Frequently Asked Questions


How is OnRelay different from a VoIP PBX?

OnRelay is a Mobile PBX, which works using standard cellular voice minutes. VoIP PBXs to the contrary rely on voice over internet (VoIP) packets transported over cellular data connections or WiFi. This is an important distinction since normal cell calls have more reliable and predictable voice quality, coverage and capacity than VoIP calls. A WiFi or cellular data network may e.g. be congested in busy office buildings, apartment complexes, city centers or airports, coverage may be spotty in cars and public transport, and it is also expensive to use VoIP over cellular data in the public domain. VoIP apps are neither as seamlessly integrated with your smartphone dialer as OnRelay.

Can I keep my existing company phone numbers with OnRelay?

Yes. Existing numbers can be ported to OnRelay at any time. It normally takes 3-5 business days to receive a confirmed port date, and to submit a port request you will have to fill out an authorization form and send us a bill copy from your existing provider to prove you own the number(s).

Do you offer a free trial?

Yes. If you can demonstrate you are a registered business you get a 2 week free trial. For the trial we allocate a temporary main company number in your area code of choice, and setup a full production service behind it. Moving forward you can chose to keep this number and / or swap it out with an existing ported in business number. During the trial we also work with you to configure your voice menus, auto-attendants and groups according to your call distribution requirements.

Which wireless carriers do you support?

You can use any wireless carrier with OnRelay that offers wireless services in the countries we cover with our service. This e.g. includes AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint in the US, Bell and Rogers in Canada, TelMex in Mexico, Telstra and Optus in Australia, Vodafone and O2 in the UK.

Which countries do you support?

A majority of our rapidly growing business remains in North America, and we have an ever-increasing footprint in Australia, South Africa and Europe. We are however at this time not heavily engaged in Asia. Please see an up-to-date list of our currently supported countries here.

Which smartphones and mobile operating systems can I use?

We support all Android and iPhone smartphones with recent operating system versions that are still upgraded and supported by wireless carriers and / or device vendors.

Can we use our existing personal mobile / cellular numbers and wireless contracts with OnRelay?

Yes. You can register a mobile extension using your existing smartphone, cell number and wireless contract with the OnRelay service. Our service allows you to completely mask your personal cell number to your business contacts both for incoming and outgoing office calls. OnRelay calls are clearly indicated as office calls on your incoming dial screen, and you can place your office line at Do Not Disturb at any time. You can of course continue to use your existing smartphone dialer for regular personal cell calls, and we also prevent office calls from being answered by your personal wireless carrier voice mail box.

Can we use WiFi / VoIP calling with OnRelay?

Yes. Just enable WiFi calling in your standard smartphone settings if this feature is supported by both your wireless carrier and your smartphone. OnRelay has been designed to support all the voice call mechanisms as supported by the wireless carrier and your smartphone. Most carriers offer native WiFi calling to offload their networks, reduce international roaming costs and support high quality services in poor cell coverage areas.

Does OnRelay support text messaging?

Yes, in the US and Canada your existing mainline number, a mainline alias or a direct user number may be text enabled. In other countries you may acquire a text enabled number from cellular dial plans. If the text enabled number is your mainline number, all supervisors and live operator group members can see and respond to text messages from the OnRelay app. If the text enabled number is a mainline alias assigned to a particular group, all group members can see and respond to messages. Direct user numbers (DIDs) may also be text enabled.

What is a 'Mainline'?

A 'Mainline' in OnRelay terms is all the advanced call routing functionality and features we build to help you manage calls to and from your main company number(s). This includes auto-attendants, parallel ring groups, call queues, music on hold, auto-generated voice menus, live operator functions, working hours setup etc. A 'mainline' does however not include any actual user or physical phone licenses. So if you are 10 people in your company you will e.g. need 1x Mainline and 10x Mobile Users.

What is a 'Live Operator'?

A 'Live Operator' in OnRelay terms is a person among your users, such as a receptionist or office manager, that you designate to answer calls to your mainline before your voice menu picks up the call. It is quite common, albeit not required, to equip this staff member with a Fixed Mobile User license and a Polycom desk-phone that pairs with his / her smartphone. Then everybody else can use just Mobile User licenses and their smartphones. The Polycom desk-phone has some usability benefits over a smartphone when it comes to typical operator requirements such as juggling multiple incoming calls, supporting 2-step consultation transfers and single-click direct dial keys.

What is an 'Answering Service'?

An 'Answering Service' is a 3rd party service provider that offers live receptionist services to other companies. They will normally supply you with a dedicated number to their receptionist service, and answer calls on your behalf using an agreed script. With OnRelay, any answering service can be tightly integrated with your configuration such that you can use them as a fallback destination for unanswered calls to any parallel ring group or queue, or as a direct destination in your voice menu. The answering service can also get a return call OnRelay number from you that routes to an auto-attendant you can configure e.g. with a dial-by-name directory. This makes it is easy for the receptionist to transfer calls back to your staff extensions without maintaining a directory of your team.

Can mainline company calls ring at many mobiles at the same time?

Yes, you can use either parallel ring groups or call queues for this purpose. For a parallel ring group the caller hears normal ringback, and if nobody in the group answers the call it falls back to a custom destination such as a shared group voice mail box or a different group. For call queues, members can be called sequentially using a number of distribution algorithms, or in parallel, while callers hear music for a custom wait time. Staff members can join and leave these groups at any time from their mobile apps as and when they are available.

Can I have a designated person or persons answer mainline company calls directly?

Yes, you can use the specially designated Live Operator parallel ring group for this purpose. Members of the Live Operator group, such as your receptionist, receive mainline calls before they are answered by the main auto-attendant. If the Live Operator group has no members, or no Live Operator group members answer the call, the company call is answered by the main auto-attendant voice menu.

Can I filter spam- and robocalls?

Yes. If you configure your auto-attendant to answer and distribute calls to your main company number, this is a very efficient way to filter spam calls. Call robots are not able to maneuver our auto-attendants and thereby just get stuck in your voice menu without disturbing anybody. If spam calls from real human beings is an issue we also support a company blacklist configurable from your web admin panel that will block calls from pre-identified numbers for all your staff.

Do you have a web administration control panel?

Yes. Here you can do all the regular maintenance of your account yourself, such as e.g. adding, changing or removing users, configuring parallel ring groups, call queues and their memberships, build a custom tree of auto-attendants with multiple locations and languages, assign direct numbers to users, groups or auto-attendants, and manage your working hours, music on hold, main company voice mail prompts, conference bridges and the likes.

Can I configure my own voice menus?

Yes, you can create voice menus in 3 different ways: 1) have OnRelay's software auto-generate them according to your configured auto-attendant menus, 2) just type in your own voice menu that is subsequently generated using OnRelay's text-to-speech engine, or 3) upload a manual .wav or .mp3 recording.

Which voice menu languages do you support?

OnRelay's text-to-speech engine can currently auto-generate voice menus and prompts in American, British and Australian English, American and European Spanish, as well as French, German, Italian, Swedish, Danish and Norwegian.

Can I have company phone numbers in multiple locations?

Yes. You can have both mainline aliases and / or direct user numbers (DIDs) in different cities, states or even countries. Direct numbers can be assigned to designated auto-attendants, call groups or users. Using the Dial From feature of the mobile app, staff can at any time decide which company number to place calls from.

Can I have mobile users in multiple countries?

Yes. You can have mobile users in any supported country where you also have a domestic company number with OnRelay. All users share an internal dial plan and can be reached globally on their extensions using local cell minutes and their local wireless contract.

Does OnRelay still work while traveling internationally?

Yes. OnRelay works while roaming onto any mobile network anywhere in the world. OnRelay's patented functionality is wireless carrier independent, and thus require no change or adaptation to the carrier network to work. Please note OnRelay also supports carrier WiFi dialing as enabled for many wireless carriers and smartphones, which can be utilized to save roaming costs while traveling internationally.

Can I place and receive extension calls?

Yes, you can dial or transfer calls to your colleagues using the mobile app directory or just dial their 3 digit extensions from the OnRelay mobile app dial pad.

Can I transfer calls?

Yes,  OnRelay call logic allows you to transfer incoming office calls to your colleagues. You can use your directory or 3 digit extensions. From the mobile app we support so-called direct transfers, whereas from Polycom IP desk-phones we support consultation transfers as well.

On the mobile app the transfer option is available from the smartphone notification area at the top of the screen after answering an incoming call. Swipe down from the top notification area to view available options, and select 'OnRelay - Transfer' from there.

Is it possible to use IP desk phones with OnRelay?

Yes, OnRelay supports Polycom VVX series desk-phones with our Fixed Mobile User license.

What is the minimal configuration I can order?

The minimal configuration for a one-person business is 1x Mainline and 1x Mobile User. The Mainline license includes hosting of your main company number.

What is the maximum number of users I can add?

On the multi-tenanted service OnRelay supports a 3-digit internal dial plan that accommodates several hundreds of users. Larger customers however have the option to move onto dedicated cloud server images that support both a global 6 digit company dial plan and local 3 digit dial plans for its various office and country locations.

What if I have a business mobile and a personal mobile and want to get rid of one of them?

In the US and Canada you can convert your business mobile number to a main company number by porting it to OnRelay, and subsequently cancel your business wireless contract. This way you can continue to use your personal wireless contract and a single device for both business and personal calls. Additional people you hire will also be able to share the use of your business number from their smartphones.

Does OnRelay just run VoIP over the cellular data channel?

No. OnRelay uses regular cellular voice minutes for its voice media path and is not an ‘over the top’ service or VoIP app. It thereby provides cellular network level voice quality, coverage and unrestricted capacity. OnRelay can therefore be scaled very quickly to any location, the only dependency is that your wireless carrier(s) have sufficient capacity, which you will already know since you are probably already using your mobile at your office for most of your business calls anyways.

Do users still need cellular data?

Yes. A mobile IP network is used for signalling between the OnRelay Office Phone app and the OnRelay server. OnRelay uses advanced mechanisms to manage short term IP connections, preventing battery drain and minimizing data usage. We also use the cellular data channel for signaling many of our advanced patented algorithms such as call transfers. Customers should expect to use approx. 1MB per user / month of cellular data.

What happens if no mobile data network is available?

You may still be able to receive your calls since normal cellular voice connections are used.

Can I split personal and business voice mails?

Yes, OnRelay has developed an advanced algorithm that prevents any cellular office call from being routed to a cell carrier voice mail box. This means it is safe to add cellular users to advanced call distribution features such as call queues and parallel ring groups, without the risk of someone's cell carrier voice mail box answering all the calls.

How does OnRelay affect my mobile bill?

These days most mobile carriers offer unlimited local calls, and OnRelay uses minimal cellular data (a few MB per month), so OnRelay will not affect your mobile bills. It is therefore safe and cost efficient to ask staff to use their personal smartphones with the OnRelay service.

How many parallel calls can I have through my main company number?

There are no restrictions, meaning all your users may place and receive calls at the same time.

How does OnRelay affect call setup times?

As a rule of thumb, OnRelay adds just 2-4 seconds to the mobile call set-up time compared to normal cell calls.