5Linx: Telecommunications with a different distribution model.
5Linx Enterprises, Inc., headquartered in Rochester, New York, was started in 2001 by three entrepreneurs with a vision to market telecommunications services using a different distribution model.
From that beginning, the privately held company has grown into a substantial player in the VoIP and video marketplace, with 175 employees and a 50,000 square foot facility that houses all of their functions, including network operations, call center, marketing, product development, and engineering.
The companys name, 5Linx, stands for its five tenets of business: freedom, integrity, vision, opportunity, and success. These tenets are demonstrated by their network of over 30,000 independent market representatives that provide customers with the latest in telecommunications products and services, including cellular phones and plans from all major U.S. carriers, satellite television service from both Dish Network and Direct TV, and a broadband home security solution plus the companys own GLOBALINX VoIP services.
The GLOBALINX portfolio includes several different service offerings. GLOBALINX IIN provides inbound international numbers in a number of major cities throughout North and South America, Europe, and the U.K.
GLOBALINX Digital Home Phone Service provides residential and commercial digital telephone service with unlimited local and long distance calling in the U.S., Canada, Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico, plus free calling to landline phones in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Spain, France, China, Portugal, and Australia for $24.95 a month (or $239.95 annually).
GLOBALINX PBX for Business is a hosted PBX service for small and medium-size businesses that provides a cost-effective alternative to traditional PBX systems.
The PBX for Business offering, which is available nationwide, targets businesses requiring 5 to 100 phones. The system includes a gateway router at each office location, connecting to the GLOBALINX hosting site via the Internet, and also connecting to a local PSTN trunk for redundancy.
On the station side, the system supports analog, SIP, and Cisco telephones. Truly mobile communications are the result, as employees can unplug their handsets and take their phone, number and service with them anywhere a high speed Internet connection is available. A unified, nationwide telephone system ensues, as any number of locations can be connected to the system. Cisco telephones and equipment can also be bundled into the monthly plan to eliminate any up-front capital expenditures.
In addition to the typical PBX features, the system includes an auto attendant; find-me/follow-me for up to 10 additional numbers; hunt groups; music on hold; and virtual phone numbers that allow businesses to demonstrate a local presence in a remote location without physically being present there. Voicemail-to-e-mail capability allows messages to be accessed from the Web or any phone. Extension-to-extension calling, which allows users to call location-to-location from anywhere in the world by dialing only three or four digits, is also provided, as is out-of-service forwarding, which allows users to pre-designate a number (such as a cell phone) that all incoming calls would route to in the event of a power failure or an interruption with the Internet service provider. A conference bridge allows the user to schedule up to 20 participants through a web-based control panel that enables participants to call in via a toll or toll-free number.
Three pricing plans are available with the Hosted PBX offering: Business International is $59.95 per seat per month, Business Unlimited is $49.95 per month, and Business Local is $24.95 per month with free inbound calls, free local calls, and a charge of 1.9 cents per minute for domestic long distance calls.
Additional available features include free extension-to-extension calling anywhere in the world; toll free 800 numbers for $4.95 per month; auto attendant services for $9.95 per month; basic hunt groups for $9.95 per month; and an enhanced hunt group with the ability to outbound dial from the hunt group (for after hours answering service) for $14.95 per month. SIP Trunking services are also available for customers that wish to keep the PBX solution that they already have in place. These services are priced at $14.95 to $24.95 per phone number, including free inbound calls, free local calls and 1.9 cents per minute for domestic long distance calls.
Further information on the 5Linx solutions can be found at www.5linx.com. Our next tutorial will continue our review of various service providers hosted voice solutions.
Copyright Acknowledgement: © 2009 DigiNet Corporation®, All Rights Reserved
Mark A. Miller, P.E. is President of DigiNet Corporation®, a Denver-based consulting engineering firm. He is the author of many books on networking technologies, including Voice over IP Technologies, and Internet Technologies Handbook, both published by John Wiley & Sons.