Business VoIP- Phones for Small & Medium Businesses
Different Types of Business Landlines
Different Types of Business Landlines
Knowing which type of business landline to choose can present you with a bit of a puzzle to solve. In the past this was pretty straightforward: you had a business landline that was on-premises and came through the traditional private branch exchange (PBX).
Now, however, you’re no longer limited to this type of system. VoIP has opened up new opportunities for both business customers and service providers.
How do you solve the puzzle of which type of business landline to choose? It’s about putting together the pieces that will be the best fit for your business model, to create a fully joined-up system.
The first step to doing this is understanding the different types of business landlines.
Traditional On-site PBX
Traditional PBX systems are on-site. They provide a private phone network for your business that acts as a switchboard. You have all the equipment to manage this type of business landline at your place of business.
Another name for traditional PBX is a telephone switch system. This reflects the fundamental simplicity of the concept.
Each person using the system has their own extension that’s unique to them. The PBX takes all incoming calls and channels them to the correct extension.
These traditional analogue systems are robust and reliable, and enable various business call features such as call-queueing, transfers, on-hold music and call recording.
But as digitalisation continues to spread, these traditional PBX systems are becoming less common.
They are also less flexible than digital systems, and flexibility is a major issue for many modern businesses.
ISDN stands for integrated services digital network. It was the next step forward after dial-up internet. It’s basically a telephone-based network system, and it operates via a dedicated line or circuit switch.
It allows users to transmit phone conversations, and data, digitally across telephone lines. Its chief advantage is the data speed of these lines, but this comes at a cost that is considerably more than a standard phone line.
There’s a more pressing concern regarding ISDN if you’re a business user. The network will begin shutting down in 2020. As it currently stands, the plan is not to add any new ISDN lines from 2023, and to turn off the network in 2025.
This is the digital counterpart to the traditional PBX system. It uses voice-over internet protocol (VoIP) technology.
This involves a method known as packet switching, which converts analogue voice signals into digital data. By doing this, VoIP can use the internet as a means of making telephone calls.
A VoIP phone will take the digital data it receives and split it into information packets, putting a destination address on each one. This converted data then travels over broadband, via a router. The router will find the shortest path for the data to reach its destination. The receiving VoIP phone will use the addresses of each packet to put them in the right order, and the phone user receives this data as recognisable speech.
Essentially, the main difference between VoIP PBX and traditional PBX is this technology.
Because it uses the internet, VoIP PBX can offer substantial savings on call costs. Voice calls can be of higher quality, and you can use one system for multiple sites. Where this is the case, calls will be free between sites.
Hosted VoIP is the most advanced type of business landline system, and it maximises the potential of digital technology.
There’s no physical telephone system on your premises. The hosted part of the name refers to the fact that the hardware and PBX for your phone system are located off-site. Hosted VoIP systems are cloud-based.
The cloud platform your system uses takes on the role of a traditional telephone system. It processes, controls, and serves business telephone calls.
Typically, hosted VoIP is cheap to set up. In many cases, there are in fact no set up fees at all.
If you’re considering the budgetary implications of hosted VoIP, it’s also worth noting that these types of business phone systems fall under operational rather than capital expenditure.
Because of how it operates, hosted VoIP offers much greater flexibility than traditional or even VoIP PBX. It means that your business phone network is no longer tied to a physical location.
Consequently, along with potential benefits such as having a hosted VoIP switchboard and other supported services, you can also take advantage of the system’s in-built adaptability and flexibility.
You can set your system up for flexible geographic numbering, using appropriate local area codes. It comes with multi-site capabilities and provides excellent support for remote, mobile and home workers.
The system is highly scalable, which means you can future-proof your business telephone system without having to worry about mounting costs.
Which Business Telephone System is Right for You?
If you’ve already got a system set up, look beyond your current needs to what you’ll require in the future. If you’re looking to adopt a business phone system for the first time, consider how you want to work, and what flexibility and scalability you require.
VoIP provides plenty of options for customising a system to suit you, and to help you future-proof your communications.