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‘What is a PBX?’ is a common question that comes up when businesses are choosing a communication system for their offices.

Even with the rise of virtual platforms, certain PBX phone systems remain worthwhile to consider, as they still offer many benefits that businesses can take advantage of. Particularly, here at Infinitel, our SIP trunks can be integrated into a variety of PBX systems, offering a hassle-free and seamless service as the UK transitions to digital landlines.

In this guide, we’ll discuss:

  • What is a PBX?
  • Types of PBX system
  • Benefits of integrating a PBX system
  • The future of PBX
  • Integrating traditional PBX systems ahead of the PSTN 2025 switch-off
What Is a PBX Phone System?

What Exactly Is a PBX?

PBX stands for Private Branch eXchange, a private telephone network that is commonly used within a business. PBX phone systems emerged in the 20th century, enabling internal and external phone calls within an organisation, without the need for public phone lines.

By the late 20th century, PBX systems began to evolve and incorporate new technologies, with the introduction of advanced features such as:

  • Automatic call routing
  • Caller ID
  • Voicemail
  • Call forwarding
  • Conference calling
  • Interactive voice response (IVR)
  • And more…

Nowadays, cloud PBX systems are also available, using an internet connection – or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) – to make calls.

Hardware vs. Software-Based PBX

A traditional PBX phone system will require hardware to be installed onsite. The hardware itself plays a crucial part in its function and operation. As a result, this type of PBX system is restricted to being managed solely from the location of the hardware, i.e. your office.

Meanwhile, a software-based PBX system may still need hardware, but this can usually be set up offsite and maintained by the provider – these are called hosted PBX systems. Cloud PBX systems are easy to integrate with other systems and can be managed from anywhere.

Tip: Cloud PBX is often recommended for businesses who are looking for scalable and flexible telecoms solutions. Making the switch from a traditional PBX to a cloud-hosted PBX, such as the 3CX phone system, delivers significant savings on call costs, letting you call more for less.

Types of PBX System

Within software vs hardware PBX, there are various types of PBX phone systems to consider. Depending on your business’ communication needs, certain PBX setups will make for a better fit, allowing you and your team to connect with ease.

Analogue PBX

Also known as the traditional PBX system, analogue PBX systems use multiple phone lines, namely traditional landlines, to connect callers. This type of PBX system is recommended for businesses in remote areas where the internet may not be widely available or reliable.

On-Site VoIP PBX

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. On-site VoIP phone systems require hardware to be installed at your business site and use internet connections to make calls. Compared to an analogue system, this type of PBX system is initially more expensive, but you can expect to save money in the long run as a result of reduced phone bills.

Cloud-Based or Hosted PBX

Perhaps the most popular type of PBX system is the cloud-based or hosted PBX. This is maintained by a VoIP provider and does not need to be installed onsite. For small businesses, a hosted PBX system is an excellent option because it offers low maintenance costs. Businesses can benefit from regular updates that will provide them with the latest features to use for their business.

Looking to upgrade to a cloud-based VoIP system? Enquire today.

Hybrid PBX

A hybrid PBX combines existing PBX hardware with VoIP, which allows you to use additional features that are available with a VoIP PBX system. This means that the hardware will still need to be onsite, but cordless phones can be connected instead of having to rely on telephone lines. For temporary offices or temporary work sites, like a construction zone, a hybrid PBX system could be beneficial.

Benefits of Integrating a PBX System into Your Business

Telecommunications is essential within a business, no matter if it is a small organisation or a large corporation. This makes choosing the right type of business phone system a major priority, and one that will heavily impact the efficiency of how you operate.

Integrating a PBX system into your business offers many advantages, including:

Remote & Mobile Connectivity

PBX phone systems can connect to a wide range of devices, from computers to mobile phones. Useful for remote teams or employees on a business trip, cloud PBX, in particular, allows you to make calls wherever and whenever you need to.


Instead of having a receptionist or a team member answer each and every call, a PBX phone system allows you to design an automated attendant system that will direct callers to specific numbers, based on the service that they need.

For example, ‘Dial 1 for sales. Dial 2 for technical support.’ would reduce the manual labour required to direct callers to where they need to go, freeing up staff time to be spent on more critical tasks.

Phone Extensions/Directory

Business PBX phone systems enable you to create numerous extensions for your business telephony, meaning that one department could have a certain extension number while another department would have a different one.

This efficient and organised telephone system can easily be used within your business, allowing your employees to effectively communicate with different teams or departments without having to seek out or dial new series of phone numbers each time.

Ultimately, having one unified number but different extensions makes for an easier stream of communication, keeping business flowing.

Streamlined Experience

PBX systems offer a wide array of calling capabilities that should not be overlooked. This includes features such as:

  • Customised messages
  • Hold music
  • Call recording
  • Interactive voice response (IVR)
  • And more

Using the above can help create a streamlined and effective customer (and employee) experience that will positively impact their perception of your business.

After all, the process of getting in touch with your business should be efficient and straightforward, especially for customers who have decided to call in the hopes of getting a quicker response than through email.

What Does the Future of PBX Look Like?

Traditional onsite PBX connects to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) – however, this is due to be switched off and replaced by VoIP by the end of 2025. So, what does this mean if you’re currently running on an onsite phone system?

PBX Continues to Thrive

Even though the PSTN is due to be switched off, this does not mean that you will not be able to use your existing PBX any longer. At Infinitel, our SIP trunking solutions can be integrated into your existing PBX hardware, creating an IP connection between our network and your PBX.

This means that, instead of connecting to the PSTN, you are connected to our reliable and cutting-edge network, which can save your business money as PSTN calls are usually more expensive compared to VoIP.

With Infinitel’s Unified Communications (UC) approach to business communications, you can rest assured that your business receives high-quality telecommunication solutions.

Upgrade your PBX system with Infinitel to future-proof your business today! 

Replace On-Premise PBX Hardware or Integrate Your System Seamlessly with Infinitel

Infinitel has been providing businesses with telecommunications solutions for decades. We have helped numerous businesses, from small and medium-sized enterprises to large corporations. With 99.9% uptime and coverage in more than 120 countries, we can help your business connect on a global scale.

Looking to upgrade? Core to your business’ productivity, getting the right phone system for your team is not something you want to delay.

SIP-enable your existing PBX or allow us to replace/complement your existing network for a cost-effective, scalable, and flexible solution to business telecoms. Elevate your business for both short and long-distance calls, with Infinitel.

Our experts can provide you with advice and guidance, with around-the-clock support available. To learn more about how our services can help your business, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

Take your business to the next level

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