A Shropshire-based national telecommunications company, which became a pioneer of digital telephony services in the UK, is celebrating two decades in business.

Fluid Network Solutions was established in Shrewsbury by telecommunications veteran Rob Tolley following a successful career with big industry players, such as Telewest and BT.

Specialising in the business market, Fluid launched offering traditional telephony and telephone systems, but soon recognised the future was shifting towards digital services and fibre broadband.

“Early on we saw the future shifting away from traditional telephony, so we positioned Fluid as a trailblazer, becoming one of the first companies in the UK to offer Voice Over IP services and digital hosted telephony,” said Rob.

“Initially we focussed on Shropshire, but we were soon expanding our services into Wales, Essex, London, Devon and the North East.”

Fluid’s clientele includes NHS primary healthcare providers, dental practices, engineering firms, accountants, recruitment agencies, retailers, and charities. NHS out-of-hours provider Shropdoc adopted Fluid’s technology in 2011 and has remained a customer ever since.

Fluid now extends its services to around 60 GP surgeries across Shropshire, Powys, and other parts of the UK, with a dedicated 10-person team providing round-the-clock support.

“Voice Over IP was transformative for Shropdoc. It not only offered increased call efficiency and cost-effectiveness, but also enhanced call information and data handling which is essential for frontline urgent medical services where every call matters,” said Rob, who has 30 years industry experience.

“In the past, traditional services like call recording, auto attendant and call queues were only within the reach of large organisations. But Voice Over IP hosted telephony enabled smaller companies to have similar sophisticated telecommunications systems at a much lower cost.

“Multiple company sites, business mobiles and employee remote working could all be integrated into one system too. And flexibility meant the system easily expanded as an organisation grew.

“All businesses should now be looking at switching to digital phone services as a matter of urgency because BT is turning off the UK’s landline network in 2025.

“Technology is improving all the time and Fluid remains committed to staying at the forefront of telecommunications innovation.”