequence (also termed the code run), as well as being cryptographically secure. This is necessary because a spread spectrum system which uses a cryptographically insecure code will still possess the properties previously discussed, but if an eavesdropper can synchronise on to the signal they will eventually be able to crack it and extract the data. Using a secure code prevents this. The mechanics of generating pseudorandom codes is a fascinating area within itself. The most commonly used approach for producing a wide range of code types is the use of a tapped register with feedback as well as a modulo 2 adder. These are very simple to implement in hardware.

A PN code generator of this type uses a register with taps between selected stages. These taps are logically ORed and then fed back in to the input stage of the register. The state machine produced in this fashion will periodically cycle through the same PN sequence as the clock is applied.

Significantly, code sequence lengths of up to thousands of bits in length can be produced with about a dozen register stages. With modern VLSI techniques it is feasible to build generators with clock speeds up to hundreds of MHz on any die, moreover recent high speed Emitter Coupled Logic (ECL) devices allow the creation of generators with clock speeds into the GHz region.

Having produced a black box which generates a PN code with the required characteristics, the process of combining the PN modulation with the data to be transmitted, and modulating this upon a carrier is not technically difficult at all. The simplest technique, one of many, is to invert the PN code when a ‘0’ bit of message data is to be sent, and to transmit the PN code unchanged when a ‘1’ bit of message data is to be sent. This technique is termed Bit Inversion Modulation. The result is a PN code with an embedded data message.

The simplest form of carrier modulation which can be used is AM, however in practice one or another form of Phase Shift Keying (PSK) is usually employed. PSK schemes are commonly used in modems, and involve the modulation of the carrier phase with the data signal. In a DS transmitter using Binary PSK, the carrier wave is phase shifted back and forth 180 degrees with each 1 or 0 in the PN code chip stream being sent. The process of modulating the carrier with the PN code is often termed spreading.

The internals of a DS receiver are somewhat more complex than those of the transmitter, but not vastly so. The central idea in all SST receivers is the use of the correlation operation.

Correlation, a favourite method of our friends in the statistics community, is a mathematical operation which determines a measure of likeness or similarity between two sets of data or two time processes. In an SST receiver, the correlation operation is use to measure the similarity of a received PN code sequence to an internally generated PN code sequence. Ideally, if these PN sequences are the same, a high correlation will be detected, whereas if the codes are different, a low correlation is detected.

Mathematically the correlation operation, in its simplest form, is the integral of the product of two time varying functions. In a DS receiver of the simplest kind, the hardware maps directly onto the basic maths. The correlator is built by combining a multiplier with a low pass filter (ie integrator in a control engineer’s language).

One of the two time varying functions is the received PN modulated signal, the other is the PN sequence produced by a PN generator internal to the receiver. In the simplest situation, the receiver’s PN generator is a clone of the PN generator in the transmitter.

The multiplier can be one of many designs, importantly it multiplies in effect two single numbers and is therefore trivially simple. Classical textbooks cite the analogue doubly balanced mixer as the standard multiplier. The output from the multiplier is a time varying measure of the similarity between the two codes, blended with the remnants of uncorrelated (ie real) noise and interfering signals.

The integration operation disposes of the latter, and we are then left with the data which we intended to extract. This series of operations is often termed despreading. In practice, we often need to synchronise our receiver’s PN generator to the incoming SST signal, therefore there is often much additional complexity required to produce an internal reference PN sequence in proper sync with the incoming message PN sequence.

At this point it is worth reflecting upon what we have. We can generate either cryptographically secure or insecure codes. We can embed a digital data stream in one or another fashion into the code stream. All of this can be performed with pure digital logic. Once we have a combined data/code stream, we can use a very simple analogue modulation to put the message upon a carrier.

The resulting radio signal looks like white noise to a third party who doesn’t know the code. Our receiver shares similar hardware design with our transmitter. It uses a trivial demodulation scheme, and extracts digital data from the incoming PN data/code stream. Other radio signals occupying our bandwidth are largely ignored. Whilst an SST transmitter-receiver pair may be conceptually more complex to understand than most classical analogue schemes, it is well suited to implementation in digital logic because most of the smarts at either end of the link are purely digital. This means that such hardware can be made much more compact than many classical narrowband analogue schemes, which often require a lot of analogue hardware which may or may not be easy to squeeze into Silicon.

Consider a narrowband 16 or 64 level QAM scheme, which is not only vulnerable to interference and noise, but also requires a digital signal processing chip to demodulate. For those readers with a bent toward radio engineering, the spectral envelope of a DS system is typically a sine function, with suppressed outer sidebands beyond the first null, and often a suppressed carrier. A parameter which radio types will appreciate is process gain, a measure of signal to noise ratio improvement achieved by despreading the received signal. For a DS system it is typically about twice the ratio of RF bandwidth to message bandwidth. Therefore to improve your ability to reject interference by 20 dB, you need to increase your chip rate by a factor of 100.

Frequency Hopping Systems 

Frequency Hoppers (FH) are a more sophisticated and arguably better family of spread spectrum techniques than the simpler DS systems. However, performance comes with a price tag here, and FH systems are significantly more complex than DS systems. The central idea behind a FH system is to retune the transmitter RF carrier frequency to a pseudorandomly determined frequency value. In this fashion the carrier keeps popping up a different frequencies, in a pseudorandom pattern. The carrier itself can be modulated directly with the data using one of many possible schemes. The available radio spectrum is thus split up into a discrete number of frequency channels, which are occupied by the RF carrier pseudorandomly in time.

Unless you know the PN code used, you have no idea where the carrier wave is likely to pop up next, therefore eavesdropping will be quite difficult. Frequency hoppers are typically divided into fast and slow hoppers. A slow frequency hopper will change carrier frequency pseudorandomly at a frequency which is much slower than the data bit rate on the carrier. A fast frequency hopper will do so at a frequency which is faster than that of the data message.

Hybrid (FH/DS) Systems

If we are really paranoid about being eavesdropped, we can take further steps to make our signal difficult to find. A commonly used example is that of a hybrid spread spectrum system using both FH and DS techniques. Such schemes will typically employ frequency hopping of the carrier wave, while concurrently using a DS modulation technique to modulate the data upon the carrier.

In this way an essentially DS modulated message is hopped about the spectrum. To successfully intercept such a signal you must first crack the FH code, and then crack the DS code. If you want to be even more secure, you encrypt your data stream with a very secure crypto code before you feed it into your DS modulator, and employ cryptographically secure PN codes for the DS and FH operations. Your eavesdropper then has to chew his way through three levels of encoding. Such a scheme is used in the NMIDS (Nato Multifunction Information Distribution System/AWACS) datalink.


Spread Spectrum techniques are technologically superior to conventional narrowband modulation techniques in a number of important areas. They form the datalink layer of todays WLANs in operation in most households in the UK as well as in most offices. Their ubiquity belies their complexity and without SST the modern day advantages of mobile telephony as well as wireless LAN networking would not be possible. If your organisation needs assistance with its radio communications in the field of wireless networking, give us a call free today on 0800 012 1090. We look forward to your call.

Inmarsat Fleet Global – The Maritime Communications Solution

Fleet Broadband is the smallest, most simple high speed Internet & telephone receiver for maritime communication. It can be set up by an individual with little or no training and operates globally, also requiring no particular training to keep it functioning. A fleet broadband antenna and controller are self contained, requiring only power. Switch it on, and your entire fleet is linked at broadband speed. This appliance can be rapidly implemented across your fleet and as a standard IP service, seamlessly integrated with corporate and headquarter networks. The service is such that anybody who operates a vessel of almost any size can easily see the benefit of the technology which reaches far beyond its cost. Contact us today to discuss the benefits Fleet Broadband can bring to your company. Read on for a flavour of these benefits:


Flexibility and control: Fleet Broadband supports the newest IP services, as well as traditional circuit-switched voice and data for your Current applications. You can choose between a standard, contended IP service and guaranteed data rates on demand – with the ability to choose the rate according to your application. 3 varieties of terminals are available, each present distinct performance capabilities.

Cost effective: With Fleet Broadband, performance and flexibility is not too pricey. Terminal costs are fairly low, with a selection of airtime pricing packages to best suit your needs. There is also no obligation to commit to a lengthy contract. Global voice and broadband data services are more accessible than ever before, enabling you to achieve better operational efficiencies and reduce the expenses of crew communications.

Worldwide coverage: Fleet Broadband ensures you’re never out of touch, wherever you sail. Voice, fax, and data connectivity in the Indian and Atlantic Ocean Regions is available immediately. Inmarsat delivers global coverage – excluding the extreme polar regions.

Easy to install and integrate: Finding a space on your vessel for your new FleetBroadband terminal shouldn’t be a problem. With the antenna set inside a neat radome cover, which ranges in diameter from 25 to 60cm, and a discrete below-decks terminal, Fleet Broadband is compact without compromising performance. As a standard IP service it can be seamlessly integrated with your shorebased systems, making your vessel a transparent link within your company network.

Inmarsat is one of the best providers of global satellite solutions in the world and Fleet Broadband is just one of those solutions. The Inmarsat solution provides global satellite communication, with multiple satellites covering the whole planet. Contact us today to discuss this or indeed any of the Inmarsat solutions which we will be blogging about in the coming weeks.

4 tips to help secure your phone

We’ve heard a lot of news lately about how smartphones are the new frontier for hackers, virus writers, and cybercriminals. We talked to the folks on the Windows Phone 7 team and they haven’t heard any complaints about mobile viruses yet, but we thought it wouldn’t hurt to give you four ways that you can help secure any smartphone.

You’ll notice that this advice isn’t much different than what we’d recommend to help you secure your laptop or your desktop computer.

1. Protect your phone with a password. If your phone is lost or stolen, you can go a long way toward protecting your information if you’ve secured it with a password or a Personal Identification Number (PIN). If you use your phone to access your company’s email or intranet, chances are that they already require that you protect it with a password or PIN.

2. Be careful when you install apps on your phone. Apps can do nearly everything these days, from streamlining your social networking to changing the channels on your TV. No matter what kind of phone you have, install apps from a trusted source. For Windows Phone, you can only install apps from the Zune Marketplace. This means that they have been digitally signed, which reduces your risk. The same purchasing model is used with Apple’s iPhone, but not with Google’s Android phone.

3. Install your phone’s updates. Just like on your PC, you should install all updates for your phone and for the apps on your phone.

4. Make sure your smartphone has a feature that helps you find it if you lose it or if it is stolen. Windows 7 includes a “Find My Phone” feature that allows you to find a lost phone, lock it remotely, and also wipe it remotely so that no one can get access to the information there. You can usually install a third-party app that can do this for you.