A Carlisle telecoms company is planning a major expansion as it predicts businesses will switch to internet-based communications within five years.

Toby Evans, owner of Eclipse Office Technologies, says that with BT Openreach phasing out the traditional voice network based on phone lines by 2025 businesses will need to look towards their communications systems being replaced with systems and handsets connected to broadband.

It is one of the reasons the business is expanding with business development manager Prabs Kumar joining the business to head up new and existing customer development while Toby continues to focus on the operations and engineering side of the business.

With plans to hire further engineering staff and apprentices, it is an exciting time for the business, Toby said.

“It has become apparent that there won’t be BT voice lines anymore. By 2025 they will have switched off all the ISDN lines and phone lines as we know they won’t exist,” he said.

Prabs Kumar, who is joining the business with 11 years' experience in the telecoms industry, strongly believes that firms are increasingly seeing investment in telecoms as giving them a competitive advantage.

He said: “All the talk now is about ‘unified comms’ that links together desk phone and mobile technologies.

"It allows staff and business owners a much more flexible ‘work anywhere’ approach.

"That might mean receiving a call on your desk phone and then switching to a video call on your phone, for example."

Eclipse was started eight years ago by Mr Evans and provides systems to several Cumbrian clients.