Have you ever wondered how large companies can receive so many telephone callers without anyone getting a busy signal?
Home telephones and cell phone provide Call Waiting. Youre familiar with that. But it won't work with phone systems. If you want a phone system, such as an automated attendant PBX, to handle multiple callers, then you need multiple phone lines with rollover.
Telephone line rollover is the method used to allow more than one caller to get through by routing each caller through the next available phone line.
It's important to understand that rollover is not a function of your in-house phone equipment. Your phone service provider must do it. You need to ask the phone company to roll the additional callers over to the next higher line. This is also known as a hunt group.
All your callers will dial your main number, but if the first line is in use, the next caller rings in on the next unused line. If all lines are in use, then the next caller will get a busy signal.
Call waiting, on the other hand, will allow a second caller to be answered on a single line. You can see why this is no good for a phone system, which is designed to route each simultaneous caller to a particular department or personnel.
A phone system will answer any phone lines that are ringing. If your phone service provider does not roll busy lines over to the next line, then there is no way that the phone system can answer those callers.
How many lines do you need?
Simple answer: One line for each caller. So if you need to handle, say, ten simultaneous callers, then you need ten lines from your phone carrier.
You still use just one phone number. The additional lines do have their own numbers and can be dialed directly. But the main idea is that the first number is the only one necessary. If the line is in use, the caller rolls over to the next line thats free.
In other words, the first caller rings through on the first physical line and the next caller "rolls over" to the next physical line that is available. This roll over continues until all lines are used.
If all the lines are in use, then the next caller will get a busy signal. So if you want to support a high call volume for your business, you need to get additional lines from your phone company and request these lines to be configured with rollover to the next line in the group.
The rollover service is usually provided at no additional charge. The phone company profits from the additional line charges anyway.
Why Call-Waiting is Not Necessary
Keep in mind that the phone system is automated to route the incoming calls.
If you have call waiting on any of your lines then the next caller will NOT rollover to the next line. They will be stuck there waiting for the person on that line to respond to the call waiting tone.
This is fine for a single line such as a home phone or cellphone. But when you use rollover to additional lines, call waiting will interfere with its proper operation.
How does a PBX Phone System Work with Rollover?
All incoming lines that are organized in a rollover hunt group are connected to the phone system (PBX) and all in-house phones are connected to its extension jacks.